Saturday, November 1, 2014

Elektra Records: Tomorrow Night

Since they never had a US hit, Atomic Rooster remains an enigma to many American audiences. The band was formed out of the ashes of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown who had one hit – 1968’s “Fire.” Atomic Rooster’s original line-up included Vincent Crane on keyboards, Carl Palmer on drums, and Nick Graham on bass and vocals.

Their self-titled debut album, however, was not released in the US. By the time of the release of their first American album, “Death Walks Behind You,” the band’s personnel changed dramatically. Guitarist John DuCann had joined and made the band a quartet for a short period; however, Carl Palmer and Nick Graham left prior to recording the second album.

DuCann took over lead vocal duties and Crane added the bass lines via his Hammond organ. As done with many albums marketed in the US, their American label (Elektra Records) chose a different cover. The original British version on B&C Records had William Blake’s etching of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.

The American version sported a metal sculpture of a rooster’s head. It was fitting for Atomic Rooster’s American debut. In addition, the album’s title was not listed on the front cover – thus providing the viewer the assumption that this may have been the band’s first LP.

Today’s feature is the lead single from “Death Walks Behind You” – “Tomorrow Night.” The long version of the song features a syncopated piano intro by Vince Crane. He later adds his Hammond organ – which has a Jon Lord feel using Hammond’s distinctive percussion settings. Back in 1969, Deep Purple had opened for Atomic Rooster. “Tomorrow Night” peaked at #11 in the UK; however, it never made it to the American charts.

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