Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Deram Records: Tuesday Afternoon

One of my favorite bands of all time is The Moody Blues; and thus, it makes them my favorite Deram Records’ act. The classic version of the band released three LPs on the Deram imprint until moving over to their own label, Threshold Records, in 1969. The three Deram albums were “Days of Future Passed,” “In Search of the Lost Chord,” and “On a Threshold of a Dream.” The latter was the inspiration for their new label’s name.

In addition to three albums, five singles appeared on Deram. Being that it is Tuesday, we’ll feature their second seven inch release – “Tuesday Afternoon,” or as it appears on “Days of Future Passed” as “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?).” Justin Hayward, who wrote the tune while sitting in a field playing his guitar, had originally named the song “Tuesday Afternoon”; however, producer Tony Clarke wanted a name that fit with the concept album “Days of Future Passed.” So, it was changed for the time being.

While the album was released in 1967, the “Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)” single was not issued until 1968. It was the second single from “Days of Future Passed” with the first, “Nights in White Satin” only making it to #103 with the original 1967 issue. When reissued as a single five years later in 1972, “Nights in White Satin” peaked at #2 and was the band’s highest charting single in the US.

While “Nights in White Satin” did well both times in the UK (#19 and #9), it was not their biggest British release – “Go Now,” with the original lineup, peaked at #1, while the biggest song with the classical version of the band was 1970’s “Question.”

As for “Tuesday Afternoon,” it was not released as a single in the UK and only made it to #24 in the US. This is a pity, as it remains one of the band’s most enduring performances both in terms of airplay and their live performances. “Tuesday Afternoon” is a song that has held up well over its 48-year existence. It just has so much. The clear, ever present vocals of Justin Hayward and the fantastic bass of John Lodge that is occasionally punctuated by Mike Pinder on the piano’s bass register.

Speaking of Pinder, the Mellotron makes this tune – this new sound adds to the overall texture of “Tuesday Afternoon,” as well as numerous Moodies’ recordings to come. I would be remiss if I forgot to also credit Ray Thomas’ flute, Graeme Edge’s drums, and the London Festival Orchestra under the direction of Peter Knight. It just doesn’t get much better than this. “The trees are drawing me near; I've got to find out why. Those gentle voices I hear explain it all with a sigh.”

Although not credited on the album,“Tuesday Afternoon” is paired with a John Lodge composition “(Evening) Time to Get Away.” Here’s the complete album track from “Days of Future Passed.”

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