Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Afternoon was on the classic concept album Days of Future Passed which was released in 1968. This song was released as a single and was the second single from Days of Future Passed (the first being “Nights in White Satin“). It was backed with a song called “Another Morning”.

Ever since I heard the intro on Strawberry Fields I’ve loved the mellotron. This song uses the instrument. I did read where it was hard to keep running because it used a series of tape loops and you played it by a keyboard.

Mike Pinder was the keyboard player for the Moody Blues and a founding member. He used to work for a company called Streetly Electronics, which made the instrument. He was one of the few musicians who could keep the  device operational, and The Moody Blues became the first high-profile band to use it in live performances. It wasn’t always smooth… one their first American tour, the Mellotron burst open, spewing its tape out the back. After a break Pinder repaired the machine and the show continued on.

The “London Festival Orchestra”, which was the name Decca Records gave to their collection of classical musicians, played on this track. The original idea for the album was to record a rock version of a classical piece called “New World Symphony” by Dvorak.

The song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100 and #24 in Canada in 1968.

Justin Hayward: “I sat down in a field, smoked a funny African cigarette, and that song just came out. It was a Tuesday afternoon.”

Days of Future Passed [Expanded Version]

From Songfacts

Justin Hayward had a dog named Tuesday, but the song has nothing to do with the pooch. In his Songfacts interview, Hayward explained: “It just so happened we were sitting in the field together, that’s all. But it was a Tuesday afternoon and I did smoke a joint and it was down there where I come from in the West Country and this song just came out.”

On the album, this was listed as “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” at the insistence of producer Tony Clarke.

Hayward was earning a living playing music by the time he was in his late teens, so unlike most working stiffs for whom Tuesday afternoon was a time to knuckle down and get some work done, that part of the week could be quite relaxing for him. “I did think about that and about being someone who’s been lucky enough never having to do a proper job,” he told us. “I wasn’t hampered by any of that kind of stuff.”

This song uses a Mellotron. The instrument is a keyboard which triggers taped loops of a chosen instrument recorded at different pitches. It is not synthesized sound, but actual instrument recordings. In this song the recorded loops were strings. The strange and unique quality of the sound comes from the warble in the tape loops as they play back.

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday afternoon
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

I’m looking at myself reflections of my mind
It’s just the kind of day to leave myself behind
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love
If you’ll just come with me you’ll see the beauty of
Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon 
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

39 thoughts on “Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon”

  1. While I am not much of a fan of theirs- I do like this song… and last year I picked up this album used for one American dollar.. now I need to listen to the album.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That album changed them that is for sure. From an R&B band to…what they went to…hard to describe them. Art, pop, rock…with a hint of prog?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a favorite of mine for sure. I recommend the extended version on the album, that blends into ‘Evening Time to Get Away’ with its lovely falsetto chorus. Visa used Tuesday Afternoon in a really nice TV commercial about 10 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea it does sound like a challenge just to play one in a studio. McCartney has the one the Beatles used still.
      He has quite a bit with the Moody Blues doesn’t he? He was still with them a few years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember listening to a Rick Wakeman interview where he said he threw his onto a bonfire. Would probably be worth a lot now.

        Apparently the Zombies were able to use mellotrons etc on Odessey and Oracle because they were in the studio after The Beatles recorded Sgt Peppers, and all The Beatles’ stuff was still there.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. a great song. They consistently put out good stuff and their early works (like this) really were among the first to transcend “rock” and sort of be their own category.

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      1. Have you ever looked to see if there are any out there? As I was researching the Wendy Carlos post, I saw a company that made them is still in business. You might not be able to get one of the originals but a “new and improved” model 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They do have them and they are all digital. You may know this but the old ones have a tape for each sound…I saw one opened up…it’s crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh it was in an old music shop…he had all sorts of things from that time period. It was such a great experience…and I got no pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. There is a music museum up in Traverse City with some off-the-hook things in there including a GIANT pipe organ. The guy who ran the place though gave me the serious creeps. All I could think of was VAMPIRE! I’ll never go back there.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LOL… Yea some of those places do have some odd people….yea this place had a Leslie cabinet. The Beatles used that a lot. It’s a speaker in a cabinet that spins around constantly giving you an in and out sound.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This has to be among my all-time favorite’60s tunes. It’s just incredibly beautiful.

    The Mellotron is an amazing instrument but definitely has its quirks. Reportedly, George Martin didn’t think very highly of it. Of course, this didn’t prevent The Beatles from using it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know…I just told someone…Christian it would be worth having one just to play the intro to Strawberry Fields!
      It is a beautiful song and one of their best.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is one of those groups that everyone likes, except me. I’m not sure why, I just never got into them. The only time I didn’t mind playing their songs was when I had to use the bathroom! You could always count on them for a 5-7 minute song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…yea they have longer songs…thats alright but to me it would be Pink Floyd…they tend to have really long songs.

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      1. Almost all of the “long” songs were edited. You can imagine how freaked out I was one time when I played Doors 2:51 version of Light My Fire instead of the 6 minute version….I had to run back to the studio from the bathroom as the final cymbal faded….

        Liked by 1 person

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