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This was written by lead singer Justin Hayward, who explained: "I sat down in a field, smoked a funny African cigarette, and that song just came out. It was a Tuesday afternoon."
On the album, this was listed as "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" at the insistence of a producer.
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.
The Moody Blues Mellotron wizard was Mike Pinder, who was a founding member of the band. 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 unwieldy 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 while Pinder repaired the machine, the show continued. (thanks, Michael De Lazzer - Studio City, CA)
The London Festival Orchestra played on this. The original idea for the album was to record a rock version of a Classical piece called "New World Symphony" by Dvorak.
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