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Tuesday Afternoon

by

The Moody Blues



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

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.
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues Artistfacts
More The Moody Blues songs
More songs featuring orchestras
More songs with days of the week in the title
More songs with times of day in the title
More songs that use a Mellotron

Comments (21):

On July 14th 1968, "Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)" by the Moody Blues entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; and on September 1st, 1968 it peaked at #24 (for 2 weeks) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #12 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
Between 1965 and 1988 the quintet had twenty-one Top 100 records; three made the Top 10 with "Nights In White Satin" being their biggest hit, it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) in 1972...
The two weeks that "Nights In White Satin" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Actually, the Days of Future Passed cover showed it as 'Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)' Wonder what silly fool made them list it that way.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
This is the hook that made me a Moodies fanatic. In 1968, when I heard the first strains of that classic , classic piano riff I said "who the hell are these guys?". Justin Hayward is easily one of the best lead singer/composers in Rock history. They have allways been some of the best true musicians in Rock history. Just picture a nice summer day, after a 6th grader started summer vacation, hearing this song for the first time.......
- meocyber, alma, CO
Actually "Aqualung" was not a concept album according to Ian Anderson. People just took it that way. Per the Wiki: "I always said at the time that this is not a concept album; this is just an album of varied songs of varied instrumentation and intensity in which three or four are the kind of keynote pieces for the album but it doesn't make it a concept album. In my mind when it came to writing the next album, Thick as a Brick, was done very much in the sense of: 'Whuh, if they thought Aqualung was a concept album, O-O-K, we'll show you a concept album.' And it was done as a kind of spoof, a send-up, of the concept album genre. ... But Aqualung itself, in my mind was never a concept album. Just a bunch of songs."
- Mr. Ed, Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, the Moodies were the spokespersons of the hippy movement! I really don't know what kind of friggin' MORON would hear any kind of Satanic messages in their music. If anything the Moodies will give to you a renewed spiritual awakening. A sort of religious experience. What I always heard was a band calling out to their minions to seek out and find a better way of living through spiritual enlightenment. Of course, a little LSD 25 would have helped you to reach that enlightenment much quicker, but those like myself could just hear it and understand it in the music. Satanic? Preposterous!
- Jesse, Madison, WI
Of all the songs the Moodys do, this is absolutely my fave.
- Sam, Hipsville, CA
Concept albums are the single greatest innovation in all of the progressive rock movement. Though the Moody Blues were one of the originators of the "concept of the concept album," many other artist such as Jethro Tull's AQUALUNG which was written for the concept of hipocracy in the Church of England (true, that).
- Jared, Racine, WI
Compare this song with the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" (which was released about 6 months before this was recorded) both with their similar climbing "ah ah"s leading into a bouncing piano up-tempo change in the middle, A-B-A structure, and slow fade.
- Brandon, Lincoln, NE
Oustanding song written the year I was born...one of my very favorites!
- Stacey, Fort Worth, TX
I love this song, and the Moody Blues in general - one of the more frequently overlooked but highly influential bands of the sixties, still producing great (but also mostly overlooked) music. But reading these threads... satanic messages? Are f*ing kidding me? If you're predisposed to find them, I'm sure you will anywhere, but - especially those of you have time to listen to music backwards - go get yourself a life! Here's one... "Paul is dead, Paul is dead..." toke on that! And Kathy from Jasper, didn't you ever have a dog - or cat - or any pet that could respond to it's name? (That really only leaves out fish!)
- Gregg, Middletown, CT
Posted 10/23/2007. I love The Moody Blues! Masters of blending orchestration with rock music (like E.L.O., and Alan Parsons Project, etc.), their early stuff also conjured up some fun late 1960's psychedelic imagery from that time - astral travel, transcendental meditation, some cool poems, etc, but did it with just some incredible & imaginative music. Living up to their name, they were sometimes haunting, deep, dark & melancholy, but in a beautiful, uplifting way. The orchestration had a rich, soothing sound. I've been fortunate to see them 4 times in concert so far. Tuesday Afternoon is one of their very best classics. However, on "Days Of Future Past" it is actually part of an 8-minute long song that is seldom heard in its entirety. Too bad, cuz the 2nd half of the song, "Time To Get Away", is also a terrific song! Like "Tuesday.." it also features a haunting sound that has this awesomely beautiful uplifting verse. Check it out if you can.
- David, Deerfield Beach, FL
I just signed up to post and view, etc. It's a great find for me on internet. But there are so many d*ck-heads that post such stupid stuff and carry on personal conversations. Hey.........get a telephone.
- Jay, Boca Raton, FL
This song is definitely one of the classics of the '60's, and of Rock 'n' Roll--and with good reason. This was one of those songs (along with "Peak Hour" and "The Sunset", which preceded and followed it on the "Days of Future Passed" album) that helped to expand our idea of what rock is and could be (and could've been). The instrumentation by the London Symphony Orchestra is not an affectation, as classical instrumentation and orchestration too often are in rock'n'roll songs. The instruments harmonize very well with the synthesizer and the Moody Blues' beat, producing a unique sound. It came out in the same year--1967--as some other wonderful and ground-breaking works, namely "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and "Surrealistic Pillow." Each of them is distinctive, and each suggested new directions rock (namely, the progressive variety) could take. P.S. I very much like the rest of "Days of Future Passed," except for "Nights In White Satin," which is I find overly cloying and sentimental, and which ends with a god-awful poem. Such a come-down after "Tuesday Afternoon!"
- MusicMama, New York, NY
I'm sorry but the Satanic allegation is simply ridiculous. For one thing, The Dukes Of Hazzard the tv show didnt come into existence until 1979- I just looked it up. And, of course, this song came out in 1967. Unless you're suggesting that Satan somehow bestowed magical soothsaying powers on the Moody Blues, there's no way that line could be in there...
- Paul, Cincinnati, OH
Yea, the moodies are a great band with great music, no satanic messages, thats just ridiculous. And this is a really great song.
- Sam, Thompsons, TX
A great song and a true classic...

As far as Satonic messages, I've been a fan of the Moodies for 30 years and have never heard them discribed that way.. mystic, yes... drug influanced, yes... but Satonic...?? Justin Hayward is very spiritual and I don't think he'd do this. Don't confuse teh Moody Blues with other dark bands of that era. The Moodies were not dark.
- Yvonne, Hastings, MN
I hear a totally different Satanic message in the song at that point, it says "Bollocks to clean living, Satan will give me a new bike and a new boom stand, and keep on giving. And even if he doesn't, I know of a little shed where he made us watch Dukes of Hazzard till our eyes bled." Note the subtle rhyming in the backward message, musical evil was rarely so intricate.

If you listen to the song FORWARD, it's also a pretty nice tune, with both Mellotron (keyboard instrument that plays string sounds) and an real orchestra. What a great album Days of Future Passed is!
- Liquid Len, Ottawa, Canada
Great Jam, from a F*CKING awesome concept album. The way the album thematically seems to deny the passing of time, while representing the passing of time all at once is genius the likes of which has not often been attempted.
- Dennis, Chicagoland burrows, IL
What did you use to play the music backwards? I use either Any Sound Recorder or GoldWave. I used the "Days of Futures Passed" CD album. Do you suppose this example of reverse speech was what the Moral Majority was referring to:

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<--->Christ the goody, Satan waxes terrific....Ordinarily revolute me; you see niggers...I want some evil; Scared 'em; Now, I am sexy...Ma-Mom, I am scouting for some tiny karma.

It would be interesting to know just what Hayward meant happened when he said the song "just came about" on a Tuesday afternoon and what kind of pharmacological plants could have been in that "funny African cigarette."
- Brett, Zionsville, PA
Somebody said that Justin Hayward's dog would respond to his name whenever he sanf this song. Did he bark? Or what?
- Kathy, Jasper, AL
The first moment I heard the album (than), Days of Future Past, I was totally blown away. And every one of the following ablums have kept me a
fan. Some later albums (now known as CDs) took a
moment or two to catch on, like "Strange Times."
But the next play I was hooked!! All albums have
great tunes and more, especially when you hear a
tune like, like "River of Endless Love" and "Deep" on SUR LA MER (1988). Justin Hayward
can grab you every time with that certain hook
to make that "your favorite song." Has any one
come across an LP produced by Werner Mueller in
the late 1960s titled "A PORTAIT OF THE MOODY BLUES?" Saw it listed in an old National Record
Plan catalog, but couldn't obtain a copy. There are instrumental productions of NIGHTS IN WHITE
SATIN and STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN on the London Symphony Orchestra's SYMPHONIC ROCK - THE BRITISH
INVASION, VOLUME 1 (1997) and I couldn't find the
satanic backward masking messages that the like of Rev. Robertson or the Jerry Fallwell have "preached" there were to promote satanic connections with rock groups. Why aren't there messages in so-called christian tunes sending message to the listeners instructing them to be
honest, not lie and spreading false rumours and
misinformation.
- John, Plymouth, IN
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