Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Days of Future PassedReleased: 1967Charted:
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."
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.
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.
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.