Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Atomic Rooster – "Tomorrow Night" (1970)

Time goes so slow when you're gone
Days turn to years, it seems so long

Vincent Crane was a master of the Hammond B-3 organ and the unsung hero of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the one-hit wonders whose “Fire” was without a doubt the insanest song of the sixties.

Crane suffered a breakdown during the group’s first tour of the U.S. in 1968.  He spent the next several months in an English mental hospital being treated for bipolar disorder.

Vincent Crane
The band fell apart in 1969 while on their second U.S. tour.  Arthur Brown and his wife decided to live in a New Jersey commune, so Crane and drummer Carl Palmer went back to the UK, where they joined forces with bass player Nick Graham to form Atomic Rooster.

Graham and Palmer left Atomic Rooster after the group’s first album was released in 1970 – Palmer joined Emerson, Lake & Palmer – and Crane replaced them with drummer Paul Hammond and guitarist-vocalist John Du Cann.  That left the band without a bass guitarist, but Crane played the necessary bass lines on his Hammond B-3.

Atomic Rooster’s second album, Death Walks Behind You, included today’s featured song, which was a #11 single on the UK charts.

But Crane was not happy with Du Cann’s singing.  He replaced him with Pete French, was handled lead vocals on Atomic Rooster’s third album.  French was subsequently sacked and replaced by Chris Farlowe, who was the singer on the group’s fourth album.

Crane disbanded Atomic Rooster in 1975, but persuaded Du Cann and Hammond to rejoin him when he reformed the band in 1980.  (Ginger Baker was in the group for about two weeks.)

Atomic Rooster broke up again in 1983.  After spending a couple of years performing with Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Crane hoped to reform Atomic Rooster one more time.

Before he could do that, Vincent Chase lost his lifelong battle with mental illness.  On Valentine’s Day, 1989 – 29 years ago today – the 45-year-old musician committed suicide by overdosing on painkillers.

The other Atomic Rooster members who recorded “Tomorrow Night” are also dead.  Paul Hammond died of an accidental drug overdose a few years later, and John Du Cann had a fatal heart attack in 2011.
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Here’s a video of Atomic Rooster performing “Tomorrow Night” on the British TV show, Top of the Pops:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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