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Mike Stuart Span Children Of Tomorrow
  • Children Of Tomorrow (CS 7" (color))-1
    7" color
    MR 7278C apr 2016
  • Children Of Tomorrow (7")-1
    7" MR 7278
    2,99€ buy

With its coruscating harmonized guitars, propulsive bass and drums and confident, controlled vocal, Children Of Tomorrow is one of the high water marks of British psychedelia. Tragically, though, it would go virtually unnoticed at the time of its release in February 1968. Mike Stuart Span had started out several years earlier in Brighton. After two unsuccessful singles for Columbia, the group reconfigured in late 1967, galvanized by the blossoming psychedelic movement. "Children Of Tomorrow and Concerto Of Thoughts were both written at the end of 1967," recounts Hobday. "We had just cut down to a four-piece, having taken on our new guitarist Brian Bennett, and we were heavily influenced by the new psychedelic material becoming available. We'd recently recorded two demos at Decca studios, Second Production and Rescue Me, both brilliantly produced by Dave Paramor (and both later re-recorded for Elektra). To everyone's surprise, Decca turned us down." Undeterred, the Span forged ahead with their new direction. "I'd tried my hand at writing again and came up with the lyrics for Children Of Tomorrow," continues Hobday. "I guess it was a cry for lost youth at a time when we were all becoming disillusioned with the state of the world. It wasn't inspired by illegal substances, though many people at the time assumed that it was."

With its reverb-enhanced Gregorian harmonies and dark, introspective lyrics, there's a definite Yardbirds flavor to Concerto Of Thoughts, a song that originated with bass player Roger McCabe. "To be honest, we didn't quite understand Roger's lyrics, and he couldn't really explain them," admits Hobday. "At the time it didn't seem to matter. Everyone chipped in as we worked on both songs, so in a spirit of equality we decided that we'd all claim to have written them. Hence the credits are for Hobmur Benmac, a combination of Hobday, Murphy, Bennett and McCabe."

The two songs were recorded at RG Jones' studio in Morden, Surrey. "Following the rejection by Decca," continues Hobday, "our manager approached a small record company, Jewel, a subsidiary of Melodisc, which agreed to put out the two songs. Unfortunately, the single received almost no promotion from the company and disappeared without trace." Mike Stuart Span soldiered on for several more years, changing their name to Leviathan in 1969, and recorded three extremely good singles for Elektra. But it's for this obscure but eminently breathtaking single that they're now best remembered.

Mike Stax / Ugly Things Magazine

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