Wednesday, December 20, 2006

TRACK 15: TOMORROW AND ME


TOMORROW AND ME by Michael Nesmith.

What happened to Michael Nesmith? Most people know that he made it big with The Monkees. What happened then? The Monkees broke up, none of his solo albums sold at all, and even his backing band left him. When he went to record his last album for RCA (he wouldn't be getting a new deal), he only had his steel guitar player, Red Rhodes, to record it with. It wasn't an audaspicious circumstance.

The album was called "And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'" in ironic tribute to Nesmith's complete commercial failure. What happened? Faced with declining prospects, waning artistic influence, and few potential listeners, Nesmith recorded the album on the principle that

One of the great advantages of being an artist is that I am able to utilize my craft periodically to write messages to myself.
That's Tomorrow and Me, a message to himself, a crystalline Ooh La La. It's not a success story, there's no grand redemption, but it's better for it. Stripped out of necessity, Nesmith makes the music pure and wise.

Tomorrow and Me is a song about overcoming, and maturity, and acceptance, but it never yields to self-delusion or to bitterness or to complacency.

We love the affectionate gestures it makes to the typical sad-sack ballad. We love that Nesmith composed a verse of depth and insight, but sings it without fuss or affect or melodrama. And then he goes ahead and just sings the very same verse again. We love the pedal steel solo duet of Red Rhodes that lifts the song to a different level of invention and empathy. We love that no matter where we sequenced this song to share with you, it always sounded perfect and like it belonged.

LISTEN.

Photo: Through the wall, 2002.

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5 comments:

BWK's Mom said...

I LOVE this. His voice sounds unpolished and perfect. The words are just wonderful.

BWK's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

Yes. Like most good things on here, I got this song from somebody else. Corbett, in this case. The whole album is on a par.

...Dunno what the removed comment was, maybe a link to onelook.com? :)

BWK's Mom said...

My post was removed because I wanted it on another track. Sorry.

Bill said...

no probs!