Wake Up... It's Tomorrow (1968) by Strawberry Alarm Clock album cover

Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow (1968 album)

Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow is Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s second album, released in early 1968 and following up their 1967 debut Incense And Peppermints. Many of the musical themes and lyrical concerns of the first album were explored further on Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow, resulting in an album that, impressively, is at turns gentler and weirder.

The LP begins with the claustrophobic “Nightmare Of Percussion”, followed directly by “Soft Skies, No Lies”, an unabashed sunshine-y pop song. These two tracks set the pace for the rest of the album: Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow is equal parts pleasant late-60s pop/psych and harrowing, disagreeable (but fascinating) dementia.

The dark side of the clock

Lyrically, the dark side would have to come out on top; even most of the sunny pop songs are fleshed out with mention of a dark and/or violent side. Most strikingly, “Go Back (You’re Going The Wrong Way)” is the album’s silliest, happiest music, but the tale told within speaks of an unending wheel of negativity being the natural way of the world.

When Strawberry Alarm Clock really lets the dark side take over, the results are scary indeed. “They Saw The Fat One Coming” is a creepy, acoustic minor-key song that perfectly sets up the album’s awful and awesome masterpiece, “Curse Of The Witches”. The adventurousness of these two odd tracks is later echoed by the album’s final three songs, a miniature three-sing suite called “Black Butter”. Where the Incense And Peppermints album contained such bleak treatises as “The World’s On Fire”, “Lose To Live”, and the ironic “Hummin’ Happy”, Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow seems to have the bottom completely fall out at times. The negativity is more mature and more deeply felt here (and, it must be stressed, altogether stranger). For fans of somber, evil-sounding psychedelia, the trip is a good one indeed.

Delicious pop

On the other hand, Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow also has the Clock’s best and most soaring moment: “Pretty Song From Psych-Out”, written and recorded for the movie Psych-Out, which leads the album’s pop personality just like “Curse Of The Witches” leads the grotesque alter ego. Other pieces like “Sit With The Guru” and “Tomorrow” follow in this groovy psych/pop SAC tradition, while others like “Sitting On A Star” and “Black Butter, Past” sort of straddle the two camps.

This album is unreservedly recommended, however you get your hands on it; the musical layers are many and the thematic right angles are abrupt and thrilling, warranting many repeated listens to unravel the curious genius of the band at this time.

Track listing

Side 1
“Nightmare Of Percussion” – 2:57
“Soft Skies, No Lies” – 3:07
“Tomorrow” – 2:14
“They Saw The Fat One Coming” – 3:25
“Curse Of The Witches” – 6:46

Side 2
“Sit With The Guru” – 2:59
“Go Back (You’re Going The Wrong Way)” – 2:19
“Pretty Song From Psych-Out” – 3:15
“Sitting On A Star” – 2:55
“Black Butter, Past” – 2:23
“Black Butter, Present” – 2:10
“Black Butter, Future” – 1:32

The front cover appropriated

The Anthology cover looks almost identical to the Wake Up... It's Tomorrow cover.
The Anthology cover looks almost identical to the Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow cover.
In 1993, The Strawberry Alarm Clock Anthology, a 2-CD compilation, was released, and it reproduced the cover of Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow, shrunk slightly to allow for a new text border. This has confused some buyers and sellers.

When buying Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow, be sure you’re getting the 1968 original; it’s the one where the old man’s beard and top of his head extend all the way to the edges and there is no text running around all four edges.

10 thoughts on “Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow (1968 album)

  1. The most varied sac album, containing  some of their best essential songs to some of the least, therefore extremely imaginative.

  2. YES.

    Just recently, I won an auction on eBay for a vinyl of this. ;D It cost $46. Needless to say, I’m very excited for this…but I have to get my dad’s record player fixed to use it.

  3. Haven’t been here in a good while…

    I’m listening to this album probably for the 30-somethin-th time since I got it. I’m up to “Go Back,” and it’s so… silly. I’m just excited in heaps for the Black Butter trilogy to start up. It’s great.

  4. Great! I think in many ways Wake Up is their best album. No album really sounds like any other, but this one is so varied it’s breathtaking.

    Let us know how you like the rest of it! What are your favorites (or is it too early to tell;)

  5. Yeah Jacob, i know what you mean, i have it on CD too, i want to get the vinyl version, it’s so much better, and i love the old sound on music, instead of the new remastered sound!!! But still, this is my most precious CD, and if anything happened to it, i would go crazy man!!!

  6. Oh, gee… I’m a bit late.

    I do agree that Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow is their best. My personal favorites on the album are “Soft Skies, No Lies,” “Tomorrow,” “They Saw The Fat One Coming,” “Curse Of The Witches,” “Sit With The Guru,” “Pretty Song From Psych-Out,” and “Sitting On A Star”. (I know, that’s a good chunk of the album. Only complaint I have though is not with the music, but that (as I got this off a CD) “Black Butter, Present” cuts off in the middle.

    One thing that upsets me is that nobody knows this great band or their music other than Incense and Peppermints. And even then, it is not well known by people my age (10th grade). 🙁

    Happy listening, all!

  7. Thanks heaps for this. This is my favourite album of all time. And also SAC is my favourite band!!!

  8. I absolutely love this album (so far…)

    I just got a copy and am up to Go Back (You’re Going The Wrong Way), and so far it is very pleasing. Having only had the 90s’ “Incense & Peppermints,” I am very happy to have some more SAC to listen to.


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