Tuesday, 5 November 2013

ASTRONOMY

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Astronomy
Format: A silver CDr demo disc in a simple paper sleeve, housed in a clear plastic wallet.  There is no catalogue or label detail, as this was not an official release
Edition: 1 copy

Track Listing:
01. Astronomy  38.48

"Clock strikes twelve and moondrops burst
Out at you from their hiding place
Like acid and oil on a madman's face
His reason tends to fly away
Like lesser birds on the four winds
Like silver scrapes in May
And now the sands become a crust
Most of you have gone away"


Well, hopefully most of you haven't gone away, or you'll miss this humdinger of a demo from Uruk Hai!

And despite Nazgul's use of the lyrics from Blue Öyster Cult's classic 'Astronomy' this demo is in fact bugger all to do with that venerable song.  Which is a shame, as in that song aliens known as Les Invisibles guide an altered human named Imaginos through history, playing key roles that eventually lead to the outbreak of World War I.  A perfectly sensible and realistic proposition, we'd all agree.  Longtime BÖC fan and author Stephen King recorded a spoken narration for the single edit of the track, which is as follows:

"A bedtime story for the children of the damned. From a dream world, paralleling our earth in time and space, the invisible ones have sent an agent who will dream the dream of history. With limitless power he becomes the greatest actor of the 19th century. Taking on many ingenious disguises, he places himself at pivotal junctures in history, continually altering its course and testing our ability to respond to the challenge of evil. His name is 'Hugin'"

Oh, wait ... no, his name was Imaginos.  My bad.

Anyway, let's move past this whole BÖC business and get on with the matter in hand - this oddity!  On playing the disc through, it's evidently familiar and every now and again you get the distinct feel that you've heard it before, but not quite in this version.  It takes a simple explanation from Hugin to put matters straight:  'Astronomy' is the first take version of "Tawantinsuyu" - the longer and mastered version can be heard on the full album, but I think the first take is more intense because it doesn't take so long!

And there, in a nutshell, we have it.  "Tawantinsuyu" on speed, essentially!  And here's something else weird - Blue Öyster Cult were also prone to such shenanigans!  For example, 'The Red and The Black' (an ode to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) from their second album "Tyranny And Mutation" was basically a sped-up rewrite of 'I'm On The Lamb...But I Ain't No Sheep' from their debut album!  Spooky!  Alexander 'Buck Dharma' Wieser remained unavailable for comment as this article went to press...

Although presently unreleased, Nazgul was so taken with the song that his enthusiastic endorsement of it to Hugin might well lead to the track appearing officially on a future release ... so keep watching the skies!

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