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3.07-SHADOWS BREAKING OVER MY HEAD (Left Banke)

Left Banke

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[Intro]

        Shadows breaking over my head. (2x)

I wanted to see her.
I walked alone, I tell you.
I wanted to see her
Though I knew she had left me.
Now through trees I can see

        [Refrain] (2x)

How well did she know me?
How well did I see her?
It's something I told her.
Please wait to really see me.
Please don't leave me.

                Thoughts that would be dancing through my time
                Would help me find a way to
                Seek her out in my mind. No, no, not this time.
                It's through
                For her and me.

        [Refrain] (2x)

[Closing piano coda]


Shadows Breaking over My Head makes for a poetic title and refrain in this song of unrequited love. The track is found on their album Walk Away Renee / Pretty Ballerina, and seems to reflect a similar sensibility to the Pretty Ballerina hit. Only this time, the singer refuses to simply seek her out in my mind, and accepting the impossibility of the relationship, calls it quits. Again the song is orchestrated with a string quartet, but the song never has a break in which it could be featured. Rather it is the yearning harmony of the chorus, the complex harmonies and zigzag melody of the late B section that are memorable features of a song which Ritchie Unterberger of allmusic compared to the Zombies' work on the Odessey and Oracle album.

Sadly, with the release of two hit singles and one tepidly received album, the Left Banke couldn’t push through the immense amount of psychedelic material available in 1967. It didn’t help that the “baroque rock” at which the group excelled was already beginning to fall out of fashion. (The last gasp of what might be considered high quality “baroque rock”, the Zombies album Odessey and Oracle, did not chart at all in 1968, the year of its release.) Michael Brown may have wanted to be like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and record entirely in the studio, but his band was not established enough to develop a fan base without live concerts. Hiring orchestral musicians on tour was an immense expense early in the group’s career that made difficult any live performances that could replicate the baroque feel of the group. By the time of the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle, this financial problem was solved by the use of a Mellotron. But by 1968 it was the Moody Blues who were using the Mellotron the most effectively for replacement of an orchestra in live performances, and the Moody Blues did not look to the baroque period of music for inspiration.

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