Archive number: 48a
Title: Red sky at night
Main Album: Ship of Memories
Track number: 6
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Decca Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (later Studio 55)
Length: 5' 48"
Composer: Thijs van Leer, Jan Akkerman, Jules Deelder
Musicians: Jan Akkerman - Electric guitars, Vocals; Thijs van Leer – Vocals, Bass Moog, Hammond organ, Mellotrons, Piano, Electric Piano, Wind machine; David Kemper - Drums
Engineer: Mike Butcher or Eric Prestidge?
Label: LP – EMI, Harvest, Sire CD – EMI-Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet, JVC
Date of recording/release: 1975 but not released in this form until 1977 (LP). CD – 1988,1993, 2001, 2006.
Alternative version: This is the instrumental backing track for the vocal track Avondrood [48b], presumably laid down like this before the vocals were added.
Notes: A wind machine is heard at the beginning and end (00:00-00:13/05:29-05:48) and in the background throughout. The band comes in together (at 00:14) led by Akkerman's guitar soaring over a slow march featuring van Leer on pianos and bass Moog. There is a beautiful guitar-led bridge (01:53-02:14) before the earlier theme is repeated. The second time the flute leads taking up the bridge part and developing it (02:47-03:51). It is later interspersed with varied fretwork on guitar until a ritartando descends. Things then take off again, led by the piano-backed rising then soaring guitar (03:52-04:18). The section closes with a decisive cymbal crash (04:18) a note from the electric piano (04:19) and a wind machine-backed caesura (04:20-04:22) before the drums and a strong piano chord (04:23-04:26) announce the final section, where the organ is heard with the piano while the guitar (now more horn-like) still leads. A flute is heard at 04:52-04:57 as the piece slowly fades away (04:27-05:28).