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Cries from the Midnight Circus,
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This review is from: The Pretty Things Parachute - 40th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
40 years on and the Pretty Things are still grossly underrated and hardly well known especially in the UK.
Why should they be well known because they made one of the first concept albums `SF Sorrow' also available on Amazon? In Dick Taylor they contained an Ex rolling stone, in `Parachute' they had the only Rolling Stone Magazine Album of the year not to sell a Million copies, their next few albums (`Freeway Madness', `Silk Torpedo' and `Savage Eye') were original on Led Zeppelins Swan song label. In Phil May they have one of rock music great blues voices, and no matter what the line up was they were always very good musicians, step forward Wally Waller Peter Tolson, Jon Povey, Skip Allen and many more over the years.
To this album 40 years old and their first and Last on the Harvest records label. The music is blues based rock with plesent MOR twist possibly pushing progressive, but always blues based rock.
The album opens with `Scene One' a place setter for the first great song the `Good Mr Square', later in te album we have the wham bang crash trilogy of In the square/The Letter/Rain which highlights the other great thing about the Pretty things at this time the Vocal harmonies at times beach Boys like. On wards we go past `Cries from the Midnight Circus' , `Grass' More harmonies on `She's a Lover' finishing in great style with `What's the Use' and `Parachute'. As good a 40 minutes of music as you could expect from any band.
The 40th Anniversary digi-pack brings a second disc of music, the first 6 being commonly available and contemporary Singles and B-side's to singles at the time of the albums release. Then on to the best bit acoustic versions of seven songs from the album, stripped back these sound just as good as the album versions and again highlight the great harmonies this band can do.
A great end to the 60s indeed and a great re-issue please buy this album, if you like great music and a hard luck story, maybe one day the Pretty Things will be recognised as one of England's finest bands.
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Initial post: 13 Mar 2011 22:05:22 GMT
J. Smart says:
Good review but I can't hear the 'blues based rock'. To my ears it sounds closer to The Beatles White Album crossed with Badfinger. Which would probably explain why a run of good albums from The Pretty Things failed to have a bigger impact in the UK. The Beatles had split up, a new generation of record buyers were looking for something new and bands such as The Pretty Things and Badfinger, that with hindsight, recorded some great albums, unfortunately, just sounded dated at the time.
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