S.F. Sorrow [VINYL]
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Top Customer Reviews
The band had already shown, with their previous album "Emotions", that they wanted to explore new grounds, and that they felt that the r&b concept was too limited for them.
"Emotions" showed that the band possesed excellent songwriters in Wally Allen, Phil May and Dick Taylor. Unfortunately the production of that album was not too successful; at least at the time it was considered as some kind of a "disaster".
This is not the case with the follow-up album "S.F. Sorrow". The sound is great and Norman Smith's production captured the new psychedelic sounds and trends of the late 1960's perfectly.
"S.F. Sorrow" is a concept album, which tells the sad story of the life of S.F. Sorrow. The idea of doing rock concept album was very new at this time. And Pretty Things were among the very first to come up with a rock album; but in my opinion this is not what makes "S.F. Sorrow" a classic album. The album's strength is clearly the music; though the story is quite interesting too.
The catchy "S.F. Sorrow", driven by great acoustic guitars, gives the album the perfect start. The song almost has hit-record potentials.
The musically more complex "Bracelets" follows. It's a song in the same vein as their great "progressive" 1967 single "Defecting Grey". The song did not make it to the charts, but I remember that it got some airplay here in Denmark in 1967-68. The song is featured here as a bonus-track.
"She Says Good Morning" indicates that the Pretty Things were also inspired by the Beatles' "Revolver" album.
"Private Sorrow" is another great track - the flute and the acoustic guitars almost sounding like Jethro Tull.Read more ›
'SF Sorrow' seems to completely define that British-take on psychedelia - producer Norman Smith ('Arnold Layne', 'See Emily Play') perfectly captures these perfect songs as The Pretty Things psych'd-out!!! The original-thirteen tracks are remastered & blend together wonderfully; while the four-bonus tracks include the bizarre see-sawing-schizo-epic 'Defecting Grey' (drifting from raga to psych to full-on lo-fi punk & off into sinister drones that the Floyd would borrow heavily from) & 'Talkin' About the Good Times'- which sounds like a mellowier-Who...
The album itself is perfect, every track a killer- I wonder why it hasn't been sampled to death by some pioneering electronicartist? It sounds even better than the post-modern sixties stylings of The Dukes of Stratosphear & The Wondermints- possibly as it was the real thing (...just sadly overlooked at the time). 'Baron Saturday' is probably my favourite- having loops that remind me of M83 & DJ Shadow, a percussive-middle that reminds me of Can's 'Halleluwah' & a Lennonesque-vocal that cuts across the Sydesque one!Read more ›
It's certainly a very innovative piece of work and was a ground-breaking album at the time in terms of structure and ambition. Do I actually think it's any good, though? Well, I certainly don't think it's one of the greatest albums of all time, as many people seem to. Musically, it's a little uninspiring and repetitive in places and its real appeal lies in the rich, interesting lyrics, although some songs stand out such as "Private Sorrow" which has a Jethro Tull feel to it, the bouncy "Baron Saturday" has a great hook and "Loneliest Person" has a vulnerable pathos which makes it the easiest song on the whole album to connect with on an emotional level. Oddly enough, the bonus tracks on my CD edition, such as the early Pink Floyd-sounding "Defecting Grey" and the more straight-forward poppy psychedelia of "Walking Through My Dreams" are amongst the most enjoyable tracks on this re-issue.
I suppose, when it comes down to it, there are other albums and groups from the same era I much prefer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful. Brilliant. Timeless. Underrated. For me one of the best records of the 60s. I prefer it even over Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Harald
The 2016 Madfish re-issue of S.F. Sorrow is the exact same mastering (matrix BD 35818-01) as their 2014 release in the US 'tombstone' sleeve. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a very interesting album as it was un-officially the first Rock Opera. The Pretty Things released this in 1968 and it preceded The Who's Tommy by at least a year (It's... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr. Bt Hughes
Revisiting music that obsessed you when you were 16 doesn't always work out but in this case it did! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Keith Andreetti
Not every bodies cup of tea. However, invented the rock opera before Tommy.Published 7 months ago by WH