on 9 November 2001
The Pretty Things a band which has always hopped off the bus just before they should have, missed opportunities should be their middle name. Never able to capitalize on their popularity and having a remarkable ability to press the self-destruct button, this double CD collection, represents a fine example of this band 'middle' period. Don't be put off by the name of the collection the pretty things were always better than just an R 'n' B band or a 'Psychedelic' band. Some of this is pure psyche, singles such a Defecting Grey, and album tracks such as well of Destiny, But most is just good music, the underrated 'Blue Serge Blues', 'LSD' with its R'n' B infectious beat. Bonuses for this release are the previously unavailable live in 1969 versions of 'Alexander' and 'SF Sorrow'.
This album has most of the songs from the 'SF Sorrow' LP in either studio, Live in 1969 or Live 'Resurrection' versions. A good handful of songs from 'Emotions' in either string dubbed or undubbed form and a number of songs from 'Parachute', although surprisingly given the title of this album not 'she was tall..'
on 6 February 2012
I know it's called Psychedelic Years, but The Pretty Things were only really psychedelic in 67/68, and anyone wanting to hear them at their psychedelic best would be better picking up the excellent SF Sorrow with the bonus tracks of relevant singles than this rather curious mish-mash. There's plenty to enjoy here, it's true - more than half of SF Sorrow ensures that - but I do wonder who it's aimed at. The curious? As I say - go get SF Sorrow. The fan, for the few live tracks and alternate versions? Maybe, but these aren't the best things here.
Thematically, it's all over the place. From the brilliant 'Talkin' about the good times' we go back in time to the pre-Sorrow material with an indifferent RnB workout, 'LSD' (And calling a song LSD in no way makes it psychedelic!); tracks from their under-rated but hardly psychedelic 'Parachute' album rub shoulders with alternate versions, live tracks from different periods, earlier pieces.
The best Pretty Things psych is SF Sorrow and various singles. This has some enjoyable tracks on it, but while there are better CDs to get, I'm bemused by its release. A thematic, chronological CD of singles and B sides and bonuses would make sense. This doesn't, so though it gets four stars for a fair bit of great music, it does rather leave me scratching my head.
on 20 January 2002
This is a superlative collection of the bands' finest works, unsurpassable in quality & content, the highly underrated genius of Phil May shining through on every snarling lyric, pure magic!
on 1 September 2003
I may have told you I bought the Pretty
Things Psychedelic double-album,
very good value if you like that sixties
sort of beat-group rock.
I wasn't a big Pretties fan at the time
but it's quite lively listening now. About
At the time (1960s) the Pretty Things were
always regarded as a kind of "poor man's Stones",
and that's how I saw them, too.
Yeah, me too, after their one hit back in '64 I didn't
take much notice of them. The lead singer wasn't
as pretty as Jagger either, I think that's what did it
Turns out they metamorphosised from
r'n'b into a psychedelic band in '66, '67
and onward. Very experimental for the time.
One track: 'Trust' has the youthfulness and
spiritual yearning of the Beach Boys. But unlike
some psychedelic bands the musicianship
is always competent and rocking.
They had a re-union in '98 and cut some
I suppose I'm listening to them because
so much modern rock, be it rap or rave,
doesn't appeal to me. I've heard nothing
startling from the folk scene either, or jazz
for that matter. Though I like a lot of what
I hear in the last two genres I just don't
feel the need to go out and buy it.
Actually there is a modern country band
that I'd like to listen too more, but I can't
remember their name. They were on Radio 3
'Mixing It' about 6 weeks back.