To many, the Rolling Stones are the prevalent “bad boy’s” of 60’s rock n’ roll. Their hair was long, they drove girls into fits of screeching madness, and they played “black” music in a time when those of African decent were still archaically –and wrongly– considered second class citizens. The Stones may have eclipsed many great musical acts of the 60’s as their fame grew to epic proportions, however the legacy of these less than famous bands has been preserved through the diligent seeking of many curious audiophiles and lovers of the “Generation”.
One such band is known as the Pretty Things and if there was one group that was louder, faster, and more explosive then the Stones it was the Pretty Tings. These bad boys of rawk had longer hair, drove girls into frothy frenzies and truly captured the spirit of R&B and Blues. Their early years were spent playing their brand of blues throughout England but it was their epic master piece SF Sorrow that, in my opinion, set them firmly as Rock and Roll legends.
This album, recorded in late 1967 at Abby Road Studios, is the first of its kind. Dubbed a rock opera by the albums main writers, Phil May and Dick Taylor, SF. Sorrow is a tale of sadness and madness revolving around a young man who’s name is Sebastian F Sorrow. This record has 13 superb tracks that follow this young man as he lives out his life of sorrow. The recording techniques are all very innovative as the engineers who worked on it were also working on Pink Floyd’s debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn and also on the Beatles classic Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Songs like She Says Good Morning, Baron Saturday and Balloon Burning are highlights in my opinion. I love the idea of musical pieces that follow a story such as The Who’s “A Quick One” and one day hope to finish the one that I am currently working on.
If I can suggest one album that very well might change your whole perception of rock and roll music then I highly suggest you listen to The Pretty Things “S.F. Sorrow” in its entirety.
88’s as in Adios