Pretty Things, The - Freeway Madness

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Snapper/Recall Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:35:00

Keith reviewed both Freeway Madness and Cross Talk in one review; they are listed separately in the database -ed.

I have never heard any music by the Pretty Things that I did not like. Well, there is a first time for everything. Freeway Madness (1972) was for the most part a disappointing record with exception of the outstanding bonus tracks, which are the essential rock, original punk/angst I have become accustomed to hearing. A lot of the album is uncharacteristically acoustic. They sound more like C S N & Y at times rather then the rockers that I have come to know and love. It of course pains me to say anything negative about the Pretties, but every band makes a dud album at some point. It is however well worth the price of admission because you get some excellent bonus tracks and the quintessential Pretties album Cross Talk to redeem your faith in them.

Cross Talk absolutely smokes. It burns with that punk angst that the band put to music so well. Every single track has Phil May spitting and growling his way to reach the end of each song. This is May and the band at their best. There is something raw and unencumbered about the album that makes it one of my favorites, and I have many by this legendary band.

In "No Future", the boys seem to be singing about their own escapades, as I am sure that is how they felt for so many years just missing the bull's-eye and breaking it in a big way. "Office Love" and "It's So Hard" are on fire with emotion and spirited playing by all the band members, most notably the guitars, which come well armed courtesy of Dick Taylor, Pete Tolson, Wall Allen Waller, and Phil. The bonus tracks are good as well, "The Young Pretenders" is like an anthem for an entire age group, your guess which one is as good as mine, figuring this comes from a bunch of eternal teenagers.

With the music a memory now, committed to metal and plastic, we can evaluate the shit out of it, but the bottom line is that this is great kick ass rock, period. There is just something about May's vocals and their sure fire kick ass attitude that always wins me over. Great music is the bottom line, and this is rock 'n' roll as it was meant to be played. I cannot help but thinking of so many groups that I have heard over the years that have been influenced by this band. The more I listen to their music the more I realize just how influential they were.

Love Is Good (6:54) / Havana Bound (3:56) / Peter (1:26) / Rip Off Train (3:19) / Over the Moon (4:31) / Religion's Dead (4:13) / Country Road (4:48) / Allnight Sailor (1:55) / Onion Soup (3:48) / Another Bowl? (2:55) / Bonus Tracks: Religion's Dead (4:47) / Havana Bound (4:19) / Love Is Good (6:43) / Onion Soup (8:18)

Phil May - vocals
Stuart Brooks - bass
Don Harper - violin, string arrangements
Gordon Huntley - pedal steel
John Povey - keyboards, vocals
Pete Tolson - guitar
Peter Willison - cello
Skip Alan - drums
Johnny Derrick - violin
Bill Reid - violin

The Pretty Things (1965/1989/1998*)
Get The Picture (1965/1990/1998*)
SF Sorrow (1968/1975/1987/1998*)
Parachute (1970/1975/1988)
Freeway Madness (1972/2002)
Silk Torpedo (1974)
Greatest Hits ''64-''67 (1975)
Savage Eye (1976/2005)
Singles A''s & B''s (1977)
The Pretty Things Live ''78 (1978)
Cross Talk (1980/2002)
The Pretty Things 1967-1971 (1982/1986)
Live At Heartbreak Hotel (1984)
Let Me Hear The Choir Sing (1984)
Closed Restaurant Blues (1985)
Cries From The Midnight Circus (1986)
Out Of The Island (1988)
On Air (1992) (15 previously unavailable tracks recorded for the BBC)
Midnight To 6 (1994)
Unrepentent (1995)
Resurrection (SF Sorrow) (1998)
Rage Before Beauty (1999)
Latest Writs Greatest Hits - The Best Of (2000)
Psychedelic Years (1966-1970) (2002)
The Rhythm & Blues Years (2002)

*enhanced, remastered reissue w/bonus tracks

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 12th 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 698
Language: english


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