Pretty Things, The - SF Sorrow

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Snapper Records
Catalog Number: SDPCD 109
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:18:00

This is the first Pretty Things album I ever heard a few years ago. I read an article about SF Sorrow in Goldmine magazine and was so intrigued I had to buy copy. To my delight I received a copy for review recently. There were only 10,000 copies made; now I have two. It is an honor to be able to sit down and write about such an important piece of rock and roll history. SF Sorrow was released when Pink Floyd and The Beatles released similar types of projects. You may have heard of them, Sgt. Pepper and The Piper At the Gates Of Dawn. Although there is conflicting information regarding dates, which makes me crazy. The liner notes say 1967, the back cover says 1968, AMG list 1967 for the Floyd and Beatles releases while listing this CD as 1968. Well then, let's just say all three groups were at Abbey Road studio around the same time making history. So why were those two albums so highly regarded and given elevated status while the Pretties remained in relative obscurity? Well Arthur Brown says it all very well in his opening statement before the concert begins ... The Pretty Things had a way of fucking up consistently. A series of poor decisions regarding management, labels, and representation is what kept the group from getting the appreciation and star status that they deserved.

This reenactment of the first rock and roll opera (legend has it that Townsend listened to this before he wrote Tommy) was broadcast on the Internet for the first time and recorded for a special release on CD. Fittingly the incredible David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) stands in for five of the songs. Arthur Brown and his articulate and animated voice give a substance and meaning to this project that was surely missing on the studio version. Although some folks believe that the studio version is much better. That is neither here nor there at this point. This was a pivotal point in time for this great band. It froze 1967 for one marvelous evening and made people wake up and realize who The Pretty Things were. It was a revelation for me. Sadly the only thing I could remember about this group before I heard this is the album was the cover of "Silk Torpedo" and how it aroused my sexuality and hormone levels in my early teens. My how things have changed since then, I am now a full fledged Pretties fan with several of their albums under my belt.

Anyone that enjoys psychedelic and progressive rock needs to have this in their collection. If you don't, you are missing one of the most important links to the development and growth of a genre, or should I say genres. With each listen of this CD I have become more convinced that SF Sorrow was just as important as any album that was made in the 60's; in fact, this is probably one of the top five of that decade. This is drug influenced psychedelic rock at its apex. I am not going out on a limb here, this is a fact. Just get this and listen to it, and you won't think that I am losing my mind and talking out of the side of my mouth. You'll see.

S.F. Sorrow Is Born (1:47) / (1:08) / (3:10) / (0:23) / Bracelets Of Fingers (3:48) / (0:32) / She Says Good Morning (4:35) / (0:43) / Private Sorrow (3:36) / (2:10) / Balloon Burning (3:51) / (0:06) / Death (3:04) / (0:30) / Baron Saturday (4:20) / (0:44) / The Journey (2:42) / (2:00) / I See You (6:11) / Well Of Destiny (3:00) / Trust (0:10) / Old Man Going (2:46) / (0:19) / Loneliest Person (5:21) / (0:09) / (1:40) / (0:38)

Arthur Brown - narrator
Phil May - percussion, vocals
Dick Taylor - guitar, vocals
David Gilmour - guitar, performer
John Povey - percussion, keyboards, sitar, vocals
Wally Allen Waller - bass, vocals
Mark St. John - percussion, vocals
Dov Skipper - percussion, drums

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: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: April 6th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 460
Language: english


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