It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this
Also listening to:
Also listening to:

The Pretty Things

The Pretty Things were the also-rans of the British Invasion, a band that never got its due. Despite this lack of recognition, they were never quite ignored, cultivating a passionate cult that stuck with them through the decades -- a cult that was drawn to either their vicious early records, where they sometimes seemed like a meaner version of the Rolling Stones, or to their 1968 psychedelic masterwork S.F. Sorrow. Some of their fans advocate for the entirety of their catalog, noting how the group adeptly shifted with the times. Despite these shifts in style, they rarely racked up hits on either side of the Atlantic. In the United States, they didn't chart until 1975, a full decade after they released their rough-and-tumble debut. Back then, the Pretty Things seemed like rivals to the Rolling Stones and that was no great leap: guitarist Dick Taylor played bass in the first incarnation of the Stones, not long before he teamed up with Phil May to form the Pretty Things in 1963. Taking their name from a Bo Diddley song, the Pretty Things were intentionally ugly: their sound was brutish, their hair longer than any of their contemporaries, their look unkempt. This nastiness was evident on their first pair of singles, "Rosalyn" and "Don't Bring Me Down," two 45s that charted in 1964, their success helping to get their eponymous debut into the U.K. Top Ten a year later, but that turned out to be the extent of their commercial success. The Pretty Things may not have shown up on the charts but their cult proved to be influential: it's been said Pete Townshend was influenced by S.F. Sorrow to write Tommy for the Who and David Bowie covered both "Rosalyn" and "Don't Bring Me Down" for his 1973 album Pin Ups. Critics liked them too but that acclimation didn't sell records. Nevertheless, the Pretty Things were survivors, soldiering on through the '70s, turning into a harder, heavier outfit that was rewarded with marginal U.S. success -- 1974's Silk Torpedo and 1976's Savage Eye made the lower reaches of Billboard -- cutting a credible new wave album at the dawn of the '80s. The Pretty Things would split not long afterward but their cult remained so strong that they became a semi-active concern at the beginning of the new millennium, as they would occasional reunite for tours and recordings.

Such perseverance would've seemed unlikely back in 1963 when Dick Taylor and Phil May first formed the band. Taylor had been playing with Mick Jagger in a London outfit called Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys since he was a schoolboy and he later met Keith Richards at Sidcup Art School. In 1962, Taylor, Jagger, and Richards all started playing, once again calling themselves Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys, with Brian Jones and Ian Stewart aboard, and this group turned into the Rolling Stones, but Taylor tired of bass and left to concentrate on art. Soon, he was convinced by fellow Sidcup Art School student Phil May to form the Pretty Things. The duo brought in bassist John Stax, guitarist Brian Pendleton, and drummer Pete Kitley; the latter would soon be replaced by Viv Prince. Bryan Morrison, who also was attending art school with Taylor and May, managed the band and helped get it signed to Fontana.

"Rosalyn," the group's first single, peaked at 41 in 1964 but "Don't Bring Me Down" went to ten and "Honey I Need" topped out at 13 in 1965. These three singles helped the group's self-titled debut reach number six on the U.K. album charts, but with success came some turbulence. Drummer Prince left toward the end of 1965 and was succeeded by Skip Alan, while the group's 1966 album Get the Picture? showed the rough, ragged rock & roll group adopting a slight pop art stance.

More lineup changes soon followed -- Pendleton and Stax left by early 1967, with John Povey and Wally Waller taking their place -- and Fontana pushed the group in a softer, string-laden direction for that year's Emotions. This wasn't a hit and the Pretty Things soon lost drummer Alan and decamped for EMI's Columbia, where they recorded what is roundly regarded as their masterpiece, S.F. Sorrow. Appearing at the end of 1968, S.F. Sorrow is by many measures the first rock opera, earning a big cult but not selling much.

Dick Taylor left in the wake of S.F. Sorrow -- guitarist Victor Unitt, previously of the Edgar Broughton Band, took his place -- and Alan returned to the band. This new lineup first stretched its legs supporting French playboy Philippe DeBarge as he dipped his toes into rock & roll -- these recordings were long shelved; they appeared in 2010 -- and this wasn't the only way the Pretty Things made money; they moonlighted anonymously for the music library company DeWolfe, recording film music that wound up reissued under the name Electric Banana. Despite all this activity, the next big release from the Pretty Things was Parachute in 1970, which received acclaim but no sales.

The lack of success led to a temporary disbandment, but they regrouped for a new contract with Warner that was inaugurated with Freeway Madness in 1972. Next, they teamed up with manager Peter Grant -- the giant behind Led Zeppelin -- and were signed to Swan Song, which released Silk Torpedo in 1974 and Savage Eye in 1976. These harder, heavier records were a bigger success in America than any previous Pretty Things LP, but it wasn't enough to keep the group together: they split up in 1976.

A full-fledged reunion teaming Phil May and Dick Taylor came in 1980 when the group recorded Cross Talk, an admirable attempt to ride the new wave that did not sell. They split again, but May and Taylor started to perform regularly under a variety of different monikers, including teaming with Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty in the '90s. As the new millennium approached, they embarked on special projects such as a revival of S.F. Sorrow, and then they recorded a brand-new full-length album called Rage...Before Beauty in 1999. Reissues and biographies followed in the 2000s as did one more album, 2007's Balboa Island, and the band also toured regularly.

They decided to celebrate their 50th anniversary in style, touring Europe and the U.K. in 2013 and releasing the career-encompassing box Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky in 2015. The box set found the Pretty Things looking back during a potentially dark time, as Phil May suffered a serious health scare in 2014 when he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which impacts the lungs and makes it very difficult to breathe. But after giving up smoking and adopting a healthier lifestyle, May was well enough to begin work on a new Pretty Things album with Taylor, guitarist Frank Holland, bassist George Woosey, and drummer Jack Greenwood, and late 2015 saw the bloodied but unbowed Pretties not only winning enthusiastic reviews for The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, of Course...), but touring Europe and the U.K. in support. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Still Unrepentant

Disc 1

1. Rosalyn

2. Dont Bring Me Down

3. Get Yourself Home

4. Roadrunner

5. Judgement Day

6. Honey I Need

7. You Dont Believe Me

8. Buzz The Jerk

9. Cry To Me

10. Midnight To 6 Man

11. Come See Me

12. L.S.D.

13. Death Of A Socialite

14. Growing In My Mind

15. Defecting Grey

17. Private Sorrow

18. Balloon Burning

19. Old Man Going

20. Loneliest Person

21. Scene One

22. In The Square

23. The Letter

24. Rain

25. Grass

26. Parachute

27. October 26

28. Summertime

Disc 2

1. Peter

2. Rip Off Train

3. Havana Bound

4. Dream / Joey

5. Bridge Of God

6. Is It Only Love

7. Singapore Silk Torpedo

8. Under The Volcano

9. Sad Eye

10. Remember That Boy

11. It's Been So Long

13. Office Love

17. All Light Up

Disc 3
x

Track List: Come See Me: The Very Best Of The Pretty Things

1. Rosalyn

2. Honey, I Need

4. Don't Bring Me Down

5. Judgement Day

6. Rainin' In My Heart

7. Midnight To Six Man

8. Buzz The Jerk

9. You Don't Believe Me

10. Can't Stand The Pain

11. Come See Me

12. Get The Picture?

14. Progress

15. The Sun

16. Death of a Socialite

17. Defecting Grey

18. Walking Through My Dreams

19. Balloon Burning

20. Talkin' About The Good Times

21. Mr. Evasion

22. Loneliest Person

23. Grass

24. Dream / Joey

25. Singapore Silk Torpedo

x

Track List: The Pretty Things

1. Roadrunner

2. Judgement Day

3. 13, Chester Street

4. Big City

5. The Unknown Blues

6. Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut

7. Honey, I Need

8. Oh Baby Doll

9. She's Fine, She's Mine

10. Don't Lie To Me

11. The Moon Is Rising

12. Pretty Thing

13. Rosalyn

14. Big Boss Man

15. Don't Bring Me Down

16. We'll Be Together

17. I Can Never Say

18. Get Yourself Home

x

Track List: Get The Picture

1. You Don't Believe Me

2. Buzz The Jerk

3. Get The Picture

4. Can't Stand The Pain

5. Rainin' In My Heart

6. We'll Play House

7. You'll Never Do It Baby

8. I Had A Dream

9. I Want Your Love

10. London Town

11. Cry To Me

12. Gonna Find Me A Substitute

13. Get A Buzz

14. Sittin' All Alone

15. Midnight To Six Man

16. Me Needing You

17. Come See Me

18. LSD

x

Track List: Parachute

1. Scene One

2. The Good Mr Square

3. She Was Tall, She Was High

4. In The Square

5. The Letter

6. Rain

7. Miss Fay Regrets

8. Cries From The Midnight Circus

9. Grass

10. Sickle Clowns

11. She's A Lover

12. What's The Use

13. Parachute

14. Blue Serge Blues

15. October 26Th

16. Cold Stone

17. Stone-Hearted Mama

18. Summer Time

19. Circus Mind

x

Track List: S.F. Sorrow

1. S.F. Sorrow Is Born

2. Bracelets Of Fingers

3. She Says Good Morning

4. Private Sorrow

5. Balloon Burning

6. Death

7. Baron Saturday

8. The Journey

9. I See You

10. Well Of Destiny

11. Trust

12. Old Man Going

13. Loneliest Person

14. Defecting Grey

15. Mr. Evasion

16. Talkin' About The Good Times

17. Walking Through My Dreams

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Xrz Rdxx we edx4can
Report as inappropriate
Thanks for adding Parachute!!! !
Report as inappropriate
Love their music, but , c'mon, Phil and Mick don't look anything like each other. Who came up with that?!? They're trippin'....
Report as inappropriate
If Balboa Island is any idea of where these guys are living, then awesome. They sure as hell deserve it!! AWESOME TUNES !!!
One band came up with a better name, that's it, and all.
Report as inappropriate
The best hard rock band
Ever. Period....
Report as inappropriate
Sorry but not close to Chuck Berry's OH BABY DOLL
Report as inappropriate
Wish I was around 66 to see em live
Report as inappropriate
milosdad
These guys would have fit in really well with the 70's CBGB's scene.
Report as inappropriate
This band made some incredibly good and powerful music considering the radio culture of 1965-66. They should have considered a name change by 1967.
Report as inappropriate
Awesome music just makes you feel so great!
Report as inappropriate
Best unknown band in the land!
Report as inappropriate
to me, they blow the Stones away!! Phil May is fantastic & they segueway into great Psych tunes later
Report as inappropriate
Been a Pretty Things addict since the 70s. A very well-kept secret, too bad!
Still love all their stuff.
Report as inappropriate
Believe their "Singapore silk torpedo" and "savage eye" albums are their best albums and they aren't even represented here...to bad!
Report as inappropriate
Great Band. I picked up a "Best of" compilation and was unduly impressed by the qaulity of music, songs, etc. Too bad they didn't make any impact on the US market.
Report as inappropriate
robbhare
Love the sound of this band. Wonder if The Doors were influenced by them.
Report as inappropriate
cool stuff
Report as inappropriate
Thought these guys were new, the recordings were so well done. I listen to a lot of old rock and I missed this. Awesome.
Report as inappropriate
Good but this song belongs to Jimmy.....
Report as inappropriate
KNOCKOUT!
Report as inappropriate
not o up on the pretty things. will travel back in time and play catch up. bill kelly and joe belock from wfmu play their stuff. wfmu.org
Report as inappropriate
i saw these guys in exeter, u.k. brilliant. such energy and power. phil may rocks....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
huntingn
I was listening to Gluecifer and reading about Pretty Things and got confused and thought they were them. But they're not.
Report as inappropriate
I dont see " Freeway Madness" here either. another 1 of thier best. im new here and it Seems like this site only goes back to 2000.
Report as inappropriate
I saw them open for Grand Funk Railroad at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg Pa. in 73-74. First time I got stoned. I vaguely remember them on this huge pink phallus on stage. First of many concerts under the influence.
Report as inappropriate
hausman9467
How could you not have the album "Parachute"? It was voted Rolling Stone's album of the year when it came out, and the single "stone hearted mama" is truly one of the pretty's best sides.
Report as inappropriate
My band COLDSTONE plays a lot of Pretty Things, one of my favourites is Havana Bound, we are based out of Detroit keep an eye out.
Report as inappropriate
I JUST DISCOVERED THIS ARTIST RECENTLY AND HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO FIND TWO ALBUMS. ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND MORE?
Report as inappropriate
i bought their debut album as part of an introductory offer into the Columbia Record Club in either 1965 or 66 and played it until it couldn't be played any more. I recently acquired it on cd and still enjoy it.
Report as inappropriate
S.F. SORROW IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED PSYCHEDELIC OF ALL TIME ROCK AND ROLL!

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[94, 101, 74, 86, 74, 94, 105, 114, 118, 87, 75, 90, 99, 103, 84, 69, 113, 107, 79, 101, 80, 82, 87, 111, 124, 71, 78, 110, 91, 101, 100, 69, 77, 97, 122, 125, 112, 75, 102, 104, 127, 103, 85, 96, 114, 77, 120, 87, 84, 107, 111, 70, 72, 104, 118, 114, 102, 127, 70, 86, 84, 116, 115, 124, 123, 74, 96, 74, 70, 83, 117, 126, 123, 125, 88, 83, 86, 104, 101, 73, 123, 106, 119, 83, 112, 72, 121, 76, 64, 81, 101, 98, 109, 64, 120, 118, 102, 68, 110, 80, 68, 121, 86, 100, 69, 85, 122, 68, 97, 94, 76, 83, 99, 104, 116, 77, 88, 114, 127, 127, 64, 111, 106, 76, 127, 92, 93, 93, 118, 116, 102, 111, 117, 111, 113, 79, 111, 97, 78, 103, 97, 100, 70, 71, 124, 102, 107, 67, 88, 117, 106, 94, 83, 98, 113, 66, 115, 127, 76, 119, 94, 121, 81, 80, 126, 69, 120, 107, 108, 73, 110, 127, 124, 64, 112, 92, 68, 87, 88, 103, 81, 72, 79, 78, 103, 75, 72, 73, 95, 122, 82, 110, 101, 99, 113, 79, 113, 123, 79, 114, 78, 118, 125, 70, 67, 122, 123, 121, 100, 97, 116, 82, 73, 87, 66, 70, 65, 66, 119, 109, 123, 103, 69, 85, 116, 68, 65, 116, 93, 83, 101, 93, 104, 75, 99, 93, 109, 83, 76, 75, 86, 84, 95, 118, 80, 105, 94, 115, 82, 105, 89, 70, 69, 124, 71, 103, 66, 82, 116, 84, 117, 81, 81, 124, 127, 93, 97, 123, 70, 118, 76, 99, 126, 112, 82, 123, 80, 126, 94, 81, 112, 95, 95, 77, 107, 85, 73, 64, 69, 93, 65, 66, 110, 123, 82, 104, 103, 105, 105, 107, 70, 109, 73, 93, 96, 94, 115, 72, 100, 127, 119, 116, 126, 109, 89, 80, 114, 101, 117, 66, 74, 83, 101, 104, 116, 70, 107, 91, 106, 122, 78, 65, 103, 78, 75, 74, 127, 127, 114, 121, 80, 103, 76, 69, 117, 71, 124, 107, 97, 96, 84, 71, 76, 92, 66, 112, 83, 67, 80, 96, 88, 86, 119, 95, 83, 108, 121, 109, 82, 101, 69, 126, 72, 65, 82, 102, 105, 79, 101, 106, 98, 66, 89, 118, 111, 67, 105, 88, 125, 117, 112, 114, 102, 89, 105, 115, 90, 127, 108, 115, 111, 105, 114, 110, 88, 94, 86, 80, 105, 110, 86, 102, 108, 89, 105, 96, 66, 116, 127, 82, 69, 109, 97, 104, 120, 84, 84, 70, 66, 82, 91, 64, 73, 105, 118, 124, 91, 96, 122, 91, 87, 102, 118, 76, 101, 105, 72, 74, 91, 76, 86, 79, 111, 77, 81, 83, 113, 97, 119, 65, 88, 106, 109, 122, 93, 94, 119, 99, 80, 122, 74, 121, 95, 70, 73, 106, 74, 80, 72, 124, 66, 124, 95, 91, 123, 79, 101, 109, 120, 113, 73, 71, 94, 112, 105, 99, 116, 100, 88, 114, 123, 74, 74, 95, 103, 75, 104, 95, 77, 73, 83, 119]