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The Pretty Things

Of all the original British Invasion groups, perhaps none were as underappreciated in the United States as the Pretty Things. Featuring the hoarse vocals of Mick Jagger-lookalike Phil May and the stinging leads of guitarist Dick Taylor (who actually played in early versions of the Rolling Stones with Jagger and Keith Richards), the Pretties recorded a clutch of raunchy R&B rockers in the mid-'60s that offered a punkier, rawer version of the early Stones sound.

Their first two albums, 1965's The Pretty Things and the same year's Get the Picture, as well as a brace of fine major and minor British hits (of which "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Honey I Need" were the biggest), featured first-rate original material and covers, and remain the group's most exciting and influential recordings. Unfortunately, the band remained virtually unknown to American audiences, most of whom would first hear "Don't Bring Me Down" on David Bowie's Pin Ups album (which also included a version of the Pretties' "Rosalyn").

After their initial run of success, the group took a sharp left turn into psychedelia with the orchestrated album Emotions (1967), impressive singles that owed more to Pink Floyd than Bo Diddley, and, most significantly, S.F. Sorrow (1968). The first rock opera, S.F. Sorrow was a major influence on Pete Townshend, who released his much more successful opera, Tommy, with the Who the following year.

Founding member Taylor left shortly after S.F. Sorrow, and the group continued to record progressive rock and hard rock with less impressive results through the mid-'70s, although Parachute (1970) was named Album of the Year by Rolling Stone. The group reunited sporadically for occasional gigs and recordings in their early R&B vein before officially re-forming to release Rage...Before Beauty in 1999 and Balboa Island eight years later. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Sorry but not close to Chuck Berry's OH BABY DOLL
Wish I was around 66 to see em live
milosdad
These guys would have fit in really well with the 70's CBGB's scene.
bevbevan
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.
Awesome music just makes you feel so great!
Best unknown band in the land!
to me, they blow the Stones away!! Phil May is fantastic & they segueway into great Psych tunes later
Been a Pretty Things addict since the 70s. A very well-kept secret, too bad!
Still love all their stuff.
Believe their "Singapore silk torpedo" and "savage eye" albums are their best albums and they aren't even represented here...to bad!
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.
robbhare
Love the sound of this band. Wonder if The Doors were influenced by them.
cool stuff
Thought these guys were new, the recordings were so well done. I listen to a lot of old rock and I missed this. Awesome.
Good but this song belongs to Jimmy.....
KNOCKOUT!
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
i saw these guys in exeter, u.k. brilliant. such energy and power. phil may rocks....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
huntingn
I was listening to Gluecifer and reading about Pretty Things and got confused and thought they were them. But they're not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I JUST DISCOVERED THIS ARTIST RECENTLY AND HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO FIND TWO ALBUMS. ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND MORE?
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.
S.F. SORROW IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED PSYCHEDELIC OF ALL TIME ROCK AND ROLL!

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