Saturday, June 23, 2007


Guilty Pleasures

Being part of the generation that was there and lived through the year zero mentality of punk, I as well suffered the same dilemma as many others, should I hide my pre 1977 records or should I burn them? Being rather young at the time and as my revenue was nothing to shout home about, I doubt that my record collection passed the 50 LP mark, amongst the problem artists were Status Quo, Mud, Sweet, Wings, Nazareth, Deep Purple, Slade, Led Zeppelin, Pretty Things. The last of the bands on the list was a discovery I had made in 1975. At this period like many an adolescent of my age I earned money by doing what was known as a paper round, I delivered newspapers to peoples doors before going to school, this was how I paid for my records and the rare concert that I went to. I was already an avid reader of the musical press, it was here that I read of the forthcoming British Musical Festival to be held at London's Earls Court (1975/1976), which interested me greatly as in featured one of my favorite bands at the time Nazareth as well as Bad Company. God Knows how but I managed to persuade by parents to let me go, I was a bit of a lone wolf as no one of my age likes what I listened to, I must have been 14 at the time. I would be lying to to say that I could remember a lot about the event excepting the lasting impressions that Bad Company were OK but ........ Nazareth lived up to my expectations and then as with most multi band line ups there were discoveries I saw Bill Nelson's Be Bop Deluxe who for me were a whole new take on things I also saw the Pretty things who as the expression goes, blew me away. They were touring 'Savage Eye' which was probably the very next album that I spend my hard earned money on. Truth be told some 30 years down the line listening to the album it's not the greatest committed to tape but it is certainly Superior to many others and contains a number of very good songs in different styles ranging from rock ballads that could almost have been written by Primal Scream 20 years later, to full ahead rockers. It is of interest when talking about the Pretty Things to remember that they were contemporaries of the Rolling Stones, both bands were from the same area and played a similar style of music, the Pretty Things were to have a number of chart hits with their turbo charged blues / R 'n' B covers in the early sixties. There is a comprehensive 2 part history of the band well worth reading on their web site. I have always liked the parallel between the Stones and the Pretties, despite Jagger and Co's bad boy image the Pretty Things were even badder, almost as if they were the real thing. In 1974 at a low point in their career the Stones recorded 'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)' a song that was a long way from their former glory days. The following year we where to find 'It Isn't Rock 'n' Roll' on the Pretties 'Savage Eye', I think this was this a response to their peer's decline! regardless this song wins hands down with it's mix of swing and heads down no nonsense boogie.
After having discovered the band I went on the long voyage of digging up their past work and found many a nugget from their varied career. It was the Pretty Things who are credited with releasing the first rock opera not necessarily something to be proud of, though their offering 'S.F. Sorrow' is a fine example of late sixties UK psychedelic pop, check out the albums opener 'S.F. Sorrow Is Born'. The band were put on hold not long after I saw them when original vocalist Phil May walked out though by the end of the 70's he was back on board and the band have been an on off concern ever since. Their current set is a return to their roots, R 'n' B and blues based as would be suggested by their recent press photos where they come over as an ageing Blues Brothers.

I think the song was Jagger's reaction to his wife's complaint that he was spending too much time with the band and that he should grow up and do something else.
Thanks for the info, I can't remember having heard that before, though honorable a sentiment as it may be it does not distract from the song being a long way short of their finer works. The song also suffered from a terrible promo film that was aired on the telly at the time with Mick and the boys dressed up as sailors, to seen to be believed!!!!!!!!!
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