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music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Resurrection

Artist: The Pretty Things
Genre: Rock
Release Date: January 1999

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

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.


Arthur Brown - Narrator
Phil May - Percussion, Vocals
The Pretty Things - Group
Dick Taylor - Guitar, Vocals
David Garland - Producer, Mastering
David Gilmour - Guitar, Performer
John Povey - Percussion, Keyboards, Sitar, Vocals
Wally Allen Waller - Bass, Vocals
Mark St. John - Percussion, Vocals, Producer, Liner Notes, Mastering
Andrew Pearce - Mastering



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