Category: The Pretty Things

The Pretty Things – Get the Picture?

ARTIST: The Pretty Things                         220px-Get_the_picture_cover

TITLE:  Get the Picture

YEAR RELEASED: 1965

CHART ACTION: No

SINGLES:  Cry to Me (#28 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you were a UK blues fanatic

LINEUP: Phil May, Dick Taylor, Brian Pendleton, John Stax, Viv Prince. Bobby Graham or Twink (John Alder) replaced Prince when Prince got too substance damaged to perform.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Blues and R&B, London style and using a lot of fuzz and distortion, garage band style.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Pretty Things went back into the studio flush from their success on the UK blues circuit, and put together a pretty solid group of songs signaling a move forward towards a more blues rock direction.

The performances are more together than their first record, but still it seems rushed at times and sometimes a little, um, hazy. They were a bit more serious here, and also they got more professional as they had to sack beloved drummer Viv Prince due to his excesses.

The sounds till sounds raw, which is good. But their pure blues songs don’t stack up to the originals. At least they introduced them to a rapt audience (well, live, it seems that the public didn’t go for this).

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This is all on Spotify. On Google Play it’s not streaming, but eight of the twelve tracks are on an EP collection.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Singles and B-sides and oddities.

GRADE: B: Better, but still to modern ears it’s more influential than essential.

The Pretty Things – The Pretty Things

ARTIST: The Pretty Things 220px-Pretty_things_cover
TITLE: The Pretty Things
YEAR RELEASED: 1965
CHART ACTION: #6 UK
SINGLES: Honey, I Need (#13 UK), The US version had Rosalyn (#41 UK) and Don’t Bring Me Down (#10 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: A lot of Bo Diddley and other early rock and blues songs.
LINEUP: Phil May, Dick Taylor, Brian Pendleton, John Stax, Vivian Prince
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Raucous British blues band records an album that’s raucous and ramshackle.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Pretty Things were quite influential in the UK blues scene – replacing the Rolling Stones as the raucous party blues band. This album was recorded after two hit singles with a third on the way, and they wanted to put something out there for everyone.

What they got was a mess at times, but a fun record for UK blues fans. A couple of tracks (ones they ‘wrote’) were rather alcohol impaired and now that’s kind of a tough listen. It doesn’t quite hold up today. You know, though, they had fun making it and sometimes they do a pretty decent job with the blues.

The current streaming copy combines the US and UK version. The US version added the UK singles and re-arranged the order, because that’s what they did back then.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The sessions were originally produced by the head of Fontana, their label, but after two days he left because he couldn’t deal with them.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: See above.

GRADE: B-: A few cuts go down the hatch. The 60’s UK blues phenomenon doesn’t always translate to today.