Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The Pretty Things - Parachute (1970)
The Pretty Things are one of the most important British rock bands of the 60s and 70s that somehow never gained recognition in the States. They started as an R&B rock band much like the Rolling Stones and in '67 they took a turn towards psychedelia with the orchestrated album, Emotions. Then they went on to record the first rock opera ever, S.F. Sorrow, but the Who's Tommy would outshine it with much better sales. Founding member Dick Taylor would leave shortly after, apparantly disappointed with the lack of recognition it received. The band carried on and recorded Parachute with excellent results. The first six tracks have a striking similarity to the second side of Abbey Road, due to the use of seamless songs and layered vocal harmonies. This similarity is no surprise considering that Parachute was recorded in Abbey Road with the Beatles' engineer Norman Smith producing. The first half is the most immediately striking, but the second half has a great combination of raunchy blues and slower songs. According to allmusic.com, the album is a concept album about "a generation caught between the conflicting calls of (rural) peace, love, and boredom, and (urban) sophistication, sex, and squalor in a harsh world." I've only picked up on this concept in a couple tracks thus far, to be honest. The last six songs are bonus tracks, which are inferior to the album cuts, but good nonetheless.
"The Good Mr. Square" & "She Was Tall, She Was High"