In which the Pretty Things take us back to the dawn of this so-called pop apocalypse. It’s 1965 and whatever’s going down in London, whatever mix of drugs, fashion, overall youth discontent — it’s good, it’s swinging, it’s f***ing immortal … for two minutes anyway in the case of Buzz The Jerk.
“London’s Pretty Things were always there in the swinging 60s, in tune with the times, if not in time with them (if that makes any sense), which means that by 1968, they were launching into realms psychedelic and beyond with the epic tale of Sebastian F Sorrow, a full-on integrated cycle of songs that hit the culture many months before the Who’s Tommy would make the notion of a rock opera a genuinely big deal. No, SF Sorrow didn’t sell that well, doesn’t generally get name-checked when the experts are trying to make sense of the age, but for me anyway, it stands up better than Tommy, minute for minute, song for song, maybe because it’s only a one record set, with the high point coming on side two, when SF Sorrow encounters the mysterious Baron Saturday (intended to represent Baron Samedi of Haitian Voodoo notoriety), who ‘borrows his eyes’ for a trip through the underworld, with terrifying consequences.” (Philip Random)
The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.
Part Forty of the journey went as follows:
Yes – yours is no disgrace
Richard Harris – MacArthur Park
Todd Rundgren – international feel
Todd Rundgren – never never land
Todd Rundgren – tic tic tic it wears off
Todd Rundgren – Zen Archer
Todd Rundgren -Le Feel Internacìonále
Pretty Things – Baron Saturday
Pretty Things – the journey
Pretty Things – I see you
Pink Floyd – astronomy domine
Peter Hammill – modern
Van Der Graaf Generator – a plague of lighthouse keepers
Mothers of Invention- eat that question
King Crimson – Asbury Park
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“As the story goes, The Pretty Things never got around to Invading America properly and thus they stand as the one essential Brit band of the swinging 60s that never really made it into the so-called Classic Rock canon – the upside being that I never got remotely sick of them. Sickle Clowns comes from 1970, and as with many of the better records from that year, you can feel the change that must’ve been in the air, the flower power well on the wane, the shadows growing, the sparkle fading as the drugs wore off.” (Philip Random)