Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't Bring Me Down - The Pretty Things Story...Show # 181

Named after a Bo Diddley song ("Pretty Thing"), The Pretty Things started out in England in 1963. The band was influential on bands such as Rolling Stones, Davie Bowie, and The Who. The band started off by doing a bunch of R&B covers (similar to Rolling Stones) which are seen as being punky and edgy versions of the original songs. The band consisted of Phil May (Vocals/Harmonica), Dick Taylor (Guitar), Brian Pendleton (Rhythm Guitar), John Stax (Bass), and Pete Kitley on drums (he would be replaced by Viv Prince on drums). Another interesting fact is that Dick Taylor was actually in an early version of the Rolling Stones before getting The Pretty Things.

The band became very popular in the UK with their first three singles ("Rosalyn", "Don't Bring Me Down", and "Honey I Need") in 1964/1965. The bands 1965 album Get The Picture? contains their early UK hits as well as songs such as "Midnight To Six Man". This song set the standard for the Mod lifestyle in the UK and is even mentioned in the lyrics to The Clash song "(Whiteman) In Hammersmith Palais". In 1967, the group released the Psychedelic album Emotions, changing their sound. They then released S.F Sorrow, which is seen as one of the first rock opera's proceeding Pete Townshends Tommy. The album itself was recorded at Abbey road studios after The Beatles Sgt. Peppers and Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The album was a commercial failure and the band still was virtually unknown in the USA. It wouldn't be until David Bowie covered two Pretty Things songs ("Don't Bring Me Down" and "Rosalyn") on his album Pin Ups (1973) that people in the US even knew they existed. Just after the release of S.F. Sorrow, Taylor would leave the group. The bands next album was Parachute in 1970 and was named the album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine; The album had a psychedelic sound.

The band would keep going. They recorded a bunch of songs for some low budget movies in the 70s and in the 80s incorporated more heavy metal into their sound. They were even managed by Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant (briefly) and had releases on Zeppelin's Swan Song label. On the album Cross Talk the band added elements of punk and new wave to their music. The band has reunited for live shows/tours and albums since 1990 with and without the original members. The band is known for their early British sound sound that was influential on the likes of the Rolling Stones, as well as some punk bands in the late 70s; Some of the bands early material has been re-issued with bonus tracks.

The Play List:

1. Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog
2. White Stripes - Black Math
3. Albert Hammond Jr. - Postal Blowfish
4. Ugly Ducklings - Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut)
5. Kinks - I"m Not Like Everybody Else
6. Phantom Keys - In The Summer Time
7. Standells - Dirty Water
8. Pretty Things - Midnight To Six Man
9. Pretty Things - L.S.D.
10. Elvis Presley - Let Yourself Go
11. Young Rival - Authentic Child
12. Whitsundays - Loralee
13. Ex-Boyfriends - Spanked By Lightning
14. 222's - Hold On
15. Gentlemen of Horror - Overhead Projector
16. Hot Nasties - Get Away From Me
17. Sonic Youth - Hey Joni
18. The Government - Hemmingway Hated Disco
19. XTC - Ten Feet Tall
20. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - No Action
21. Klark Kent - My Old School
22. Wire - No Warning Given
23. Nirvana - Beeswax (Live Buenos Aires 1992)
24. Dirty Pretty Things - Radio Song
25. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Cool n' Out
26. Iggy Pop - I'm Bored
27. Rage Against the Machine - Tire Me

Pretty Videos:

Midnight to Six Man
On Popside 1966 (Can't Stand the Pain, L.S.D., and Come and See Me)


Allan said...

I was looking for Pretty Things pics and found this's excellent! I'm a DJ too...great playlists you have...Klark Kent! I love that EP! Glad to see someone else cares about rawk history.

Dave said...

Thanks I love talking rock history, that's the reason I started this blog. Also to get people to listen to my show.

I saw your blog cool stuff.