Tuesday, June 5, 2007

By request: PRETTY THINGS - S.F. Sorrow + Live @ Paradiso

Who could ever have thought, going back to the Pretty Things' first recording session in 1965 — which started out so disastrously that their original producer quit in frustration — that it would come to this? The Pretty Things' early history in the studio featured the band with its amps seemingly turned up to 11, but for much of S.F. Sorrow the band is turned down to 7 or 4, or even 2, or not amplified at all (except for Wally Allen's bass — natch); and they're doing all kinds of folkish things here that are still bluesy enough so you never forget who they are, amid weird little digressions on percussion and chorus, and harmony vocals that are spooky, trippy, strange, and delightful, and sitars included in the array of stringed instruments, plus an organ trying hard to sound like a Mellotron. Sometimes one gets an echo of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn or A Saucerful of Secrets, and it all straddles the worlds of British blues and British psychedelia better than almost any record you can name. The album, for those unfamiliar, tells the story of "S.F. Sorrow," a sort of British Everyman — think of a working-class, luckless equivalent to the Kinks' Arthur, from cradle to grave. The tale and the songs are a bit downbeat and no amount of scrutiny can disguise the fact that the rock opera S.F. Sorrow is ultimately a bit of a confusing effort — these boys were musicians, not authors or dramatists. Although it may have helped inspire Tommy, it is, simply, not nearly as good. That said, it was first and has quite a few nifty ideas and production touches. And it does show a pathway between blues and psychedelia that the Rolling Stones, somewhere between Satanic Majesties, "We Love You," "Child of the Moon," and Beggars Banquet, missed entirely. [The CD reissue on Snapper adds four valuable songs from their 1967-1968 singles ("Defecting Grey," "Mr. Evasion," "Talkin' About the Good Times," and "Walking Through My Dreams"). This version of "Defecting Grey" is the original, long, uncut five-minute rendition, and not of trivial importance; it's superior to the shorter one used on the official single.]

1. S.F. Sorrow Is Born
2. Bracelets Of Fingers
3. She Says Goood Morning
4. Private Sorrow
5. Balloon Burning
6. Death
7. Baron Saturday
8. The Journey
9. I See You
10. Well Of Destiny
11. Trust
12. Old Man Going
13. Loneliest Person
14. Defecting Grey
15. Mr. Evasion
16. Talkin' About The Good Times
17. Walking Through My Dreams
+ Surprise...
Pretty Things - Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL) March 29, 1969
1. Instro (fade in)
2. Talking about the good times, part 1
3. Talking about the good times, part 2
4. Alexander
5. Renaissance Fair
6. SF sorrow is born
7. She says good morning
8. Mr. Evasion (cuts off)
Time: 34:21

Source: Soundboard -> Reel-To-Reel Master -> CDR (#2) -> EAC -> Flac (level 8) -> Dime
Sound quality: A++
Line up:
Phil May: Lead Vocals
Dick Taylor: Lead guitar, Vocals
Wally Allen: Bass, Vocals
John Povey: Keyboards, Vocals
John 'Twink' Alder : Drums

Prof. Stoned sez:
This has been available much longer on various boots in inferior quality.But the difference in soundquality of the old source and this new one couldnot be bigger. From D- to A++.The old source was taken from a 37 year old broadcast, which was probably recorded with a mic in front of a transistor radio.This one is a digital copy of the original pre-fm VPRO mastertape. An amazing discovery that will fill many hearts with joy, I'm sure.
But it's not just the recording quality that makes this so outstanding.The pretties were rawking like the devil was on their heels~~!This recording makes the Stones live album "Get yer ya-ya's out" sound like a tea party (sorry stonesfans!).What an awesome rockband this was. And what a shame they got so little recognition.
I maintained the titles that the original seed provided.I'm not sure whether Tr. 1 is correctly titled.The "Hyde and Psych" boot named this track "Why?", but then that boot also incorrectly listed Tr.8 as "I see you".
Anyway, dig this!
And many many thanks to the man who -with a lot of patience- managed to unearth this great piece of history. And also to the one I downloaded this from (I do not remember from where)!!!

S.F. Sorrow
Live At Paradiso (FLAC)

Please leave a comment


andre said...

I just find back your great blog.Puh iam glad and many Thanks for Pretty Things.
ps A hard Wish:Human Instinct-Snathim Cuttin or The Hustler.If you dont have maybe Help Yourself is more a Chance.I have the first Album from Help Yourself-all other are welcome.

. said...

As I know Human Instinct released 3 albums: Burning Up Years, Stoned Guitar & Pins In It. I have last 2. As for Help Yourself I also have only selftitled album.

andre said...

Thanks for the Reaction,The two Human Instincts are very rar but they exist-so far i knew only on Venyl.And with the Help Yourself i must wait..
ps.I have another Human Instinct The Singles)maybe you like it http://lix.in/bf8fb4
Link is Valid
greatings again

dave said...

Thank you very much for this--seen them live a few years ago-great show !

zippy said...

Thank you for excellent post-seen them live a few years ago-also a good show!

PaulNZ said...

Hi here is another Human Instinct link, don't claim it as my own but I am sure that you will still want it if don't have it also another from Billy Tk's Band Powerhouse

Human Instinct - "Peg Leg" {New Zealand} [1975] (The Lost Tapes - Unreleased Album) (Prog Rock) (@320)


From PaulNZ

P/S Looking for Burning up the years

. said...

Thanx Paul,I have that Human Instinct but will try with Powerhouse. I think that linx are from http://ausrock.blogspot.com/
where Ausie rock is exclusevly posted.

PaulNZ said...

Do you know where I can get Human Instinct Burning up the Years

. said...

To Paul NZ. Just found it at SLSK an queing for download. Bitrate is not wery promissing but if sound will be O.K. it will be posted here in couple of days.

PaulNZ said...

Hi its me again I have noticed that people are always asking for the 2 later Human Instinct albums Snaithim Cuttin and The Hustler which came out on the Zodiac Label. In 2000 a Compilation CD came out called Human Instinct The Zodiac years which would have covered these 2 LP's if you come across this could you email me at valanion@yahoo.co.nz and if you want any of my MP3 albums I can supply to you on a DVD

. said...

here is link for Burning Up The Years by Human Instinct

PaulNZ said...

Thanks For Burning up the Years I appreciate this very much

smokin' bob said...

Thanks for the Prettys@Paradiso, never seen it anywhere before. Greetings from UK.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the Pretty Things Live At The Paradiso. This is the third copy I've heard of this set. The other copies had the soundboard tapes but they were shortened versions ie no stage chat and the first and last tracks were missing. Track one for those who don't know is the last 5 minutes of "Why", the Byrds song. That night they played a fantastic 15 minute version of this which I've got as an audience/radio (?) recording. I believe the show was recorded by Dutch Radio station VPRO (?)and when it was broadcast someone taped it. However, it sounds like AM radio and is a VERY poor recording. These soundboard recordings are a million times better in quality. I seem to remember reading somewhere that "Mr Evasion", the last track of which we only hear the beginning, went on into "My White Bicycle", the Tomorrow number. An appropiate choice of song as it was inspired by the free bicycle project in Amsterdam. Note on the same night the Soft Machine were also on the bill and their performance was given an official CD release about 1 to 2 years ago. A quick google will show where you can order it. So if the Soft Machine show can see the light of day after 30 years maybe one day The Pretties show from that night will also get a release. We live in hope

Anthony Harland

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I'm in the Netherlands and would love to download The Zodiac Years by Human instinct. Does anyone know where I can find it. Or both albums seperate snathim citlin and the Hustler.PLEASE PLEASE !!!