Cet article non signé est paru dans le numéro 30, volume 17 de l’hebdomadaire britannique Record Mirror, daté du 1er août 1970. Il revient brièvement sur l’histoire des Pretty Things jusqu’alors et évoque la sortie prochaine de leur cinquième album, Parachute, ainsi qu’une tournée américaine qui n’aura finalement pas lieu.
The Pretty Things have a ‘Parachute’ to save them from their past.
The ‘Parachute’ in question is the name of their new album, and the past is, at least to lead singer, Phil May, an embarrassment.
‘Parachute,’ which was released a few weeks ago, is a new direction for the Pretties—relying on strong songwriting rather than the freakiness, say, of their last album, ‘S. F. Sorrow.’
And the past started with ‘Rosalyn,’ their first single six years ago.
Phil May is the sole survivor from the original group.
He said: “I’ve been living the past down for the past five years. In a German club, recently, for instance, we were sitting in the corner when the dj put on ‘Rosalyn.’ Which was really embarrassing. The rest of the group weren’t on the record so it had nothing to do with them.
“It’s not the group’s trip any more. None of us want that sort of scene again.”
For the first two years the group were extremely popular. But then came the soul boom and the Pretties, churning out the old Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley material, found things hard going.
“We used to go to gigs and find there was an audience of little mods who really wanted Geno Washington or someone. They certainly didn’t want us.”
At the same time, something was happening on the West Coast of America. It was the hippies, the flower children of the Love Generation. Their effect was felt in Britain.
The Pretties changed their direction. They became part of the emerging Underground, and, once they had left their record company, Fontana Records, their new company, EMI, brought out their ‘SF Sorrow.’ A complete change of direction.
It was a conglomeration of sounds and effects. The new psychedelic music.
‘SF Sorrow’ used the lyrics as the vehicle for sound changes. But it’s only just been released in the States and everyone’s saying it’s another copy of ‘Tommy.’
“But really, of course, it was recorded months before ‘Tommy’.”
It has taken some time for the group’s present album, ‘Parachute’ to reach the market. The delay has been because of changes inside the group. But they’ve used the breathing space well, writing their own material and putting together a very cohesive album.
Said Phil: “I once thought of leaving the group. But since I’ve started writing I haven’t wanted to get out of the Pretties at all. For me, the lyrics are most important.”
The band will release the album in the States during August—when they will be making their first ever tour of the country.
“We made a TV film which was shown in the States once, but we’ve never managed to get over there. One or two of our singles have bubbled under the 100, but, because of hassles with the group, we failed to make it.
“This will be our first time. The first time in six years.”
Source : WorldRadioHistory.com (PDF).