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The Pretty Things: Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky: The Complete Pretty Things Collection [Box]

Track List

>Roadrunner
>Judgement Day
>13 Chester Street
>Big City
>Unknown Blues
>Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
>Honey, I Need
>Oh Baby Doll
>She's Fine She's Mine
>Don't Lie To Me
>Moon is Rising, The
>Pretty Thing
>Rosalyn
>Big Boss Man
>Don't Bring Me Down
>We'll Be Together
>I Can Never Say
>Get Yourself Home
>You Don't Believe Me
>Buzz the Jerk
>Get the Picture?
>Can't Stand the Pain
>Rainin' In My Heart
>We'll Play House
>You'll Never Do It Baby
>I Had a Dream
>I Want Your Love
>London Town
>Cry To Me
>Gonna Find Me a Substitute
>Get a Buzz
>Sittin' All Alone
>Midnight To Six Man
>Me Needing You
>Come See Me
>L.S.D.
>Death of a Socialite
>Children
>Sun, The
>There Will Never Be Another Day
>House of Ten
>Out In the Night
>One Long Glance
>Growing In My Mind
>Photographer
>Bright Lights of the City
>Tripping
>My Time
>House In the Country, A
>Progress
>Photographer
>There Will Never Be Another Day
>My Time
>Sun, The
>Progress
>S.F. Sorrow is Born
>Bracelets of Fingers
>She Says Good Morning
>Private Sorrow
>Balloon Burning
>Death
>Baron Saturday
>Journey, The
>I See You
>Well of Destiny
>Trust
>Old Man Going
>Loneliest Person
>Defecting Grey
>Mr. Evasion
>Talkin' About the Good Times
>Walking Through My Dreams
>Scene One
>Good Mr. Square, The
>She Was Tall, She Was High
>In the Square
>Letter, The
>Rain
>Miss Fay Regrets
>Cries From the Midnight Circus
>Grass
>Sickle Clowns
>She's a Lover
>What's the Use
>Parachute
>Blue Serge Blues
>October 26
>Cold Stone
>Stone-Hearted Mama
>Summer Time
>Circus Mind
>Love is Good
>Havana Bound
>Peter
>Rip Off Train
>Over the Moon
>Religion's Dead
>Country Road
>Allnight Sailor
>Onion Soup
>Another Bowl?
>Religion's Dead [Live Lyceum 1973]
>Havana Bound [Live Lyceum 1973]
>Love is Good [Live Lyceum 1973]
>Onion Soup [Live Lyceum 1973]
>Dream/Joey
>Maybe You Tried
>Atlanta
>L.A.N.T.A.
>Is It Only Love
>Come Home Momma
>Bridge of God
>Singapore Silk Torpedo
>Belfast Cowboys
>Singapore Silk Torpedo [Live Santa Monica 1974]
>Dream/Joey [Live Santa Monica 1974]
>Under the Volcano
>My Song
>Sad Eye
>Remember That Boy
>It Isn't Rock 'n' Roll
>I'm Keeping
>It's Been So Long
>Drowned Man
>Theme For Michelle
>Tonight
>Love Me a Little
>Dance All Night
>I'm Calling
>Edge of the Night
>Sea of Blue
>Lost That Girl
>Bitter End
>Office Love
>Falling Again
>It's So Hard
>She Don't
>No Future
>Wish Fulfillment
>Sea About Me
>Young Pretenders, The
>Passion of Love
>Vivian Prince
>Everlasting Flame
>Love Keeps Hanging On
>Eve of Destruction
>Not Givin'
>Pure Cold Stone
>Blue Turns to Red
>Goodbye, Goodbye
>Goin' Downhill
>Play With Fire
>Fly Away
>Mony Mony
>God Give Me the Strength (To Carry On)
>Beat Goes On, The
>Buried Alive
>Livin' in My Skin
>(Blues for) Robert Johnson
>Pretty Beat
>In the Beginning
>Mimi
>Feel Like Goin' Home
>Ballad of Hollis Brown, The
>Freedom Song
>Dearly Beloved
>All Light Up
>Balboa Island
>Don't Bring Me Down [Live on the Beat Room, BBC2, December 1964]
>Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut [Live on the Beat Room, BBC2, December 1964]
>Johnny B. Goode [Live on the Beat Room, BBC2, December 1964]
>Cry to Me [Alternate Version]
>Photographer [Rough Mix from Acetate]
>Bright Lights of the City [Demo]
>Out in the Night [Demo]
>One Long Glance [Demo]
>Children [Alternate Version]
>Defecting Grey [Alternate Mix] [Edit from 1967 Acetate]
>Why [Live in Hyde Park, London, July 27, 1968]
>She Says Good Morning [Live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, March 29, 1969]
>Alexander [Live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, March 29, 1969]
>Renaissance Fair [Live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, March 29, 1969]
>S.F. Sorrow is Born [Live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, March 29, 1969]
>You Might Even Say [Philippe Debarge Sessions, Circa Summer of 1969]
>Eagle's Son [Philippe Debarge Sessions, Circa Summer of 1969]
>Graves of Grey [Philippe Debarge Sessions, Circa Summer of 1969]
>It'll Never Be Me [Philippe Debarge Sessions, Circa Summer of 1969]
>Scene One [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Good Mr. Square [Westbourne Terrace Demo], The
>She Was Tall, She Was High [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>In the Square/The Letter [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Rain [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Cries from the Midnight Circus [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>I'd Love Her If I Knew What to Do [Version 1] [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Seen her Face Before [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Everything You Do is Fine [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Cold Stone [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>You Never Told Me Lies [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Take a Look at Me [Westbourne Terrace Demo]
>Wild and Free [Home Demo]
>I'd Love Her If I Knew What to Do [Version 2] [Home Demo]
>Spider Woman [BBC Radio Session, 1972]
>Route 66 [Live at the Hippodrome, Golders Green, August 1973]
>Joey [Mono US Single Mix] - (mono)
>Monster Club
>Cause and Effect
>Holding Onto Love [Outtake] - (take)
>You Can't Judge a Book
>Chain of Fools
>No Questions
>It's All Over Now Baby Blue [Outtake] - (take)
>Hoochie Coochie Man [Outtake] - (take)
>Look Away Now [Outtake] - (take)
>Helter Skelter
>Defecting Grey
>Turn My Head
>Don't Bring Me Down
>I Can Never Say
>Midnight to Six, 1965-1970: A Documentary Film
>Pretty Things. On Film, The
>Rosalyn [Video]
>Eve of Destruction [Video]
>S.F. Sorrow Live at Abbey Road
>Meet the Pretty Things
>Roadrunner [Video]
>Route 66 [Video]

Album Notes

Personnel: Frank Holland (vocals, guitar, harp); Wally Allen (vocals, guitar, piano, bass guitar); Dick Taylor (vocals, guitar); John Povey (vocals, sitar, organ, percussion); Jon Povey (vocals, sitar, keyboards); Jack Greenwood, Twink (vocals, drums); George Woosey, Phil May, Wally Waller (vocals); Brian Pendleton (guitar); Viv Prince, Skip Alan (drums).

Audio Remasterers: Mark St. John; Andy Pearce.

Liner Note Author: Mike Stax .

Photographers: Dick Taylor ; Jeremy Fletcher; Jorgen Angel; Peter Sanders ; Uli Schmidt; Domenique Tarle.

It is a hefty box in every sense: 13 CDs, supplemented with two DVDs, accompanied by a gorgeous hardcover book and a variety of tchotchkes, including a poster that traces the twisted family trees and time lines of the band and, just as helpfully, replicas of legal documents that explain why the group didn't retain rights to its recordings for years. Such explicatory details are necessary because the Pretty Things do indeed have a long, convoluted story, a story that is told in its entirety on Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky, released to commemorate the band's 50th Anniversary. Every one of the band's studio albums is here, beginning with 1965's brutal eponymous debut and ending with 2007's surprisingly sturdy Balboa Island, all presented in good remasters dating from the late '90s and supplemented with bonus tracks that have been in circulation on previous reissues. The only major things missing are the complete sessions they recorded with French bon vivant Philippe DeBarge and the trippy film library music they recorded under the name the Electric Banana, although both are sampled on the two discs of rarities included as enticing collector bait.

These two CDs function as footnotes to the main text, offering a handful of raw and furious early cuts -- BBC sessions, rough mixes, and demos that underscore the Pretty Things' early savagery -- and then filling out the latter years with introspective demos, the odd stray song ("Spider Woman," a 1972 song that never made it to an album but probably should have; a new wave reggae piss-take called "Monster Club" from a mock horror film of the same name from 1980; "Cause and Effect," the lone studio song from 1988's live reunion Out of the Island), and some cuts from the '90s pre-reunion project the Pretty Things & the Yardbirds Blues Band. Much of this is interesting, at times even riveting, and helps bring to life the narrative told well in the hardcover book and DVD documentary, but there's a compelling arc told in the main discography this box set so lovingly preserves.

Like so many British rock bands of the '60s, the Pretty Things both anticipated and followed trends. They were at ground zero for the British blues explosion and wound up with trailblazing concept albums like 1968's S.F. Sorrow, but they usually seemed a year or two behind the times, arriving a hair too late to ride the zeitgeist. This is best seen with 1970's Parachute, a piece of lush psychedelia accomplished enough to earn legendary status, and named Album of the Year by Rolling Stone, but it sounded as if it belonged to a year or two earlier, which also could be said of the Baroque middlebrow pop of 1967's Emotions or the massive arena rock of 1976's Savage Eye. Such a flair for delayed fashion certainly hurt the Pretty Things commercially but looking at their career as a body of work, it's rich and restless, one that continually evolved. The acknowledged high points still shine brightly -- the debut is as nasty as rock & roll got in the '60s, while Get the Picture? adds some style to that swing; S.F. Sorrow is a gorgeous yet tense psychedelic masterwork but it may be trumped by the expansive Parachute -- but the revelations arise in the neglected corners of their discography. Emotions may have been heavily tweaked by the record label but it's an effective hybrid of the Kinks and Beatles; Freeway Madness has pastoral touches that belie its title; the two albums for Swan Song -- Silk Torpedo and Savage Eye -- feel assured in their road-conquering heaviosity; the New Wave reunion Cross Talk is shockingly sharp, and the latter day comeback records are no-nonsense affirmations of the deep rock & roll roots of Dick Taylor and Phil May. By the time of their last album in 2007, the Pretty Things had come nearly full circle and the great thing about Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky is that it vividly illustrates what a wild ride those 50 years were. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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