The Pretty Things

Latest Writs: Greatest Hits [Madfish]

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For whatever reason, Pretty Things failed to make significant inroads in the U.S. when the window of opportunity was open widest. Perhaps the Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Animals more than fulfilled the quota for invading bad boys. Maybe their sophomoric (and less than artistic) obsession with drugs played a role, though that's doubtful, given the preponderance of mind-altering substance cheerleading by '60s bands. Like the Stones, Pretty Things incorporated garage, R&B, and psychedelia into their aggressive style of rock & roll. Their most memorable songs were from their early, raunchier period like 1965's "Rosalyn," "Don't Bring Me Down" (both covered by David Bowie on Pinups), and "Come See Me." They evolved into a more psychedelic band later into the '60s as "SF Sorrow Is Born" and "LSD" will indicate, although "Old Man Going" from 1968 is a definite precursor to 1974-era Queen. The psychedelic and garage-tinged "Cries From the Midnight Circus" (1970) proves to be the final vestige of creativity from this collection, as all of the post-1970 selections are positively atrocious (or nondescript at best) rockers.

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