The Pretty Things

Freeway Madness

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After raging through R&B early in their career, then exploring the limits of psychedelia, the Pretty Things changed their direction with Freeway Madness, which in retrospect seems like the first part of a musical trilogy (along with Silk Torpedo and Savage Eye). With a huge change in personnel and the team of Phil May and Pete Tolson doing most of the writing, the sound featured John Povey's keyboards, while the lush harmonies that had buoyed Parachute became a mainstay of the sound, which turned decidedly more American radio-friendly. They could rock as hard as ever, but the softer side was decidedly mushier (as on "Love Is Good"), with harmonies so tight you could bounce a quarter off them ("Peter"). Decidedly less original than the work they'd done on Parachute, it still had its moments, such as the delicious "Havana Bound" or the rock boisterousness of "Rip off Train," and while their alliance with Warner Bros. only lasted for this album, it pointed the way to their mid-'70s future.

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