Silk Torpedo

The Pretty Things

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Silk Torpedo Review

by Paul Collins

Silk Torpedo provides an interesting glance into the glam era. Beginning with "Dream" -- a ghostly instrumental prelude that the group's friends in Led Zeppelin would later cop for "In the Evening" -- this album launches into "Joey," a superb combination of piano boogie, crashing drums, and melodramatic choruses draped in Hammond organ. Phil May's vocals on this piece run somewhere between Ian Hunter and Steve Tyler, and are every bit as effective. "Maybe You Tried" is a glittering slice of glam rock, all pouting and hip-thrusting, with a simply killer guitar hook from Pete Tolson. From this strong start, though, the album falters into a torpid sort of introspection. Still, "Belfast Cowboys" deserves kudos for taking on the Irish question long before U2 was taking its first music lessons. The CD reissue adds live versions of "Singapore Silk Torpedo" and "Dream/Joey," both recorded in 1974.

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