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Yesterday & Today: The Pretty Things
By Zane Ewton

The Pretty Things were cut from the same cloth of many British bands but were unable to enjoy the same stateside success that the rest of the “invasion” enjoyed.
 
In the early 1960’s British art students discovered American blues and rock and roll.  Guitarist Dick Taylor was in the middle of that crowd and briefly played in a band with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards before meeting Phil May and forming the Pretty Things.
 
Credited with releasing the first “rock opera”, The Pretty Things were major influences to Pete Townshend, David Bowie and much of the British rock royalty.
 
Come See Me is their first U.S. compilation, relying heavily on tracks from the band’s first decade.  Talk of this band has been floating around due to the current interest in “garage rock”.
 
The Pretty Things music is coming straight from the garage.  It is bluesy rock with a driving Bo Diddley beat.  These are short songs that hit right on the point.  The British media touted the band for being crazier and rawer than the Stones, on and off stage.  In the musical sense they seem to run neck and neck.

Unfortunately, the songs are not as memorable as other songs of that era.  The Stones and the Beatles made classic albums that will be played forever.  There is no Exile on Main Street or Sgt. Pepper’s in the Pretty Things catalog.  The band will be best remembered, at least in the U.S., more for who they influenced than for their own songs.

With more luck, The Pretty Things could have been on par with the Stones and the Beatles, but while the British were invading America the Pretty Things were touring Europe.  They missed out on the initial madness and could never gain a foothold in the states.
 
Come See Me is a great introduction and will definitely build interest in checking into the rest of this band’s catalogue.  It is valuable if for nothing other than to see a stepping stone in the history of rock and roll.


CD Info 

The Pretty Things – Come See Me:  The Very Best of The Pretty Things
Label: Shout! Factory
Rating
 
Tracks:
Rosalyn
Honey, I Need
Road Runner
Don't Bring Me Down
Judgement Day
Rainin' In My Heart
Midnight To Six Man
Buzz The Jerk
You Don't Believe Me
Can't Stand The Pain
Come See Me
Get The Picture?
L.S.D.
Progress
Sun, The
Death Of A Socialite
Defecting Grey
Walking Through My Dreams
Balloon Burning
Talkin' About The Good Times
Mr. Evasion
Loneliest Person
Grass
Dream/Joey
Singapore Silk Torpedo
 
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