2003 two CD compilation from the British Blues rockers featuring 41 tracks including their covers of 'Big Boss Man,' and 'Don't Bring Me Down,' as well as the tracks 'L.S.D.' and 'Buzz the Jerk.' The Pretty Things spent more than their fair share of time at the BBC's radio and television studios, and this jam-packed double disc set offers up the lion's share of their "Beeb" material in strong sound quality and a well-appointed package. Like most BBC collections, these performances sound drier and more stripped-down than the versions most fans are used to, but since "stripped-down" was a thing The Pretty Things did quite well back in the day, this isn't much of a drawback; If you're a Pretties fan, the BBC Sessions will sound like manna from heaven, and if you're just getting your feet wet, it's a fine road map through the nooks and crannies of their music. Repertoire.
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The Pretty Things were no strangers to the various converted theatres, cinemas and hotels that made up the suite of studios in which the BBC recorded radio light entertainment shows, gardening forums, dance hall orchestras and rock bands.
In fact the earliest session here dates from October 1964, which coincides with the release of only their second single, Don't Bring Me Down. The five track session is included in full and includes Don't Bring Me Down, Big Boss Man (which had been the B-side of the first single) and R&B selections from their future first album, Pretty Things, including two by Bo Diddley, from whose song Pretty Thing the band took their name. On the two singles session drummers had been employed, so here is a chance to hear the tunes performed exclusively by the band.
Formed in the later stages of 1963, the Pretty Things arrived on the Londoner scene playing Berry/Diddley/Reed influenced raw rhythm and blues. The driving force behind the 'Pretties' were vocalist Brian May and Dick Taylor. (Taylor had left a version of the embryonic Rolling Stones with Brian Jones, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger because the three wanted him to play bass guitar while he was born to play lead guitar.)
The Pretty Things were contemporaries of 'The Rolling Stones' and 'The Kinks'. Of course there was also that little band with that funny name from Liverpool, the Beatles. This dog always had a soft spot for the `Pretties' as the Beatles were a little bit goody two shoes to be considered cool. I mean your parents liked them! The Rolling Stones were great, but always seemed to want to be Americans, denying their Dartford, Kent roots, and the Kinks could get a little whimsical at times.
The 'Pretties' had no image; music was their thing and hard edged...
Two discs, total of 41 tracks from when the Pretty Things performed at the radio sessions at the BBC Studios between 1964-75. A good compilation to have, showing the band's wide variety of material. Disc one shows you where the band had developed into psychedelia, with tunes like "Roadrunner", "L.S.D.", "Buzz The Jerk", "Balloon Burning" among many others. Then disc two lets us know how they changed their music direction to a rather punk-like / R&B style, with cuts like "Route 66", "Havana Bound" and "Come Home Momma". Don't despair, it all makes for good listening. Check this one out. You won't be sorry you did.
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