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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Sep-18 > The Pretty Things

The Pretty Things

S.F. SORROW 50TH ANNIVERSARY

MADFISH

The Pretty Things were victims of release-date circumstances with their concept LP S.F. Sorrow. Sandwiched between the ‘White Album’ and Beggars Banquet, it hardly stood a chance. The quality of the songs on S.F. Sorrow certainly wasn’t to blame – this is a Brit psych-rock masterpiece. Out of step with the back-tobasics approach of both The Beatles and the Stones, S.F. Sorrow still resonates with tripped-out hippy ideology. But there’s a darker edge here, too. A storyline taking in birth, love, war and death sees the titular protagonist ultimately deciding to turn against the world and resign himself to a life of depressed solitude. Raga-rock opener S.F. Sorrow Is Born morphs into the swirling atmospherics of Bracelets Of Fingers and the punchy psychedelic romance of She Says Good Morning, while the mournful folk of Private Sorrow sees the album deftly change direction as our hero heads off to battle. The striking Balloon Burning is proto prog, and the band move into uncharted territory with the wonderfully eccentric Baron Saturday, a progressively more wigged-out The Journey and downright terrifying I See You. Despite the refutations, the punchy Old Man Going surely influenced Pete Townshend to toughen up The Who’s sound. This 50th Anniversary boxset edition serves up the album in both mono and stereo incarnations, an intriguing David Gilmour-assisted Abbey Road live recreation from 1998, plus assorted singles. Steve Harnell

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About Long Live Vinyl

In issue 18 of Long Live Vinyl we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pixies’ classic debut album Surfer Rosa. We’ve left no stone unturned in getting the inside track on the making of the record at Boston’s Q Division Studios as Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Vaughan Oliver and Simon Larbalestier tell Long Live Vinyl about the legacy of an album that inspired David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead. Plus, we bring you an in-depth review of 4AD’s new Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa Deluxe Edition. Elsewhere in this packed issue of Long Live Vinyl, we speak to teenage duo Let’s Eat Grandma about their superb sophomore album, I’m All Ears, head out on the road with Chicago guitar virtuoso Ryley Walker and tell the story of Small Faces’ legendary Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake LP. Post-punk fans will want to check out our Essential top 40 – a definitive collector’s guide to the genre, and our Classic Album series focuses on Pulp’s 1995 career-high Different Class. We also hear from legendary photographer Mick Rock about shooting David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, and The Trip visits a cratedigger’s paradise – Amsterdam. If all that’s not enough, you’ll find the widest range of album, turntable and hi-fi accessory reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Enjoy the issue!