PRETTY THINGS - PARACHUTE -digipak CDMADFISH
If "S.F. Sorrow" is the Pretty Things' "Sgt. Pepper," "Magical Mystery Tour,” and "Yellow Submarine" wrapped in one, then “Parachute" is their more succinct "White Album" and "Abbey Road." It's not just a time line comparison. The Pretties made this fascinating LP in the same studio as the Fab Four, London's Abbey Road, with Beatles engineer Norman Smith producing. 'The Good Mr. Square' replicates the three-part harmony the Beatles were so proud of on ‘Because.' Two songs later, the group assembles a brief, interconnected three-song suite like the famous ones on side two of Abbey Road. Bassist Wally Allen's vocals on tracks such as 'Sickle Clowns' have the same throaty, mad anguish that John Lennon exhibited on 'Yer Blues' and 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun.' If "S.F. Sorrow" is psychedelic rock grandeur, then “Parachute" is its more bitter twist, the dream dying and the witching hour upon us. Yet, if this isn't as much of a triumph, the creative neurons are still firing throughout a multi-varied, cohesive LP. Like "S.F. Sorrow," it's a concept LP. This time the topic is a generation caught between the conflicting calls of (rural) peace, love, and boredom, and (urban) sophistication, sex, and squalor in a harsh world. Somehow the departure of the band's main creative force, Dick Taylor, didn't diminish the writing and inspired variety. Allen stepped up big time into the collaborator role with singer Phil May. The harmonies remain a strong point on an otherwise rock-inclined record, and the nasty edge of perfectly balanced bombast in the best songs have been a lost art ever since. (There are eighteen minutes of good stuff tacked on the Snapper edition, taken from singles.)"
The Pretty Things were fundamental in the development of British music. They enjoyed much critical success and were a huge influence on artists as diverse as David Bowie, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, The Sex Pistols, The White Stripes, Kasabian, The Lightning Seeds and countless more. Their music has been used in feature films including Guy Ritchie's 'RocknRolla', and on TV shows as recent as Britannia II. The band created a rich music catalogue including the classic albums The Pretty Things, S.F. Sorrow & Parachute, and remained a significant artistic and creative force throughout their entire 55+ year career. They have continued to release iconic and influential recordings, right up to the present day, with a new album due for release later this year. They also remained a potent live act, as is shown on 'The Final Bow', highlighting their last electric gig at the O2 which featured special guests including Van Morrison and David Gilmour accompanying Phil and The Pretty Things live on stage.