Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Pretty Things - "The Pretty Things" (Fontana, 1965)

I've read already countless times that The Pretty Things debut long play was "a legendary exercise in anarchy". As much as a cliche this might sound, it's the least you can say about it. Fontana records chief Jack Baverstock when arrived to oversee his label's newest 'hitmakers', "walked out after half an hour with us" as the liners point out. Indeed, the Pretty Things were no less than five unruly, filthy and dirty to the max youths with a never-ending hunger for rhythm & blues! When you're going to read something about 'em the word 'mayhem' appears on the script immeasurable times. No wonder why Mick Jagger used all his connections to keep them down and even if those creeps sang the opposite, this indigestible prick finally succeed. But tapes and records are still here to remind us who were the filthiest of them all. The spiritual godfather of this album is the Man, Bo Diddley. Chuck's here too but his tunes Diddleyfied so much that sound to these ears like Bo's tracks or as i read somewhere else, like outtakes of the "Two Great Guitars" sessions. No less than four McDaniel toons appear in here. But the whole 'jungle beat' filtered and distorted through over-amped guitars, crushing drums and snarling vocals. Again, this is really one of the places where punk started. A roaring example of how garage was born. Sometimes i wonder how the rock & roll history would have be if the Pretties weren't THAT MUCH suicidal. The ironic front sleeve is perfect introduction of what are you going to witness. Five bumps who dare to provoke and even if you try to beautify them, the end result will be a total disgust! Is that punk or what? That's British R&B at its rawest and dirtiest and if the Rolling Stones are too pussy for you, well here's your chance. And Vivian Prince fuckin' rule!

The A-Bones drum head with Viv Prince