Complete List Of Pretty Things Albums And Discography

Pretty Things Albums

Feature Photo: Photographer: Joop van Bilsen (ANEFO), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Pretty Things, formed in September 1963 in London, England, are known for their significant contributions to the R&B and rock genres during the 1960s and 1970s. The band was initially led by Phil May (vocals) and Dick Taylor (lead guitar), who were later joined by various members throughout their career. They released a total of eleven studio albums, numerous compilations, and several live recordings. The Pretty Things were known for their energetic live performances and pioneering contributions to rock music, including one of the first rock operas, “S.F. Sorrow.” Their music charted in the UK and internationally, with singles like “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Honey I Need” achieving notable success. Despite critical acclaim and a devoted fan base, the band never achieved the commercial success of their contemporaries but remained influential in the rock and psychedelic music scenes.

The Pretty Things (1965)

Released 1965

The debut album by The Pretty Things is a seminal work in the British R&B and rock scenes of the mid-1960s. With its raw energy and aggressive sound, it captured the essence of the era’s youth culture. The band, known for their gritty performances and edgy style, brought a unique blend of blues, rock, and R&B to the table. Phil May’s distinctive vocals, coupled with Dick Taylor’s innovative guitar work, set the stage for the band’s future explorations in rock and psychedelia. The album was produced by Bobby Graham, a renowned session drummer and producer of the time, and was released under the Fontana label. It was recorded in various studios in London throughout 1965.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Road Runner” – 3:12
  2. “Judgement Day” – 2:47
  3. “13 Chester Street” – 2:22
  4. “Big City” – 2:02
  5. “Unknown Blues” – 3:48
  6. “Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut” – 3:04
  7. “Honey I Need” – 1:59
  8. “Oh Baby Doll” – 3:01
  9. “She’s Fine She’s Mine” – 4:24
  10. “Don’t Lie to Me” – 3:53
  11. “The Moon Is Rising” – 2:33
  12. “Pretty Thing” – 1:38

Get the Picture? (1965)

Released December 1965

“Get the Picture?”, the second studio album by The Pretty Things, further established the band’s presence in the British rock scene. Released in the same year as their debut, this album saw the band evolving their sound with more complex musical arrangements and a slightly more polished production, without losing the raw edge that characterized their debut. Produced by Bobby Graham and featuring the band’s classic lineup, the album was a mix of R&B, blues, and rock elements that highlighted the band’s versatility. “Get the Picture?” was recorded at various studios in London during the latter half of 1965 and was released through Fontana Records.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “You Don’t Believe Me” – 2:23
  2. “Buzz the Jerk” – 1:54
  3. “Get the Picture?” – 1:55
  4. “Can’t Stand the Pain” – 2:41
  5. “Rainin’ in My Heart” – 2:31
  6. “We’ll Play House” – 2:33
  7. “You’ll Never Do It Baby” – 2:26
  8. “I Had a Dream” – 2:58
  9. “I Want Your Love” – 2:16
  10. “London Town” – 2:26
  11. “Cry to Me” – 2:52
  12. “Gonna Find Me a Substitute” – 2:58

Emotions (1967)

Released April 1967

“Emotions” marked a transitional phase for The Pretty Things, showcasing a broader musical palette that included baroque pop and psychedelic influences. The album’s production, handled by Steve Rowland, was lush and featured more elaborate arrangements compared to the raw, blues-based sound of their earlier work. The band’s lineup during this period included Phil May, Dick Taylor, John Stax, Skip Alan, and Wally Waller, with the latter contributing significantly to the songwriting and vocal harmonies. “Emotions” was recorded at various studios in London throughout late 1966 and early 1967, and was released on the Fontana label.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Death of a Socialite” – 2:44
  2. “Children” – 3:03
  3. “The Sun” – 3:06
  4. “There Will Never Be Another Day” – 2:22
  5. “House of Ten” – 2:55
  6. “Out in the Night” – 2:42
  7. “One Long Glance” – 2:55
  8. “Growing in My Mind” – 2:21
  9. “Photographer” – 2:10
  10. “Bright Lights of the City” – 3:00
  11. “Tripping” – 3:25
  12. “My Time” – 3:08

S. F. Sorrow (1968)

Released December 1968

“S. F. Sorrow” is widely regarded as one of the first rock operas, predating The Who’s “Tommy” by several months. This ambitious concept album tells the tragic story of Sebastian F. Sorrow, from his idyllic childhood to his disillusioned adult life and eventual demise. The album’s rich tapestry of sounds was a significant departure from the band’s early R&B roots, incorporating elements of psychedelic rock and early progressive rock. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with Norman Smith (who had worked with The Beatles and Pink Floyd), the album showcased the band’s creative peak. The lineup for this album included Phil May, Dick Taylor, Wally Waller, Jon Povey, and Skip Alan.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “S.F. Sorrow Is Born” – 3:12
  2. “Bracelets of Fingers” – 3:41
  3. “She Says Good Morning” – 3:23
  4. “Private Sorrow” – 3:51
  5. “Balloon Burning” – 3:51
  6. “Death” – 3:12
  7. “Baron Saturday” – 4:01
  8. “The Journey” – 2:46
  9. “I See You” – 3:56
  10. “Well of Destiny” – 1:46
  11. “Trust” – 2:49
  12. “Old Man Going” – 3:09
  13. “Loneliest Person” – 1:29

Parachute (1970)

Released June 1970

“Parachute,” The Pretty Things’ follow-up to “S. F. Sorrow,” continued in a similar vein of ambitious and innovative rock. The album was a critical success, later being named “Album of the Year” by Rolling Stone magazine in 1970. It presented a thematic collection of songs that reflected on suburban life and the human condition, with a sound that combined elements of rock, pop, and psychedelia. The album was produced by Norman Smith and recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The lineup for “Parachute” included Phil May, Dick Taylor, Wally Waller, Jon Povey, and Skip Alan.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Scene One” – 1:51
  2. “The Good Mr. Square” – 1:50
  3. “She Was Tall, She Was High” – 1:36
  4. “In the Square” – 1:55
  5. “The Letter” – 1:39
  6. “Rain” – 2:33
  7. “Miss Fay Regrets” – 3:27
  8. “Cries from the Midnight Circus” – 6:29
  9. “Grass” – 4:20
  10. “Sickle Clowns” – 6:35
  11. “She’s a Lover” – 3:31
  12. “What’s the Use” – 1:44
  13. “Parachute” – 3:52

Freeway Madness (1972)

Released December 1972

“Freeway Madness” represented a shift towards a more rock-oriented sound, with elements of country and folk occasionally surfacing. The album, produced by The Pretty Things themselves, showcased the band’s versatility and ability to adapt to the changing musical landscape of the early ’70s. The lineup at this time featured Phil May, Peter Tolson, Jon Povey, Wally Waller, and Skip Alan. Recorded at various studios in London, “Freeway Madness” was released on the Warner Bros. label, marking a new phase in the band’s career.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Love Is Good” – 6:53
  2. “Havana Bound” – 3:56
  3. “Peter” – 1:27
  4. “Rip Off Train” – 3:18
  5. “Over the Moon” – 4:30
  6. “Religion’s Dead” – 4:16
  7. “Country Road” – 4:42
  8. “Allnight Sailor” – 2:57
  9. “Onion Soup” – 5:17
  10. “Another Bowl?” – 1:57

Silk Torpedo (1974)

Released November 1974

“Silk Torpedo” saw The Pretty Things embracing glam rock influences, with a polished production that highlighted their strong songwriting and musicianship. The album was the band’s first release on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label and was produced by Norman Smith, who had previously worked with them on “S. F. Sorrow.” The recording sessions took place at Olympic Studios in London, featuring Phil May, Pete Tolson, Jon Povey, Gordon Edwards, and Skip Alan. “Silk Torpedo” contained some of the band’s most accessible and commercially oriented material, reflecting the glam rock trends of the time.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Dream/Joey” – 6:40
  2. “Maybe You Tried” – 4:18
  3. “Atlanta” – 2:40
  4. “L.A.N.T.A.” – 2:26
  5. “Is It Only Love” – 5:06
  6. “Come Home Momma” – 3:42
  7. “Bridge of God” – 4:58
  8. “Singapore Silk Torpedo” – 5:11
  9. “Belfast Cowboys” – 6:58
  10. “Bruise in the Sky” – 2:07

Savage Eye (1976)

Released April 1976

“Savage Eye” continued The Pretty Things’ foray into a more mainstream rock sound, blending elements of hard rock, soul, and funk. The album was produced by Norman Smith and marked one of the band’s final releases before an extended hiatus. The recording sessions took place at Olympic Studios, London, featuring Phil May, Pete Tolson, Gordon Edwards, and Skip Alan. “Savage Eye” showcased a matured band experimenting with different textures and styles, aiming to appeal to the broader rock audience of the mid-’70s.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Under the Volcano” – 6:02
  2. “My Song” – 5:13
  3. “Sad Eye” – 4:30
  4. “Remember That Boy” – 5:02
  5. “It Isn’t Rock ‘n’ Roll” – 4:00
  6. “I’m Keeping” – 3:52
  7. “It’s Been So Long” – 5:07
  8. “Drowned Man” – 4:25
  9. “Theme for Michelle” – 1:39

Cross Talk (1980)

Released July 1980

“Cross Talk” represents The Pretty Things’ venture into the new wave and post-punk sounds that were prevalent at the end of the 1970s. The album featured a mix of sharp, concise songs with a more contemporary edge, aiming to align the band with the then-current musical trends. Produced by Steve Rowland and recorded at various studios in London, the lineup for this album included Phil May, Pete Tolson, Jon Povey, Wally Waller, and Skip Alan. “Cross Talk” showcased the band’s adaptability and willingness to explore new musical territories while maintaining their distinctive identity.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “I’m Calling” – 4:06
  2. “Edge of the Night” – 3:52
  3. “Sea of Blue” – 3:22
  4. “Lost That Girl” – 2:56
  5. “Bitter End” – 3:18
  6. “Office Love” – 4:11
  7. “Falling Again” – 3:12
  8. “It’s So Hard” – 3:08
  9. “She Don’t” – 4:36
  10. “No Future” – 4:11

Out of the Island (1987)

Released 1987

“Out of the Island” marked a return for The Pretty Things after a period of inactivity, showcasing a blend of rock, blues, and psychedelic influences reminiscent of their earlier work. This album was more of an underground release, with limited commercial exposure but was well-received by fans and critics for its return to the band’s roots. The recording took place in various studios, primarily in London, featuring the classic lineup of Phil May, Dick Taylor, Jon Povey, Wally Waller, and Skip Alan. “Out of the Island” served as a reminder of The Pretty Things’ enduring talent and creativity in the ever-changing landscape of rock music.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Cross My Heart” – 4:22
  2. “Drawn to You” – 3:56
  3. “Blue Turns to Red” – 4:33
  4. “Another World” – 4:17
  5. “Out of the Island” – 5:10
  6. “All Light Up” – 4:03
  7. “This Is War” – 3:47
  8. “Masters of War” – 4:55
  9. “Love Is Good” – 5:12
  10. “Growing in My Mind” – 3:22

Rage Before Beauty (1999)

Released 1999

“Rage Before Beauty,” released two decades after “Cross Talk,” saw The Pretty Things returning with a vengeance to the music scene. This album was a powerful blend of the band’s traditional rock and roll roots with modern touches, reflecting both their enduring legacy and their ability to evolve with the times. The album was recorded over several years and featured contributions from longtime members Phil May and Dick Taylor, among others. “Rage Before Beauty” was a testament to the band’s resilience and undiminished creativity, offering a mix of new songs and reworked tracks from their extensive back catalog.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Passion of Love” – 3:53
  2. “Vivian Prince” – 4:15
  3. “Everlasting Flame” – 4:25
  4. “Love Keeps Hanging On” – 5:09
  5. “Eve of Destruction” – 4:00
  6. “Not Givin’ In” – 4:38
  7. “Pure Cold Stone” – 4:42
  8. “Blue Turns to Red” – 3:19
  9. “Goodbye, Goodbye” – 3:50
  10. “Goin’ Downhill” – 3:51
  11. “Play with Fire” – 2:44
  12. “Fly Away” – 3:01
  13. “Mony Mony” – 3:29
  14. “God Give Me the Strength” – 5:19

Balboa Island (2007)

Released September 2007

“Balboa Island” brought The Pretty Things back into the spotlight with a mix of blues, rock, and soulful ballads, capturing the essence of their musical journey. This album, recorded at various locations including Spain and the UK, showcased the band’s ability to blend traditional blues roots with the energy of rock. Produced by Mark St. John, it featured Phil May, Dick Taylor, Frank Holland, George Woosey, and Jack Greenwood. “Balboa Island” was a testament to the band’s enduring appeal and their continued relevance in the music world.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “The Beat Goes On” – 3:42
  2. “Buried Alive” – 3:46
  3. “Livin’ in My Skin” – 4:42
  4. “(Blues for) Robert Johnson” – 5:17
  5. “Pretty Beat” – 3:40
  6. “In the Beginning” – 5:17
  7. “Mimi” – 3:12
  8. “Feel Like Goin’ Home” – 4:38
  9. “The Ballad of Hollis Brown” – 5:10
  10. “Freedom Song” – 4:25
  11. “Dearly Beloved” – 4:52
  12. “All Light Up” – 4:03

The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, of Course…) (2015)

Released July 2015

“The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, of Course…)” marked a return to the psychedelic and garage rock sounds that characterized The Pretty Things’ early career. This album, recorded at 811 Studios, London, with producer Mark St. John, saw the band revisiting their roots while infusing their sound with contemporary elements. The lineup for this release included Phil May, Dick Taylor, Frank Holland, George Woosey, and Jack Greenwood. The album’s title, a nod to Bob Dylan’s lyric from “Tombstone Blues,” reflected the band’s acknowledgment of their legacy and their ongoing creative evolution.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “The Same Sun” – 3:17
  2. “And I Do” – 3:47
  3. “Renaissance Fair” – 1:51
  4. “You Took Me by Surprise” – 3:35
  5. “Turn My Head” – 4:55
  6. “Dark Days” – 3:13
  7. “Greenwood Tree” – 4:05
  8. “Hell, Here and Nowhere” – 3:54
  9. “In the Soukh” – 1:56
  10. “Dirty Song” – 3:11

Bare as Bone, Bright as Blood (2020)

Released September 2020

“Bare as Bone, Bright as Blood” is a profound and poignant album, showcasing The Pretty Things in a stripped-down, acoustic format. This release, one of the band’s final works before Phil May’s passing in May 2020, emphasized the raw, emotional depth of their music. The album, featuring Phil May and Dick Taylor, was a departure from their electric, full-band sound, focusing instead on the core elements of voice and guitar. It highlighted the band’s versatility and the enduring strength of their songwriting. “Bare as Bone, Bright as Blood” served as a powerful farewell from one of rock’s most enduring acts, capturing the essence of their musical journey.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Can’t Be Satisfied” – 3:28
  2. “Come into My Kitchen” – 4:12
  3. “Ain’t No Grave” – 3:53
  4. “Faultline” – 4:08
  5. “Redemption Day” – 4:19
  6. “The Devil Had a Hold of Me” – 4:23
  7. “Bright as Blood” – 3:41
  8. “Love in Vain” – 3:57
  9. “Black Girl” – 3:45
  10. “To Build a Wall” – 3:33
  11. “Another World” – 4:20
  12. “I’m Ready” – 3:18

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