The Pretty Things - Parachute

SF Sorrow’s down-to-earth follow-up

It still beggars belief that SF
Sorrow by The Pretty Things was
so comprehensively overlooked
at the time. If you found a hole
in the road filled with rubies,
would you just walk round it?

Now that The Actual First
Rock Opera© has attained
something like its due measure
of belated recognition, the
40th anniversary of its follow-up
– Parachute – is reason
enough to swing the spotlight
on to another forgotten Pretties
thing, before we even talk
about its consistent brilliance.
In short, Parachute didn’t swan
off with Rolling Stone
magazine’s Album Of The Year
garlands in 1970 for nothing:
there’s a marked cohesion to
it, a gratifying oneness which
reveals the band to have still
been occupying the same zone
of inspiration which made SF
Sorrow such a hearty repast.
Given that Parachute is
essentially a sustained and
rather poetic discourse
expressing disillusionment with
the 60s dream, in sonic terms
it’s an exemplar of Abbey Road
lushness. Grass, The Good Mr
Square and the title track
wouldn’t sound out of place on
Dark Side Of The Moon, even.

The acoustic re-recordings
on the bonus disc reveal that,
hey, they’ve still got it. But
then they’re the Pretties: why
the hell wouldn’t they have it?

5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars

Madfish | SMACD 964 (2-CD)

Reviewed by Marco Rossi
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