Tuesday, 27 January 2015

the pretty things bouquets of barbed wire

Not being ones to have got our grubby hands on the boxset of the complete works of The Pretty Things here's the opening from Phil Alexander's review at Mojo mag who actually has opened the limited edition package.

    "As you open this lavish box set you chance upon a thick, vanilla-coloured envelope.
    It contains paper-clipped reproductions of legal papers documenting two court cases fought by Mark St John, the Pretty Things manager of three decades, in order to reclaim the bands copyrights in lieu of unpaid royalties.
    These document make forr remarkable reading, most specifically a 1994 fax to Roger Ames, the then-chief executive of Polygram UK, The first paragraph of which outlines guitarist Dick Taylor;s "unstable" financial position before explaining that Taylor's modest Isle Of EWight home (inherited from his mother) is subject to a compulsory purchase order for a meagre £2,500."
And that might as well be the symbolic story of the The Pretty Things. The ingredients of which were "bad luck, self destruction and record company shafting". It's unbelievable these guys are still playing today and this boxset marks the tumultuous journey from the raw garage r&b of the early 60's, through the bleary haze of psychedelia in the late 60's and on into the 70's. The 11 studio albums are all here, plus all this other stuff. 2 DVD's, 2 Rarities CD's, a 10″ replica acetate, 100 page hardback book, family tree with posters.
And the Pretty Things story is as much a part of rock and roll history as the Stones, only without the empire of wealth at the end of it. At last this box-set puts it all into context.

    “David Bowie worshipped Phil (May) – Phil had to write his telephone number in David Bowie’s book, and it was under ‘G’ for God!” Dick Taylor, The Pretty Things
    “The Pretty Things made the Stones look tame.” David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
    “The Pretty Things were the biggest influence on us… they invented garage bands.” Joey Ramone
    “The Pretty Things completely bent my head.” Noel Gallacher

A full break down of the contents of 'Bouquets Of Barbed Wire' and pre-odering are here at Burning Shed