crackle and pop: pretty things – private sorrow



The Pretty Things, Private Sorrow b/w Balloon Burning 1968

The Pretty Things had a fairly tortuous time producing the album S F Sorrow that this single came from. Though the band had a very clear idea of what they wanted to do.

”We were looking for another way of making a 40-minute disk, I could never understand why an album had to be five A-sides and five B-sides with no connection. Pieces of music had been written for at least a 40-minute listen, and I thought the best way to do that was to overlay a story line and create music for the various characters and instances. It was the oldest concept in the world, but at the time nobody had done it before.” Phil May in NYT 1998

It was poorly promoted by EMI and was not released at all, initially, in the USA. A year later The Who came up with Tommy and rock operas were all the rage, but everyone had forgotten about S F Sorrow. It’s since been hailed as the psychedelic classic it was, complete with tremendous technical input by engineer Norman Smith.

Here’s a strange french TV performance of the single from 1968.


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