The Pretty Things
…Rage Before Beauty
I’d known about this new recording by the Pretty Things since late last year (interview, February 1999 Ink Nineteen) and I am happy to report that…what a way to end the decade, century and millennium — with this awesome bang of a rock and roll album! …Rage Before Beauty does, in fact, rage.
Great Rock and Roll shows, especially if you’re well past the (r)age of jumping around on stage acting like a maniac, setting fire to airplanes and such. The Pretty Things, possibly the prototypical Spinal Tap, haven’t mellowed since their too-hard luck days of the late 1960’s, no indeed, it’s more like they’ve saved all of the madness and let it loose on this new album!
There’s great, new original numbers like “Passion of Love” (for you serious R&B fans, it can’t be missed), “Pure Stone Cold,” and “Not Given’ In,” which are driving, powerful rocking tunes. Those should be enough for fans of great rock and roll… But dig this: “Love Keeps Hanging On,” a gutwrenching psychedelic slow blues, features a few guitar tracks from special guest star David Gilmour, and there’s more…
“Vivian Prince” is all about their first drummer and how they nearly got him busted with enough drugs to put him away for five years… They cover “Play With Fire” with Phil May and company making it sound like a cynical madman. They do a rousing version of “Eve of Destruction” as well and cap off the covers with “Mony Mony” featuring Ronnie Spector on vocals. “Everlasting Flame” ought to be a massive hit among the many who miss and/or missed the British Invasion, it’s got all the great poppy guitar, melodic choruses and misty rock vocals that one might expect to hear in the back of a chase scene from a Peter Sellers movie. “Blue Turns to Red” is very pop and again, could go quite well with a farcical romance. “Goin’ Downhill” sounds almost like something the Damned would have recorded circa 1980 or so, it’s haunting, complete with background keyboards and lush guitar. I wonder who picked up the tricks from whom? Were they waiting until 1999 to unleash this on the world?
This album is amazing! Folks, …Rage Before Beauty is genuine.
Snapper Music, 3 The Coda Centre, 189 Munster Road,, London, SW6 6AW England; http://www.snappermusic.com/webpages/home.htm