Pretty Things

Rage Before Beauty - Snapper 1999

Tracks: 1. Passion of Love / 2. Vivian Prince / 3. Everlasting Flame / 4. Love Keeps Hanging On / 5. Eve of Destruction / 6. Not Givin' In / 7. Pure Cold Stone / 8. Blue Turns to Red / 9. Goodbye, Goodbye / 10. Goin' Downhill / 11. Play With Fire / 12. Fly Away / 13. Mony Mony / 14. God Give Me the Strength [To Carry on]


One can only have respect for The Pretty Things. A group which, with breaks, have been active for over 40 years and still plays and sings with honesty, nerve and commitment. Since the album "Crosstalk" from 1980 Pretty Things have been rare guests in the studio, and this 1999 album is recorded over a period of many years. Compared to the line-up of "Crosstalk" only guitarist Peter Tolson is missing. Tolson has been replaced by Frank Holland.

One might expect that an album recorded over so long a period would come out somewhat uneven; this is not the case, and the album definitely belongs among the group's most artistically most successful.

Singer Phil May is no doubt, not to underestimate the importance of the other members, the group's focal point - You can hardly imagine a Pretty Things without May.

Both vocally and in songwriting May is in top form on this album; impressing achievement by a man who, according to the notes in the booklet, has been far down underways.

May's two very personal and long songs "Love Keeps Me Hanging on" and "God Give Me The Strength" are among the group's strongest recordings. Lyrically they are two very honest and moving songs - the same can be said about the biographical tribute to the former group-member "Vivian Prince" - another highlight on the album.

Another highlight is the Rolling Stones-like "Blue Turns two Red" - is it perhaps coincidence that an early Stones song is called "Blue Turns two Grey"? "Not Given In" with acoustic guitars and a fun catchy beat - is another song you would like to return to.

Stylistically, the group works in the area of the blues and rock, always with melody as an important ingredience - and then the group really plays with a heart.

I must admit with shame that I had not expected so much of this album. In return, I am now looking forward to hearing the group's newest studio album "Balboa Island"

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