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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

S.F. Sorrow

The Pretty Things

1968

S.F. Sorrow

Album Summary

S.F. Sorrow is the fourth album by the English rock band Pretty Things. Released in 1968, it is known as one of the first rock operas ever released. Based on a short story by singer Phil May, the album is structured as a song cycle telling the story of a main character "Sebastian F. Sorrow", from his birth, through love, war, tragedy, madness, and his disillusionment with old age. S.F. Sorrow has brought members of the Who to claim that S.F. Sorrow did not have an influence on Pete Townshend or his writing of Tommy. The Pretty Things and critics disagree with The Who.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.06

Votes

4777

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

Who could ever have thought, going back to the Pretty Things' first recording session in 1965 -- which started out so disastrously that their original producer quit in frustration -- that it would come to this? The Pretty Things' early history in the studio featured the band with its amps seemingly turned up to 11, but for much of S.F. Sorrow the band is turned down to seven or four, or even two, or not amplified at all (except for Wally Allen's bass -- natch), and they're doing all kinds of folkish things here that are still bluesy enough so you never forget who they are, amid weird little digressions on percussion and chorus; harmony vocals that are spooky, trippy, strange, and delightful; sitars included in the array of stringed instruments; and an organ trying hard to sound like a Mellotron. Sometimes one gets an echo of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn or A Saucerful of Secrets, and it all straddles the worlds of British blues and British psychedelia better than almost any record you can name. The album, for those unfamiliar, tells the story of \"S.F. Sorrow,\" a sort of British Everyman -- think of a working-class, luckless equivalent to the Kinks' Arthur, from cradle to grave. The tale and the songs are a bit downbeat and no amount of scrutiny can disguise the fact that the rock opera S.F. Sorrow is ultimately a bit of a confusing effort -- these boys were musicians, not authors or dramatists. Although it may have helped inspire Tommy, it is, simply, not nearly as good. That said, it was first and has quite a few nifty ideas and production touches. And it does show a pathway between blues and psychedelia that the Rolling Stones, somewhere between Satanic Majesties, \"We Love You,\" \"Child of the Moon,\" and Beggars Banquet, missed entirely. [This CD reissue on Snapper adds four valuable songs from their 1967-1968 singles (\"Defecting Grey,\" \"Mr. Evasion,\" \"Talkin' About the Good Times,\" and \"Walking Through My Dreams\"). This version of \"Defecting Grey\" is the original, long, uncut five-minute rendition, and not of trivial importance; it's superior to the shorter one used on the official single.]

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Fri May 07 2021
3

"Mom can we get some Tommy?" "We have Tommy at home." Tommy at home: [Yes I know this came out first, I still prefer Tommy]

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Thu Apr 22 2021
1

"Through dark forrrests of my myyyind" sings Phil May on I See You, attempting to enter a higher plane via excruciating vocal affect. Truly bottom of the barrel stuff and another flabbergasting inclusion on the list. I feel like I'm being deliberately tested.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

Beat and easy psych vibes. This feels like pre-Beatles and doors weirdness. Very good stuff here

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Cooler than I expected. Very fun listen. Lots of noises. Very sensory. Definitely one of the most creative albums I’ve listened to thus far. They really go all over the place with instrumentation

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Sun Jun 13 2021
3

What if the Beatles were from Kent? But they still wrote Sgt. Peppers? But nobody cared and they never got famous?

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

Absolutely blown away by this phenomenal album I had not heard of until today. A blend of Sgt peppers, Early Who, Pink Floyd, the Kinks and many other bands I can't think of right now. Definitely peak 60s psychedelia. It reminds of a less pretentious Tommy with a big focus on sound.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

Imagine if the Beatles, Syd Barret-era Floyd, Wall-era Floyd, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard got together to drop acid and make a concept album. Loved it.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Pete Townsend states that this album did not influence Tommy, but I’m very skeptical. Not only that, but the storyline here shares a lot with Pink Floyd’s the Wall which came out 12 years after SF Sorrow. This album seems right place right time but doesn’t seem to have the influence that Sgt. Pepper or Tommy have. After listening to it, I really am not sure why. This album is musically very interesting and combines psychedelia with proto punk, possibly proto metal, and various experimental soundscapes. Sonically, this album pushes the limits to the point where the Pretty Things had to mime the album during a live performance because it was too complex to recreate live. I’ll keep thinking about this album for a while.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

I AM LOVING THIS. So-so start. But She says good morning, private sorrow, absolute bops! Guitar riffs are superb.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Psychedelic rock opera that sounds like it was recorded at Abbey Road Studios during the Summer of Love (because it was). Some of the distortion-based experiments didn't work, but this is a great album that was a joy for me to discover. Best track: Bracelets of Fingers

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Mon Sep 13 2021
3

Once you get past the far too blatant influences—there's an unfathomable amount of irony knowing their lead singer accused the Who of ripping off their record when they LITERALLY recorded "Baron Saturday" at Abbey Road—S.F. Sorrow has his moments. It wasn't gripping enough for me to really follow the overarching narrative beyond the inevitable "he's sad about a girl," and the stereo mix of the album is so distractingly terrible with its excessive panning and artifacts that the band themselves prefer the mono mix (there are parts in "I See You" that made me think my headphones were being jostled loose), but there were a handful of energetic tracks that made me take notice. Another one for the "more historically relevant than entertaining" file, but at least the Key Tracks are especially key this time. Just make sure you go out of your way and find the mono version. Key Tracks: Bracelets of Fingers, Balloon Burning, Old Man Going

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Wed Jan 20 2021
2

1968 Rock, eine der ersten Rockopern, nicht ganz mein geschmack

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Mon Jan 25 2021
2

You probably need to be on acid to really enjoy this album. It's got a few decent tracks, the others are too far out there for my taste.

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Sun May 23 2021
1

I'm happy to have listened to what's considered the first concept album, but this is some lesser 60's pop rock and this list is chock full of lots of the same. My burnout of more of the same from this era is definitely affecting my rating here.

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Fri Sep 25 2020
5

really good rock opera, comparable to the beatles

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Tue Sep 15 2020
5

Great Album and Band.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

Fun diverse album

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Wed May 12 2021
5

How quickly we forget our influences, dammed to a corner, walled off from the universal march toward rapture. How wonderful it must be to experience it all at all, just for a little while.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Love this album, and relish the excuse to listen to it this evening.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

obra maestra

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Sat Jun 26 2021
5

Weird and good!! Beatles vibes. Low 9

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Wed May 12 2021
5

this is good the segues are immaculate balance is a little weird though sometimes I can’t hear what the lyrics are

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

an unexpected gem. Sounds like the Beatles.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

Nice 5/5

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Brilliant psychedelic concept album - totally inspired Tommy and The Wall.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

I wrote a very in depth review of this and forgot to save it. Psychedelic rock opera with a wild stereo mix

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

For ten weeks now, number three stood empty Nobody thought there would be Family laughter behind the windows Or a Christmas tree Then a couple from up north Sorrow and his wife arrived Before the sun had left the streets They were living inside

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

I really enjoyed listening to this album; the only comment I have is that the songs don't have a common style. I've been definitely missing out on The Pretty Things and many other 60s bands, which I am finding out about thanks to this list. The bands that an average person like me knows about are the ones that made hit songs still recognized today, like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. But when it comes to albums, these guys are way better than the Beatles.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

The best. By which I mean, I consider SF Sorrow the pinnacle of British psychedelia and comfortably in my top ten albums of all time. Sure, parts of it are in thrall to the Beatles, but the range, invention, ambition and imagination on display mitigates against the odd bit of borrowing. Highlights? The entire thing. It operates as an undivided whole. Sadness, madness, poignancy, absurdity - it's all here.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Ambitious, you can definitely tell how influential this album was

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

Some small twinges of late stage Beatles in here

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

5/5

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Very enjoyable. A bit different but I like it

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Beatles vibes

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Sat Feb 13 2021
4

4

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Un mix entre les Beatles et les Who. Parfois inégal sur le long de l'album.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Yeah, ok, the first rock opera! Pretty psychedelic sounding, some obvious proggy elements - I enjoyed it, especially on a second listen. Would like to hear a version with Arthur Brown reciting the chunks of text between tracks - that'd be great! Fave track - "Death", I think? "Private Sorrow" was great too...

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

really dig this group, some nice classic rock sounds with some beatles-like psychedelic nature

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Sat Jun 26 2021
4

Has the grandiose story of all rock operas along with all the quirks in production and music that tends to follow with it. There were certainly compelling musical moments on this album but overall the production was too inconsistent and the vocals were too dubious to keep me from wanting to return to this. 7

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Sat Jun 26 2021
4

8/10. I can see why people think this inspired Tommy. Certainly the albums start similarly enough, but this one manages to be even more depressing, which is an achievement in itself. I'm never as much a fan of Rock Operas that can't tell their stories too well with lyrics alone, but that doesn't entirely apply here because I am pretty sure the story is more just a series of unfortunate events with no strong connective tissue.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Mooie rock! Misschien zelfs 5 sterren waard.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Enjoyed it. Not normally a fan of the ‘concept’ album per se but this works for me, I guess because the songs stand out in their own right. A Beatlesy vibe to it too which is fine by me

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Surprised I haven't heard of the band before, great album. Better than a lot of more popular rock/pysch rock from the 60s that's more famous imo

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Very enjoyable psych rock album! Had not heard of this before so it was a great discovery.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Have to keep forgetting that it sounds so much like a slightly more murderous Beatles.

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Tue May 25 2021
4

lots of beatles vibes but still stands on its own. classic late 60s psych vibes

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Very cool, similar to The Wall. Need another listen

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Fri May 21 2021
4

How have I never heard of them? Wonderful.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: She says good morning, Balloon burning, Baron Saturday,

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

To me, this is the definition of an album "you must hear before you die". This album was just fun... And, although I'm going to pre-empt the significant number of people who will mention the similarities and idea taken from The Beatles, once you delve into the history of the members the album takes on a life of its own. One of the more interesting links being the members' connections to The Rolling Stones for example. I just had heaps of fun listening to this album and managed a good 3 listens over the past 24 hours with each listen becoming more and more enjoyable. Added to my ever-growing high rotation playlist!

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

Nice rock opera. Reminds me of the late Beatles and even Pink Floyd sometimes. Will definitely listen to it again!

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Fri Aug 27 2021
4

Very Beatles-y, but not in a bad mimicking way. They tip strength in the psychedelic rock better than the fab 4, albeit not as catchy

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Sun Oct 24 2021
4

Sounds like The Beatles and Beach Boys Like the psyadelic stuff V.good

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

Amazingly, this is the first time I've listened to this album. It sounds like so many other late 60s albums - but I suspect this was the album that invented that sound.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
4

Muy interesante disco y aunque The Who lo niegue, muy interesante influencia a sus Rock Operas. También innegable que esta se queda corta en comparación a Tommy en cuanto a la calidad de la música. Me gustaron las voces y los temas extraños y hasta oscuros de las canciones; quizá lo que le falta es un tanto de variedad que haga mantener la atención a lo largo de todo el disco.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Awesome for the sound engineering. Will keep this handy for when I test drive a new car. If it sounds wrong, that car will be wrong

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

I had never heard this before. I did enjoy it. It sounds very Beatles-esque.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

I wasn't following the story too much, the only thing I got out of it was that "Girl died in a balloon, guy gets depressed", but I still enjoyed it a lot. It's very obviously inspired by the Beatles, but it's from 1968 so that's basically a given. Don't know if this is Spotify's fault, but some of the songs were a bit wonky quality with some fuzziness in the background. Favorite songs: S.F. Sorrow is Born, Balloon Burning, Baron Saturday, Loneliest Person

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

This is a pretty weird one and it seems all over the place - but in this case, that's a good thing. Usually I like my music a bit more coherent, but The Pretty Things seem to really have hit some sweet spots with this one. Just the right amount of psychedelic, just the right amount of folk, vocals just not weird enough to still be cool.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

There is a definite influence here of a number of things: Cream, Pink Floyd's first album, Sgt. Pepper. The band really wears all of them very heavily on their sleeve, but somehow makes them all their own. I liked the songs each individually, but was not convinced of the actual story until I read Wikipedia. I think the Who did a better job with rock operas and had a more cohesive story. Maybe because they did it on a double album as opposed to a single album? I don't know. The music itself has a lot of good stuff going for it, I think I had heard of these guys before (with a band member called Twink you would think I would have).v SO I really did enjoy it for what it was. There are only a few live performances of this, with narration to pull the whole story together. I may go hunt that down on youtube orr something to hear all of that and maybe I will be more convinced of the story. As it is, I'd give a 3.6 which rounds up to a 4.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
4

My co-judge said that it reminded her of the Beatles and I agree. It's interesting that the Producer of Rubber Soul and the first 3 Pink Floyd albums produced this, because the harmonies at times remind me of mid-sixties Beatles and the electronic soundscape tangents remind me of early PF. I didn't realize that this LP was (the first) Rock Opera until I had listened to most of it and even though Pete Townsend denies it's influence on Tommy, there are definite similarities, especially the way the LP closes out. I'm not usually a fan of psychedelic rock, and the first few songs which I listened to while multi-tasking confirmed this, but the sequence of 3 songs that started with Private Sorrow really caught my attention. They were definitely pushing the boundaries in 1968.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

J'avais envie pour cette critique de faire hurler mon rival de toujours et pire ennemi eltrapeze (celui-ci a accordé la note de deux sur cinq à cet album). Contrairement à ce qu'il dit dans sa critique, j'ai trouvé ce disque extrêmement plaisant, et, avec ce quatre sur cinq, le mets au même niveau que d'autres albums parmi lesquels on trouve Abbey Road. D'autre part, je voulais vous partager la mésaventure qu'il m'est arrivée hier soir. Comme vous le savez, je viole l'un des commandements de Robert lors de soirées karaoké hebdomadaires, mais à l'exception de ce moment précis, je continue de respecter son décalogue à la lettre. Ce qui m'amène à vous parler de la situation délicate d'hier soir. Alors que je jouais de la guitare en compagnie d'un père de famille très sympathique autour d'un barbecue, celui-ci joua soudain quelques accords puis me demanda : « Tu connais ça ? » La mélodie ne me disait rien. « Non c'est quoi ? » répondis-je. « C'est les Pink Floyds » dit-il alors fièrement. « ... de quel album ? » lui lançai-je alors l'air inquiet avant qu'il ne réponde ce que je redoutais le plus : « C'est dans Wish You Were Here. » Problème : cet album n'a pas encore été généré et je n'ai donc pas le droit de l'écouter. « Arrête de jouer... » dis-je d'abord gentiment. « Pourquoi ? » me demanda-t-il d'un air amusé. « Arrête de jouer ou je t'en colle une » finis-je par m'impatienter. Vous vous en doutez, la soirée se termina en bagarre générale dont je sortis vainqueur.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

It was pretty cool. Very atmospheric and some songs really hit like “Baron Saturday” but like overall eh. Might have to check it out again later

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Wed May 04 2022
4

Never heard of them before, pleasantly surprised

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Mon May 30 2022
4

I have no idea what this album will be like going in. Excited though, the album cover is very cool. S.F. Sorrow is a cool introduction song. The mix on it is fascinating to me, with respect to how the stereo effect works. Very peppy and fun. I love Bracelets Of Fingers, it's really cool from the get-go. The vocals are really selling this song for me, especially towards the end. She Says Good Morning is pretty standard, nothing too crazy in my opinion. I like it. The vocals are again really fun! Feels a bit proto-punk but I might be losing my mind. I LOVE the winds on Private Sorrow. The whole opening is stellar. Favorite song so far. Balloon Burning's less a favorite, I think the vocals are a bit less great on this one. I do enjoy the guitar work a lot though, especially around the middle and towards the end. I love Death - what a funky song. The opening and then the muted vocals really work wonders to set up a cool atmosphere. Whatever percussion element keeps beating intermittently wraps up everything in a nice bow. The drum fill on Baron Saturday is really neat. A very cool and interesting song instrumentally. Absolutely in love with it. The Journey's got a nice juicy bass part. I appreciate that. The vocals on I See You have such a really cool effect on them. I LOVE it. The other parts of the song aren't as cool as the vocals, but overall the song is fun. Well Of Destiny is weird in just the way I appreciate. Trust is pretty standard for this album as far as I can tell. It's good! But nothing that makes it stand out for me that much. Old Man Going's opening is very fun, and the vocals are really fun. I love how different the vocals sound on each song, and this is certainly a very obvious difference from some of the other songs. A much more acoustic song, Loneliest Person is a bit boring in my opinion, but it's also super short which works in it's favor. I like the instruments on Defecting Grey a LOT, especially with the backwards part. Very cool song, and absolutely SICK guitars once it really hits its groove. It's going to be hard to pick a favorite from this album! This reminds me a lot of the cover of Hotel California by The Moog Cookbook in how it keeps shifting. Mr. Evasion's intro is super fun. I don't have many thoughts about the rest of the song, but it's fun. Talkin' About The Good Times is cool. Not much to say about it. The closing song, Walking Through My Dreams, is really funky. I like the instrumentation on it a lot. It's a good wrap-up for this pseudo-rock-opera.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

No clue but rather modern looking cover art for the 60’s… On the first song S.F sorrow is born in a rather folk meets psychedelic way. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was influenced by the Beatles as sgt peppers would’ve been out by this time. Yeah bracelets on fingers definitely joining in with the other big things of the 60’s it starts off with group singing backed by sitar then has these verses that sound just like psychedelic era Beatles. I like she says good morning solid rocker with a great fuzzy little guitar solo half way that gives the song a bit more personality. Private sorrow is the first song that I actually think sounds like what it should be it’s a little psychedelic army jig actually surprised by how unique this one is. Balloon burning has a cool guitar riff and it’s certainly one of the funniest ( well instrumentally) but it just feels like trend hopping of the psychedelic sound of the time. Death ends side one it’s this gloomy little thing, I think without the sitar’s it would Actually sound better ( don’t get me wrong I love the sound of the sitar) but for the 60’s there’s too much of it. The verses of baron Saturday are like what being for the benefit of mr kite would be like without all the cool instrumentation then the chorus takes a u turn and it’s now this piano based rocker with an Indian drum solo. Cool! This album is just dipped in Indian psychedelic music and it does feel that way on The journey but at least the acoustic guitar is a nice touch. I see you is a great stomping rocker kinda sounds like it could’ve been lead single and the stereo bouncing in the ears is awesome son this one! ( maybe remove the bit at the end though). Well of destiny is a short slow interlude, great stereo sounds on the ears but nothing much else ( kinda scary). Trust feels just a bit off beat which I love, it’s also great that this album has a truly acoustic pop song with no sitars. Kinda what I wanted to hear. The penultimate track old man going builds up so amazingly the song is kinda proof of how metal came out of psychedelia like the verses they’re just so metal. The album ends with loneliest person and it’s a shortie alright, very folky too and the saddest lyrics on the album. It’s a good album very good indeed but I already have better, more popular albums that fill the role of these songs so for that it’s a low 4/5.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

I have never heard of this group or this, the first Rock Opera! A real surprise there… It’s hard to believe that The Who’s Tommy wasn’t influenced by this. But I don't think that takes anything away from Tommy any more than any other artist is influenced by the genre in which they work. As for the album itself, I liked it. The music great 60s stuff. I did listen to this a few times and followed along to the lyrics and started to enjoy this more. This seems like one of those really important records that this project has brought to my attention and I’m very glad for that. I'm a fan of rock operas and this is the daddy of ‘em all!

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

Reading the description and listening to the opening track, I had extremely high hopes for this album. I love a rock opera and the first song has all the right features: coherent introductory narrative, interesting instrumentation, singable tune. The rest was enjoyable but not quite up to the level promised at the beginning. There were moments I was reminded of The Beatles, The Who (obviously), Yes, Pink Floyd, and even The Beach Boys. Definitely worth listening on headphones for some nice stereo. Glad to know of it as a piece of rock history.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
4

Really cool album! Apparently one of the first ever rock operas, predating the Who's Tommy (and apparently the Who dispute that their album was influenced by this one). I'll give the title to these guys for being both first and better, the Who can suck a few eggs. Yeah, I'm still bitter about all the Who albums. Musically, this one was very cool. Lots of fantastic instrumentation and melodies, and the narrative opera piece is a nice bonus because, frankly, I have a hard time catching lyrics like that on a first listen so it'd have to come to me later. Still, plenty on here worth revisiting, I really dug it. Favorite tracks: SF Sorrow is Born, She Says Good Morning, Private Sorrow, I See You, Old Man Going. Album art: Really love this one. Never seen it before, but the art style is captivating. Would not have guessed in a million years that this was the '60s, I would've assumed (and kinda did assume) it was some punk band from the '80s. Love the little splashes of color amid the mostly black and white art. Just a really great, memorable cover. 4/5

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Pretty cool 60's rock, very interesting to hear an early concept album and also realize no one believes The Who denying it was an influence hahaha. 3 musically, 4.5/5 culturally

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

Blindsided by this. Groundbreaking. Years before other bands did anything remotely similar. Don't care immensely about the concept and singing perhaps not as musical as I'd like. (4 at least and will likely increase)

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

Pretty good album. The through line is not as definite, but it’s basically the first concept album so I can’t ask too much of it. Also the hard left right pan is a just a bit distracting

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

Really enjoyed this, very experimental sounding psych rock with in my mind clear beatles influence. Have to listen again now knowing it’s all one story.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

Another band I have never heard of. A quick look online shows them to be a 60s psychedelic rock band, compared to The Beatles if they were born in Kent and were less successful. Excited to have a listen! Favourite after listening: S.F. Sorrow Is Born, Loneliest Person Overall: 8/10 I’m finding that I enjoy 60s music a lot more than I initially thought. This album is a rock opera about the life of a man called S.F. Sorrow, but is much less bombastic than other rock operas that I am more familiar with (such as Bat Out Of Hell). It is quite a strange album at time, as would be expected from a band described as psychedelic, but is still very much enjoyable. When the album finished, I had it playing again from the top within 10 minutes. Would recommend for people who enjoy the stranger genres in music.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Great start, a little meandering in the middle, and ends strongly enough. A really nice surprise.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

That is so much better than Tommy! Some wonderfully offbeat moments by a band that also did some great Stones-like stuff earlier in their career.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Well damn. I got "Tommy" a couple of albums ago and was sort of disappointed in the quality but gave it an extra star for being "the first rock opera". Turns out this was out first and, in my opinion, it was better. Still not very good though, but I guess I can't rank it lower than "Tommy". 4.1 stars.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
4

Really interesting album

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

4,5 det var lowkey ret godt. Lidt en krydsning af noget Stooges/80’er rock/Beach Boys Titelnummeret var godt

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

3.5/5. I liked this album, nothing really stuck out to me though.

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Wed Oct 21 2020
3

- initially reminded me of The Beatles - later gave me Rolling Stones type vibes - overall very classic rock sounding - I didn't hate listening to this album, but I do not see myself reaching for it anytime soon - it just didn't speak to me

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Thu Jun 10 2021
3

At the time I’m sure this must’ve been compared to The Beatles but it holds up

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Thu May 27 2021
3

Pretty cool

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Wed Jan 20 2021
3

VERY 60's. Kinda Beatles like

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Sat May 01 2021
3

Interesting rock opera that apparently beat Tommy to the punch. Deserves a more extended listen on my part.

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Fri May 14 2021
3

This is very Beatles-esque, but they do it very well. I assume in the late 60s there were probably a bunch of bands with a similar sound. This is supposedly the first rock opera album, and that aspect of the album works really well, there's a nice progression throughout. I don't understand how I haven't heard this before, there are some great tunes here, and lots of unique and new sounds. I really enjoyed this.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

Most of it just sounds like a Beatles facsimile, but a couple of these rock pretty hard.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

Some of it was very good, just dragged on a bit

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Mon May 24 2021
3

First rock opera and it's fine. A little long, has it's moments but also quite a bit of filler making it just fine.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
3

Nice pleasant rock. 3.5

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Tue Feb 23 2021
3

decent psychadelic rock

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

Very psychedelic and 60s-esque. Clearly heavily influenced by Pet Sounds and the Beatles - but not quite as good! Reminds me of Tommy a little bit in that there is clearly a story, but the music all sort of blends together for me.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
3

It was ok.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

Meh

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Sat May 01 2021
3

Rock

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Sun Jun 13 2021
3

I too have listened to the Beatles

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

A good back up in case the Beatles don’t show

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Mon Jan 25 2021
3

De stereo mix is heel afleidend. Verder wel mooi rustige rock.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

Sounds good but that's not my cup of tea.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
3

Beatles-esque concept album. not my fav.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
3

Reminded me of The Beatles at times, pretty easy to listen to, though nothing that exciting or special. Some of the audio mixing at the beginning was distractingly bad, but it got better over time.

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Sat Jun 26 2021
3

There are a few tracks I liked esp at the beginning, but this somehow felt like it just dragged on even though it wasn’t that long , and as is standard for rock operas, the mixing is just awful. 6/10

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

Ihan ok brittirokkia. Wikipedian mukaan tämä oli pioneeri rock-oopperoiden alalla. Ei tullut kuitenkaan tarinaa kuunneltua sillä korvalla. Peruskolmonen riittänee tälle.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

60s.fine.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

It was alright but I wouldn’t seek them out. ***

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

Good vibe but also kinda feels like a knock off beetles

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Mon Mar 29 2021
3

Album estilo rock clásico/psicodélico de los '60. Interesante y agradable de escuchar, pero no es algo que haya enganchado en exceso.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

Not bad but is there anything remarkable?

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

deffo not my type of music. I'm three songs down and I know. However I can tell its good music. like although its not my type of music I can acknowledge its good music. so props to it!!!

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Mon Apr 05 2021
3

Rock opera. Great lyrics. Interesting to read how this album influenced future, more popular rock operas.

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Sat Jun 19 2021
3

This was a new band and new music for me. "S.F. Sorrow Is Born" was my favorite track, which I'd listen to again. I heard hints of the Beatles, the Kinks and Pink Floyd in a few of songs. "Old Man Going" reminded me of some of the psychodelic music I'm familiar with from the 60s. The album was okay.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

Defecting Grey is fucking hilarious. I See You is great. Trust is my favorite. Second half much better than the first. Outro of Talkin About the Good Times is nasty perfect. Excessive use of stereo hurts it, but those were the times.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
3

I'm not big on psychedelic music. It was ok.

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Tue May 18 2021
3

One song in, had to look to Wikipedia to learn more about this. It feels like it should be on a special list of, say, 100 weird albums that were hugely influential or otherwise served as turning points in music". Honestly, much of what I'm hearing feels like it was done elsewhere and I don't know whether the other stuff references this or the other way around. There's a quality of pastiche that is interesting. It feels like it's probably not a widely know album for good reasons, but it's still an interesting one to learn about. But, yeah, the more I listen.. it's good. Not one I'd necessarily turn to, but not one I'd turn off either.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
3

Los coros de Trust me hicieron acordar a algunas cosas de los Beatles. Estuvo bien 3/5

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Tue May 18 2021
3

Meh not bad but not good

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Sat May 08 2021
3

60's Psychedelia. These guys wish they were the Beatles, but they really aren't. Not actually awful, but I'm surprised this has made a top 1000 list.

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Is it reductive to compare every British rock group to the Beatles? Probably. But that is the chief sound I'm getting from the first two songs. Some take a significantly stronger slant towards psychedelic rock, not complaining. Good record to set a specific "vibe" - think it works well to listen in the background versus needing rapt attention from the audience.

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Sat May 22 2021
3

Pretty cool concept album. I definitely hear The Beatles and The Who in here. Apparently one of the first concept rock operas. "Tommy" emerged from this? "Baron Saturday" "Mr Evasion" "Private Sorrow" "S.F. Sorrow is Born" are standouts.

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Sat Jul 10 2021
3

Solid, trippy psychedelic sounds from the 60s. I will listen again. I liked it 3.5 stars

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

Rock setentista sem empolgar.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
3

Importanti

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Sun Aug 15 2021
3

Thought I was listening to lost Beatles songs! Great musical journey.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
3

Noice as

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Mon Aug 23 2021
3

Not my cup of tea.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

decent rock album, the fact it tells a story is noticeable even when you don't pay attention and overal its an alright gimmick

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Mon Sep 06 2021
3

Not a bad album. Felt like it had a lot of different elements from the 60s in this between the psychedelic/guitar riffs/trippy lyrics. Feel like this was a pretty underrated album. 7.4/10

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Mon Sep 13 2021
3

this album sounds like a deepfake trained on all the rock music from 1968. it sounds the part but is just meandering and halfhearted. get paid I guess

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Mon Sep 13 2021
3

As a whole, I found the album to be a pleasant listen but looking back, I can’t really recall any individual song.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

Psykedelisk 60’er rock, stemningsfyldt, svingende

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

godkendt psychrockalbum

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

Rimelig god psychedelic. Rock-opera. Vildt lyddesign!

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Fri Oct 01 2021
3

3.8 - Definitely defied my expectations - I was feeling a little burnt out on music from 1968. At 17 tracks, this album is long but doesn't drag. Most songs feel composed but there's enough slack to give a sense of spontaneity. This one's stronger as a unified piece than as a vehicle to deliver hits, which probably explains why it came to be wholly unfamiliar. Worth a second listen down the road.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
3

they honestly sounded a lot like the Beatles to me. i was excited for a ROCK opera but it really wasn’t and it didn’t tell a story. it was fine, just nothing incredible.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
3

okish 60s wurble.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
3

This album was average, nothing really stood out to me and I didn't like some of the songs at all.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
3

Odd. Very odd. Story / lyrics interesting (which does not mean good), music varies with the story. Concept albums have come a long way!

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Wed Nov 03 2021
3

Thank you, 1001 albums, for making me listening to another record that I had meant to get around to for ages, but never listened too. And it's 1967/8 at Abbey Rd Studios. Norman Smith (producer/engineer) really had a sound going at the time, and this is strongly reminiscent of contemporaneous albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd, also with strong involvement from Smith at Abbey Rd. Experimental for the time, but still tuneful and often surprisingly heavy (old Man Going). A lost treasure. Favourite track: Baron Saturday.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
3

11/14 Gray-toned psychedelic rock. Standout Tracks: S.F. Sorrow Is Born, Bracelets Of Fingers, Balloon Burning, Death, Loneliest Person

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Thu Nov 11 2021
3

Interesting piece of musical history - don't know if it's much more than that.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
3

Reading the entry for this, the book gives this album a lot of credit for being the first (or at least an early example of a) concept album. It may have been a huge inspiration on Tommy, but as far as standing on its own as an album... it's okay. It's fine.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
3

7/10

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

An interesting LP that starts out as Beatles-lite only to morph into more experimental and involved psych work on the back half.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
3

Cross between Beatles and animal collective. Would listen again, but I'm not sure on what occasion!

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Mon Nov 29 2021
3

Interesante. Cultura general

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Wed Dec 01 2021
3

3.5 | Ni idea de su existencia hasta ahora. De entrada por lo que veo su lugar en la lista no estaría en disputa; es la base para que cosas como Tommy, The Wall o Bat Out of Hell. Por otro lado a título personal me debato bastante entre sentir si el disco es brillante o demasiado repetitivo. Tiene un sonido atmosférico, con rock pop en capas y tintes psicodélicos que permea todo el disco, instrumentación buena y una estructura interesante; pero esos sonidos interesantes tiene a repetirlos demasiado al grado que pasan más allá de poder defenderlos como el "sonido" del disco o incluso un leitmotiv. Agradable de escuchar, a ratos engancha y a otros ratos medio marea. Quizá lo más interesante fue escuchar ciertas formas y estilos que realmente parecián pedacitos de canciones de Tommy. Me agrada haber conocido el disco, interesante pedazo de historia y vale la pena la escucha.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
3

Bendito álbum, lo subestime demasiado antes de escucharlo

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Fri Dec 17 2021
3

folksy psychedelic rock jam sessions

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Wed Jan 05 2022
3

Not bad

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Fri Jan 07 2022
3

Beetje een beatles geluid, maar wat experimenteler

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Fri Jan 14 2022
3

Some of it I liked and some of it I found grating.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

Led Zep light

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Thu Feb 03 2022
3

Ik had hier nog nooit van gehoord, maar dit vond ik erg leuk! Heel erg die 60's Beatles vibe, met nog een wat scherper randje. Ga ik nog eens vaker luisteren.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
3

Best leuk, vooral Beatles en beetje Stones. Maar niet zo sterk als beide bands

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Fri Feb 11 2022
3

I wasn’t in the mood for this album so don’t feel it got the best side of me. Can certainly hear it’s influence in other music.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

Good harmonies

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

Hats off to the first notable rock opera, which Tommy and The Wall both nod to whether they admit it or not. Bit of a downer but that's opera, doc.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
3

Interesting late 60s sound. You can hear the same context/period as eg. The Beatles's Sgt Pepper's...

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

I love a good concept album, especially a rock opera. Too bad I found this one boring and disjointed. I enjoyed the opening track so I thought the album had promise. But the transition between tracks didn't seem to provide a good rhythm. I sort of expected a building rise and fall or maybe a couple of sequences but it felt like the mood was constantly changing. Why not get rid of track 2 and go straight from track 1 to 3 (both upbeat)? Why have a somewhat upbeat track 4 (Private Sorrow) that cuts bleak at the end and then go back to a frantic track 5 (Balloon Burning), only to plummet again for track 6 (Death)? I know they're trying to follow a story but tracks 4-6 are all bleak so why not harmonize across them better? I actually liked Balloon Burning, it just felt misplaced. Track 7 (Baron Saturday) wasn't bad but again it took an abrupt turn from the mood of track 6. I wouldn't care so much if this wasn't a concept album but it is. No flow. I sort of stopped paying attention after track 8 but track 12 (Old Man Going) was pretty good. Still, it was a bit weirdly sandwiched between the tempos of track 11 (Trust) and 13 (Loneliest Person). I more enjoyed learning about the album and the story they tried to portray than the listening itself. Poor execution saved by ambitious intentions.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
3

The obvious comparisons here are Tommy and Sgt Peppers. I see that this album predates Tommy but was released just a year after Sgt Peppers, but nevertheless it’s a pretty impressive and an ambitious proto-rock opera. I’ve never heard this album before so it was a nice surprise. It doesn’t have the complexity of the Beatles but I think it could be a grower.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
3

I had an awareness of this band for two reasons. First, I heard the claim that the album gave Pete the rock opera idea that resulted in Tommy. That claim was rubbish. Pete had composed A Quick One, While He's Away, a mini rock opera that was released two years earlier and moreover  on Rael (the last song on The Who Sell Out released in 1967) one of the musical themes from Tommy appears around the 3 1/2 minute mark. Both these facts show that Pete was all over the idea of rock operas and specifically Tommy long before SF Sorrow came along. The second reason I was aware of The Pretty Boys was that Bowie covered a couple of their songs on his Pin Ups LP, which was an album that comprised covers of the songs that influenced him in the early days - I'm one of the few who had that one. SF Sorrow is OK. It's quite a change from their previous albums and I prefer their earlier stuff which, btw,  is the stuff Bowie covered. I doubt there will be another album by these brothers on the 1001 so I won't rate it below 3 given the influence the band's earlier music had on HIM. 

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Fri Mar 25 2022
3

Ok

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Wed Mar 30 2022
3

3-, various sounds and vibes, I don't feel tired even though album was pretty long, I enjoyed it and I will probably listen to it again

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Thu Apr 07 2022
3

Yllättävän hyvä uusi tuttavuus

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Fri Apr 15 2022
3

Hippie. Didn't know the band before.

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Thu May 05 2022
3

Groovy.

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Thu May 05 2022
3

Great album, never heard it before but I’ll revisit it.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
3

Ok

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Fri Jun 10 2022
3

At times this album crackles with surprisingly modern alternative-rock energy. Other times, it trips over itself entertaining the pretentious, drug-fueld excesses of so many '60s epics. Much of it is just typical British Invasion, though the Pretty Things' deep blues influence often conjures surprising notes of Black Sabbath. A true rock opera, bearing all the cliches that entails, it is a little too long to hold my rapt attention, but it is infrequently brilliant.

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Fri Jun 10 2022
3

I feel like I went from bluegrass to psychedelic space rock to alternative.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
3

Never heard of them before but the parallels between them and the Beatles are pretty clear. So far the Beatles are the better band, but I am enjoying this album so far. Overall decent music.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

Meh.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
3

bien pendant 10 minutes

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Wed Jul 06 2022
3

L'ego des types qui font un album d'une heure dans les années 60

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

Decent late 60s rock but besides the fact that this was probably one of the first concept albums, it's nothing remarkable

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

This sounds as if The Beatles and the Stones decided to make a new band and do drugs together. Very 60s, very British, but yet, strikingly unique. A little too much for my liking, the rapid changes and the “noises” are a bit hard to listen to. But they are clearly ahead of their time.

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Mon Jul 18 2022
3

Glad I listened but I couldn’t seem to get into this one as much as other rock operas such as Tommy, Arthur or Berlin. Not one I’d come back to.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
3

Seems pretty adventurous for when it came out

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Thu Jul 28 2022
3

Not bad

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Thu Jul 28 2022
3

When the album started, I thought it had some real promise. It wasn't bad, and it definitely had a 60s sound that was kind cool at times...but it didn't really keep my attention.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
3

I probably should have noted that the last four tracks I listened to were bonus tracks, and that it wasn't just my attention wandering that made me lose track of the story here. However, after listening to it twice, there were still lots of surprises when I read the storyline on Wikipedia. ("Oh, I thought HE died in the war and I was trying to figure out why we still had half the album to go!") Mind you, this was a far less ludicrous story for a rock opera than The Who's Tommy, but I think Tommy had much more engaging music. Sorry, The Pretty Things. Not that it wasn't interesting. I had a real dialogue with myself about it, too. "I like what they're doing here, and how the songs each have a different feel." But then time crawled slowly and my mind wandered and two more songs slipped by without making a mark in my consciousness. "Oh, but I really want to like this! They got such a crummy deal in 1968 and I want to make up for it! This oozes a real creative effort!" I fully support this album being on this list. It is good, but it's more about its rightful part in music history than because it's great.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

Restarted it at around 9 pm. Gonna listen to it after a couple sips. Heard it for a bit. Wasn't all that.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
3

Not bad sixties psychedelia - didn't mind it

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Fri Sep 02 2022
3

Ok. Better than expected 60s pop rock. Like the rock opera angle. 3.49

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Wed Sep 14 2022
3

i didnt really get the concept part of it but individual songs were good

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Would have loved to listen to this on vinyl while a stoned teenager

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Thu Sep 22 2022
3

Psych with a but of proto heavy metal thrown in.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
3

I think this album deserves kudos as the first example of a rock opera. I think it's a shame that there isn't at least one track that is an all out banger to ensure it had a wider audience.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

Thought I was listening to The Beatles or The Who in some parts. Quite enjoyed the rock opera story of it. Listening to the album on my earphones I wish the mono and stereo mix wasn't so jarring, that might have been an artistic choice but didn't work for me.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
3

3.5

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

like an off-brand beatles..

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Thu Oct 13 2022
3

Mix of Sgt. Peppers and Revolver but also Wes Anderson-approved

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Wed Oct 26 2022
3

Never heard of this band before. Surprised since they aren't terrible, but definitely aren't amazing. I agree with a lot of the other comments about the comparisons to the Beatles. I'd say this is an interesting historical curiosity that deserves a listen since it is considered the first rock opera, but beyond that better musicians did the concept better.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
3

Physchadelic - alright

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Wed Nov 09 2022
3

Good. Wanted to like it more than I did.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
3

Rock psicodélico sesentero. Ni fu ni fa.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
3

I liked it and I didn’t. Idk 3.5

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Tue Jan 26 2021
2

Big too hippy dippy that one.. didn’t quite have the melodies to cut through.

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