The Pretty Things

Mixing hard rock with psychedelia, the Pretty Things – who took their name from a Bo Diddley song – wielded a strong influence over some of the biggest names of the era, including David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Dick Taylor briefly played guitar with an early incarnation of The Rolling Stones before meeting frontman Phil May when both were students at the London School of Art. They formed the Pretty Things in 1963 and achieved some success with the fierce blues flavour of their first three singles “Rosalyn”, “Don't Bring Me Down” and “Honey I Need”, gaining much attention for their rebellious image—May at one point claiming to have the longest hair in Britain. Taylor and May remained the band's focal points through numerous personnel changes leading up to the release of their most famous work, S.F.Sorrow, in 1968. Pre-dating The Who's Tommy, the album is now widely recognised as the first rock opera, a song cycle written by May telling the story – from birth to death – of Sebastian F. Sorrow. Despite its huge influence on the band's contemporaries, it wasn't commercially successful and a disillusioned Taylor left the band the following year, triggering another series of personnel changes as they started releasing material under the alias Electric Banana. They split when May decided to leave in 1976, re-forming briefly before splitting again in 1981 and then became embroiled in contractual battles when May and Taylor reunited and attempted to revive the Pretty Things brand. An enduring fascination with S.F.Sorrow kept them in the public eye, however, eventually resulting in May and Taylor going back on the road together as the Pretty Things through the 2000s. In 2013 – their 50th anniversary – they continued to tour, before announcing their disbandment once more in 2018. Nonetheless, the band regrouped thereafter to record a new album entitled Bare as Bone, Bright as Blood. Sadly, it only saw the light of day after May’s passing in May 2020, with the album arriving in September of the same year to critical acclaim.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring The Pretty Things

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.