It’s often been said that, had it not been for fate and Art School, it may have been The Pretty Things, instead of the Rolling Stones, as the Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in The World. Originally known in 1962 as Little Boy Blue and The Blue Boys, the band consisting of guitarist Dick Taylor, fellow art school students Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. They fell in with Brian Jones and Ian Stewart who were forming a band dedicated to playing authentic American blues, which Jones dubbed “The Rollin’ Stones“.
Dick Taylor left a few months later, deciding to go back to Art School. Taylor was replaced by Bill Wyman, who played bass. But not long after, Taylor met up with another Art School student, Phil May, and The Pretty Things were born.
Both bands enjoyed the spotlight of The British Invasion of 1964, but it was The Rolling Stones who won out, at least with American audiences. The Pretty Things had hits in the U.S., but they were considered a little too raw for some tastes, and radio airplay wasn’t as consistent for The Pretties as it was for The Stones.
Tonight, it’s a session from their Psychedelic period. 1967 signaled a change of direction for the band. The hard-edged Blues-tinged Rock was giving way to mind-melting atmospheric soundscapes, with a new label (EMI) and new producer (Norman Smith of Pink Floyd fame), The Pretty Things came back with a vengeance, and recorded what is arguably some of the best examples of Psychedelia during the late 60’s and early 70s.
This session was recorded on November 27, 1967 for the BBC. I’m not sure what show it was for, but they feature their milestone Defecting Grey as part of the lineup. Sadly, it’s only two songs from this session, and it’s not known for sure if there were more. But, if nothing else managed to survive, the fact these two songs did, makes it more than worth even the 5+ minutes.
So crank it up and enjoy.
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