S. F. Sorrow

Artist: Pretty Things
Label: EMI Columbia
Catalog#: SCX 6306
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-12
A1 S. F. Sorrow Is Born 3:07
A2 Bracelets 3:38
A3 She Says Good Morning 3:17
A4 Private Sorrow 3:50
A5 Balloon Burning 3:45
A6 Death 3:05
B1 Baron Saturday 3:56
B2 The Journey 2:49
B3 I See You 4:10
B4 Well Of Destiny 2:12
B5 Trust 2:44
B6 Old Man Going 3:05
B7 Loneliest Person 1:32

Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Wind, Piano - Wally Waller
Drums, Vocals - Twink
Engineer - Peter Mew
Lead Guitar, Vocals - Dick Taylor
Organ, Sitar, Percussion, Vocals - John Povey
Producer - Norman Smith
Vocals - Phil May
Written-By - Dick Taylor
Written-By - John Charles Alder
Written-By - John Povey
Written-By - Norman Smith
Written-By - Phil May
Written-By - Wally Waller


Released on a black/blue Columbia label in a fold-out cover with the lyrics inside. Laminated flip-back cover made by Ernest J. Day & Co. Ltd. London.
Also released in mono (# SX 6366).
US release on Rare Earth (RS 506) in 1969. Die-cut cover.
Mono version was released on CD in 1998, Snapper Music SMMCD 565.

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
An original member of the proto-Rolling Stones, bassist Dick Taylor hooked up with singer guitarist Phil May at London Central School of Art in 1963 to form The Pretty Things. Moving to London, their R&B-influenced rock was an instant success. In June 1964, "Rosalyn" b/w "Big Boss Man" scored the group the first of many hits in the UK, while their self-titled debut album, released in early 1965, would rise to No. 6. A few years of crazy antics and drummer Viv Prince behind them, Jon Povey and Alan "Wally" Waller (both previously in The Fenmen) joined the band in 1967 for the lavishly produced (but disappointing) Emotions. A couple of singles, including the excellent "Talkin' About The Good Times" b/w "Walking Through My Dreams" signaled the band's newfound affection for psychedelia beginning in early 1968. Drummer Skip Alan (born Alan Skipper) then went on extended holiday, with Twink from Tomorrow lending a hand on the ensuing album. The Pretties recorded S.F. Sorrow at EMI Studios with Norman Smith at the controls, around the same time that The Beatles were recording The White Album and Pink Floyd were filling A Saucerful Of Secrets. Originally a short story penned by May, the album's place in history stands as the first rock opera or, more precisely, an album that told a (rather oblique) story. Musically, it's a veritable psychedelic soundtrack, with The Beatles influence ("Private Sorrow" and "Trust") ever-present. The Pretties manage to create one of the most consistent and cohesive albums of the era by avoiding the clichés: no songs about bikes, no children's rhymes or silly effects; just a poignant, even dark exposé on the human condition. The well-written songs are sewn together with one of EMI Studios' finest productions. "Baron Saturday" approaches the epic, while the riff from "Balloon Burning" is timeless rock. Yet, like Tomorrow's debut record, the album suffered a belated release under the hand of EMI. Thus, though the album was a critical success, it was a commercial flop, failing to even secure a US release until the following year. However, Pete Townshend did take notice; The Who's Tommy would eclipse S.F. Sorrow as "the" rock opera that most would remember. Sadly, Sorrow remains a largely overlooked gem of the era.
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