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The Pretty Things - Savage Eye CD (album) cover

SAVAGE EYE

The Pretty Things

 

Proto-Prog

3.58 | 15 ratings

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SeventhBridgeofSighs
4 stars This is only my Third review here for Progarchives... and a real First for this album.

First of all... i want to make it clear from the start... this is a ROCK N ROLL/POP ROCK record... ... so for the progheads who cannot look & hear outside that genre (without nervous tics) ...they surely will be frustrated... but for those who had nothing against other sort of rock music... if it's well done... for those who can appreciate mid 70s Elton John, mid 70s Swan Song label kind of stuff or mid 70s Rolling Stones etc... etc... this Pretty Things album will surely satisfy their curiosity...

Led Zepellin & Peter Grant were friends of many Pretty Things band members , and when Led Zepellin & Grant decided to form a new label around late 1973 ...they called it SWAN SONG... their 2 first signed bands were first Bad Company then The Pretty Things...

As 2nd album released for Swang Song ...at the end of 1974 The Pretty Things released the dirty & glamourous "Silk the Torpedo" released even before the monstrous "Physical Graffiti"... unfortunately without much commercial success... one year later it was time for "SAVAGE EYE"...

1A) "Under the Volcano" ...it's a black & red starter... Phil May's sing about his childhood memories... and how rock n roll started to take shape in his teenage lifespan... there's a fine chuckberryan solo at the middle with a monolotical rythmn (guitar) section a la Zepellin... but the best is really the end of the song with one of the best guitar solo of the record...it's a true wall of sound and that is pure rock n roll with many guitars playin' together ...it's a big kick in the ass for a starter...and naturally those 6 minutes are some of the best on the whole album.

2A) "My song" is a Phil May song, already the peak is reached after this 2nd song... it was my fave song on the lp for years ... and this is not as heavy as the previous song...it's really epic mid 70s pop rock...and surely it ain't no prog but personally i just don't care of the tags as long as quality is involved... The lyrics are kinda lightweight but at the same time it's perfect for the music...the music is majestic and really epic ...specially in the end... Skip Alan the drummer has made one of the best performance of his carreer on this one...waoowww

3A) "Sad Eye" is another rather quiet song and it is an heartbreaker , is is a Peter Tolson song... it's one of those good vintage melancholic song ( maybe as good as Rush "Tears" or Bee Gees "Don't wanna live inside myself"). There's a calm acoustic guitar and basic but brilliant (backing) vocals ...this guitar sound is like a sweet rain under a british late september sky...

It's one of the best song on the album but strangely i don't listen to this one as much as some others in the lp...

The band was probably influenced by this song to choose the tittle of the album

4A) Heavier guitars are back for this "Remember that Boy"... the refrein is kinda pure rock n roll a la rolling stones circa 1974... the guitars are excellent here and the backing vocals too (is it girls or boys?... still not sure) ... i'm not that excited of the refreins but it's surely good enough... the rest is even better...and the end again rocks with those soulful backing vocals ...and killer guitars...

Side A is impressive ...a classic in my opinion it deserve a 9/10

Unfotunately Side B won't be as good...

1B) "It isn't rock'n roll"... is kinda old school... ...in a cabaret style... then full rock push the doors... personally not really a favourite ...because of the too classic rock n roll refrein... but at least the band seems motivated ... it's like if Elton John, Queen, the Pretty Things and Billy Joel goes wild together in a 1975 saturday night performance with 30 people watchin' them in a saloon...with at the end... chairs flyin' in the air...in the middle of so sober fights... rather funny...

2B) "I'm Keepin' " is pure rock... A song that i have appreciated directly at first listen but who don't offer much more than that after many listenings...still Phil May again finally stole the show... good backing vocals again too... + they offer a good outro to the song... i love their excellent outros !

3B) "It's Been So Long" is the laid-back song ... relax take a drink at the balconny... burn a cigarette in slow motion... while watching the city lights... This song nearly reminds me some early recordings of english late 70s-early80s band Charlie... The Pretty Things goes really soulful here... it can even please some Dr John fans... still a decent song with a pleasant atmosphere but surely not so memorable...

4B) "Drowned Man" is the only song that i don't like at all in this album...not all the instruments and ideas are bad in this song...but ultimately it just does not stick together...still sometimes this song is rather strange... it could be a Procol Harum c-side of that time !

5B) "Theme for Michelle" ...this is a rather short ...it's John Povey leading this piano instrumental song...simple and pleasant again but not much more...at least it close the album more decently ...

B Side 6.5/10

So I give 8/10 - 4 stars to the whole album... it's frustrating that Phil May just leaved the band just after this recording...too much dope was one of the main reasons...

It was the 2nd record i bought of the Pretty Things some 12 years ago when i was just 20 ...just after the so-completely different SF Sorrow... but this is another story... an already well known story...

(a bit sorry for this overlong review :)

SeventhBridgeofSighs | 4/5 |

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