Monday, December 6, 2021

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Pretty Things "Don't Bring Me Down"


THE PRETTY THINGS-Don't Bring Me Down/We'll Be Together US Fontana S-1941 1964

Britain's r&b miscreant quintet The Pretty Things released their second single, "Don't Bring Me Down" back in the U.K. as Fontana TF 503 in October 1964 with it simultaneously being issued here on Fontana as well. In Britain the band scored their highest chart rating with it where it rose to #10, sadly they had no such luck in the United States.

"Don't Bring Me Down" was written by the band's acquaintance Johnnie Dee (he would also write "Get Yourself Home", released by fellow r&b ravers The Fairies, and recorded by the Pretties but not issued until the 90's) and was later featured on David Bowie's LP tribute to the 60's "Pin Ups" (alongside the Prettie's previous single "Rosalyn").  It's tap-tap-tap rhythm is infectious from the get go and the music has a call and response about it, sprinkled with the miniature rave up's with lead guitarist Dick Taylor's pyrotechnic licks. It's famed for the risque line "I met this chick the other day...and then I laid her down, my head is spinning round" which apparently raised some hackles back home at the time.

Viv Prince serves up some cappuccino's for his band mates. 

The flip side, "We'll Be Together" was penned by vocalist Phil May, guitarist Dick Taylor and bassist John Stax (the first time a band original graced vinyl). It's a bluesy down tempo number showcasing Taylor's licks and May's harp blowing, not unlike an early Rolling Stones original on their debut long player. Not one of my favorite Prettie's tunes but not remotely unlistenable either.

Both sides have been issued on a host of Prettie's compilations, the most recent being the comprehensive Prettie's 2017 CD collection  "Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky" and the 2011 double CD deluxe edition of the first two long players with bonus cuts. 

Hear "Don't Bring Bring Me Down":

Hear "We'll Be Together":

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