Pretty Things / ELECTRIC BANANA - Blows Your Mind (Tenth Planet TP 031) UK 1997 mono LP (recorded 1967-1968)
vinyl: NM (mint-) | cover: NM (mint-)
It's not just that the mysterious Electric Banana is in fact a disguised Pretty Things hiding under another name -- they were anonymously recording music for London films, such as 1969's What's Good for the Goose, which they also appear in -- but it's them at their best! These 15 tracks from the original mini-LPs find singer Phil May, guitarist Dick Taylor, and co. during 1967-1968, at precisely the time they were also working on their masterpiece S.F. Sorrow at Abbey Road with Beatles engineer Norman Smith. So the superb news is that the sound and style is exactly like a side three and four of that sizzling rock opera! In fact, a different version of that LP's "I See You" appears here, and on the other selections, the riffs, dirty but clear production, and standout harmonies are all in exactly the same quantity and quality. That many of the tracks can match S.F. Sorrow's biggest achievements is nothing short of shocking -- the dazzling "Street Girl" and "Eagle's Son" are even nearly as swanky and mesmerizing as "Baron Saturday" or the epic "Bracelet of Fingers." Can it really be possible? Blows Your Mind is a relic of the British psychedelic era, fairly on par with that decade's most ambitious, breathtaking achievements by the Kinks, Beatles, Zombies, Hollies, Pink Floyd, Move, Stones, Yardbirds, and Who. No kidding, this instantly becomes the Pretty Things' second best LP, besting S.F. Sorrow's "proper" follow-up, Parachute. It's also stronger, more daring, and more complete than the band's patchy if delightfully feral early rave-up LPs, The Pretty Things and Get the Picture?, as well as the unfinished-sounding transition LP, Emotions. Hot stuff for sure, from English psychedelic pop/rock giants!