Exposé Online banner

The Pretty Things — Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky
(Madfish , 2015, 13CD+2DVD+10")

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-04-24

Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky Cover artFebruary 23, 2015 marked the release of the massive boxed set Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky documenting the complete Pretty Things collection. What we have here are eleven studio albums on CD in gatefold digi-sleeves including 42 bonus tracks; two bonus CDs with an additional 45 previously unreleased demos, alternate versions, live recordings, and outtakes; two DVDs with the documentary Midnight to Six 1965 – 1970 plus SF Sorrow Live at Abbey Road, The Pretty Things on Film, plus promo videos and interviews; a 10-inch vinyl replica with the demo “Defecting Grey,” studio version of “Turn My Head,” and two previously unreleased tracks; a lavishly illustrated 100-page hardback book; a family tree and testimonial posters; the infamous court case history; and some brand new art prints by Phil May. I cannot comment on the entire boxed set as the demo provided only included 15 tracks sampled from the various discs, all of which are unique to this release. What can I say about The Pretty Things that has not already been said over the decades? They were a ground-breaking band and quite possibly the finest British R&B group who influenced many bands who came after them. They were the first Brit band to be busted for drugs, they had the first banned single “Don’t Bring Me Down,” they were the first rock ’n’ roll prosecution of a loaded firearm, the first to record and release a five-minute single, the first band to record a rock opera, etc. though some of these achievements may not be so admirable today. Their studio albums have been available on CD, though hard to find. Now you have the opportunity to experience the sheer power of this band spanning the decades via The Pretty Things (1965), Get the Picture? (1965), Emotions (1967), S.F. Sorrow (1968), Parachute (1970), Freeway Madness (1970), Silk Torpedo (1974), Savage Eye (1976), Cross Talk (1980), Rage Before Beauty (1999), and Balboa Island (2007) all at once along with a ton of extra music. Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky is a fan’s dream release, though it will set you back a pretty penny. If you enjoy uncompromising garage-psych and R&B, this set could possibly be for you.

Filed under: Archives, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): The Pretty Things

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dream Theater - Awake – The second album by this part-prog, part-metal outfit with vocalist Jamie LaBrie follows in the footsteps of its predecessor Images and Words without changing much. LaBrie tries to sound more gruff...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues