Various Artists — Sorrow's Children - The Songs of S.F. Sorrow
(Fruits de Mer Crustacean 25, 2012, LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-04-01In 1968, The Pretty Things recorded and released the first rock opera, six months ahead of Tommy. The basic story is about a man driven into a dark mental seclusion where he suffers from eternal loneliness. This psychedelic opus was released about the same time as the White Album, Beggars Banquet, and the Village Green Preservation Society, but EMI did little to promote the album, so it languished into obscurity. Now Fruits de Mer, through their mission of releasing limited edition vinyl of psychedelic classics by contemporary bands, have recreated this 'lost' psych masterpiece, breathing new life into the songs by their usual suspects: The Luck of Eden Hall, Sky Picnic, Sidewalk Society, Hi-Fiction Science, Earthling Society, Jay Tausig, et. al. as well as The Pretty Things themselves closing the album with an exclusive 2010 live version of "The Loneliest Person." Produced in colored vinyl, Fruits de Mer have outdone themselves with a stunning full color gatefold sleeve designed by artist Frank Suchomel. The performances are great, ranging from the garage band sound of The Luck of Eden Hall, through the sitar laced music of Sky Picnic, to Earthling Society's guitar freak-out, capturing the ambiance of the late 60s while exerting their individual styles. Of particular note is The Loons' version of "The Loneliest Person." Both Phil May and Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things are pleased and flattered by the result. As all 700 copies have been sold, consider yourself lucky if you can track one down.
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
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
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
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano / Out of Noise – Some thirty-five years ago Japanese rock music was still an unknown subject, the only exception being percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta. Then came the Yellow Magic Orchestra, which marked the beginning... (2010) » Read more