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Philippe Debarge with The Pretty Things: Rock St. Trop

The Pretty Things were an English rock band which formed in 1963. In the early years the band played hard edged blues rock which later developed into more psychedelic forms in the late '60s and early '70s. The French playboy Philippe Debarge, a fan of the band, contacted the band in 1969 about doing an album. They met in St. Tropez and recorded an album's worth of songs that were never released at the time. The original acetate was eventually recovered (a Finnish fan had made the acetate available to the band) and in 2009 The Pretty Things/Phillipe Debarge was released on UT Records. The album has now been reissued with two extra tracks on Madfish Records via Snapper Music.

I'll just get this out now. This is some of the tastiest music I have heard this year. The hooks are huge and the vocal arrangements are stellar. The lead vocals of Debarge are excellent and the backing vocals from the band (four members contribute) are melodic and as tasty as it gets. Think Badfinger and The Beatles and you will get an idea. The acoustic rhythms and psychedelic lead guitar work is prevalent on every track which makes the album a product of its time and which I personally love. From the ultra-catchy acoustic rhythms of the album opening "Hello, How Do You Do" and the follow up track "You Might Even Say", an uplifting ray of sunshine, to more heavier rhythmic forays like the similarly catchy "Alexander" and the excellent psychedelic guitar licks infused in the catchy "You're Running You And Me", this album is a treat for the ears.

Rock St. Trop is the only document of the lineup featured here which from an historical perspective makes this an important release. That and the fact the band had created some delicious psychedelic rock and pop music make this album essential for any fan of the genre. Highly recommended.

The players are:
Philippe Debarge (lead vocals)
Phil May (backing vocals)
Wally Waller (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
Jon Povey (keyboards, drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Victor Unitt (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Twink (John Alder) (drums on tracks 2, 3, 4, 11)

Track Listing:
1. Hello, How Do You Do
2. You Might Even Say
3. Alexander
4. Send You With Loving
5. You're Running You And Me
6. Peace
7. Eagle's Son
8. Graves Of Grey
9. New Day
10. It'll Never Be Me
11. I'm Checking Out
12. All Gone Now
Bonus Tracks
13. Monsieur Rock (Ballad Of Philippe)
14. Lover
15. Silver Stars

Added: March 14th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 937
Language: english

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