Friday, August 30, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Silk Torpedo" (1974)

"Silk Torpedo" - Pretty Things (1974)

This isn't "Parachute" or their rock-opera, "S.F. Sorrow."   And admittedly, I was a little disappointed.  But let's be honest, I wasn't expecting Pretty Things to touch either of those two gems.  What the album does touch, intentionally or not, is that blurry area of AOR.  And maybe trying for an FM hit.

The AMG only gave it 2 stars and that may be undercutting the album a little bit.  But not by much.  There are no ducks on this record, by any means, but nothing really stands out either.  The first time I played it, I couldn't remember a single thing I listened to.  Later though, I gave the record a second spin with a more active ear, and enjoyed it much better.

The opening two tracks..."Dream/Joey"...slide together into a 6+ minute song that really gets better with each listen.  "Belfast Cowboy" sounds like Tommy Bolin vocally and is a lost gem buried on side two.  And there's an early emo song..."Is It Only Love"...which is quite good.  And foretells of the plethora of harder bands incorporating a soft "heart-on-sleeve" song into their repertoire.

This was Pretty Things 7th album and first on Led Zeppelin's label...Swan Song.  I picked up a box of vintage Rolling Stone newspapers several years ago and remember seeing full-page and half-page ads for "Silk Torpedo" running through several issues. Knowing now the label they were on explains the heavy adverts.  I was always fascinated with the cover and finally found a beautiful copy in a $3 bargain box.  And I'm probably going to hang on to it.

"Silk Torpedo" (back)

"Silk Torpedo" (inside gatefold)

"Silk Torpedo" (original record sleeve w/lyrics)

Swan Song label

"Belfast Cowboys" - Pretty Things / "Silk Torpedo" (1974)

A1  "Dream" 1:08
A2  "Joey" 5:35
A3  "Maybe You Tried" 4:19
A4  "Atlanta" 2:42
A5  "L.A.N.T.A." 2:23
A6  "Is It Only Love" 4:04
B1  "Come Home Momma" 3:39
B2  "Bridge of God" 4:53
B3  "Singapore Silk Torpedo" 3:54
B4  "Belfast Cowboys" 4:53
B5  "Bruise in the Sky" 2:02

Phil May  -  vocals, percussion
Pete Tolson  -  guitars, bass
Jon Povey  -  keyboards, b-vocals, harmonica, percussion
Gordon John Edwards  -  bass, b-vocals, keyboards, guitar
Skip Alan  -  drums, b-vocals, percussion
Jack Green  -  b-vocals
Silver Band  -  brass ("Is It Only Love")

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers


ckibelf said...

Good assessment of Silk Torpedo. I learned about your blog from Ron "Hogs Ear Report" on Youtube.

Casey said...

Oh, that's great! There are a lot of great VC channels out there and Ron's definitely one
of'em. Thanks so much for dropping by! was all about that "Silk Torpedo" album cover, ya know?! Don't be a stranger. ~peace