A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 15, 2013

The Pretty Things - Loneliest Person (1968)

Taking their name from the 1955 Bo Diddley song, “Pretty Thing,” this band formed in 1963 when Dick Taylor met Phil May at the London Central School of Art, as previously mentioned on this site. With Taylor playing lead guitar and May on lead vocals, the duo sought to fill up the missing positions. They chose Brian Pendleton as their rhythm guitarist, John Stax as their bassist, and Viv Prince on the drums. Prince was actually the group’s third drummer, having replaced Viv Andrews (who had replaced Pete Kitley), and thus solidifying the “golden age” lineup of the band. Many of the slots in the band were vacated more than once over the coming years; Prince left in November ’65, Pendleton left in December ’66, and Stax left in January ’67. As it was (and as it still is), Dick Taylor and Phil May have been the only consistent members of the band since their incarnation. In 2012, the group returned to New Zealand for the first time since 1965, having been banned for lighting a bag of crayfish on fire during the middle of a domestic flight. In 2013, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with a tour around the UK and Europe. The band has never broken up and continues to perform with its two most recognizable members up to this very day.

As with the previously featured song, “Private Sorrow,” this song appears on the band’s most critically acclaimed album, S.F. Sorrow. It’s the album’s closing song, akin to a novel’s epilogue, and was written by Dick Taylor, Phil May, Wally “Waller” Allen (the band’s newest bassist), and John “Twink” Alder. Twink, who had previously been in the band Tomorrow, had come in to help the band finish recording the album after their then-current drummer, Skip Alan, spontaneously quit the band amidst a torrid, hectic, and romantic relationship. Noted as the first ever rock opera (even predating The Who’s Tommy), the album primarily unfolded its story through the narrative paragraphs that appeared in the liner notes between each track listing. Sometimes in concert, the man who sang “Fire,” Arthur Brown, would appear on stage and read the liner notes to the audience at the appropriate times between the band playing songs.

album art

The Pretty Things - Loneliest Person (1968)

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Lyrics:

You might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me
Yes you might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me

Oh, the sky, it seems dark
As I'm walking through a park
But the face, it is too bright to see
Oh, the sun might rise high
On an orange kind of sky
But the day, it seems too dark for me

Yes, you might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me
Yes, you might be the loneliest person in the world
Your name, it would have to be me

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