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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My name is W.T. and I am an S.F.SORROW Addict
Well, how to explain my addiction to you, dear reader. First, i love 60s psychedelic music, tho I'm not from that era. Second, I like to dig deep, into the obscure bands. I had heard of THE PRETTY THINGS for a long time, before i finally started to explore them, first with their EMOTIONS album. (Not a good place to start.) Then, I bought the SF SORROW CD. I got it, played...
Published on April 7, 2006 by W. T. Hoffman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars No inner sleeve is bad!
This is a decent sounding repress but to have no inner sleeve is a terrible idea. I'd recommend the Sundazed repress as a better alternative unless you just have to have the die cut cover.
Published 3 months ago by Enthusiast


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My name is W.T. and I am an S.F.SORROW Addict, April 7, 2006
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
Well, how to explain my addiction to you, dear reader. First, i love 60s psychedelic music, tho I'm not from that era. Second, I like to dig deep, into the obscure bands. I had heard of THE PRETTY THINGS for a long time, before i finally started to explore them, first with their EMOTIONS album. (Not a good place to start.) Then, I bought the SF SORROW CD. I got it, played it, and wasnt sure i liked it. I wasnt in the "RIGHT FRAME OF MIND". Actually, this is an album that DEMANDS more attention from listeners, and also from the critics, than it receives. IT was the influence for TOMMY, according to Pete. Personally, i find all kinds of obvious reference points, between this album, and TOMMY. Both are named after the one character, both operas are Epic, and start at birth, end at death. Both rely on a mysterious evil person (BARON SATURDAY, verses ACID QUEEN) to screw up the protagonists' head. In any event, i would have loved to have heard what might have happened if this story had been stretch out over two LPs. But, for what this is, the one LP is enough. As you listen to this CD a few times, some songs just STICK inside you. BALLOON BURNING is a great one for that, espeically the psychedelic freak out guitar playing, when the Hindenberg is burning. There are some songs, after S.F.SORROW has his run in with BARON SATURDAY, who seems to have blown his mind with drugs, and forcing him into the WELL OF DESTINY. At the opera's end, with S.F.SORROW having lost the love of his life, and with his mind confused, he becomes a total hermit. In his old age, the song that just wraps this concept peice together, is the breathtakingly beautiful song TRUST. Check out these lyrics "AND THERES NO SORROW LEFT IN THE WORLD THATS LEFT TO TRUST". Apparently, after his birth, service in World War ONE, and the tragic death of his young fiancee, the mind trips of BARON SATURDAY, and so on, SF SORROW has desided to become the LONELIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD. After the heavy production values of the opera, to end it with the isolation of a MAN and his GUITAR, singing of total isolation, works musically and theatrically. I can completely picture this OPERA on Stage. In fact, the Boston Rock Opera Company has preformed it on stage.

The CD comes with two SINGLES worth of great psychedelic music, and a wonderful booklet with all the lyrics, the connecting storyline, and a long essay about the backstory to the writing of the peice, and the history of the Band. After all, this CD was recorded at ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, with the same people, and the same know-how, at the same time ABBEY ROAD STUDIO was recording PIPERS AT THE GATES OF DAWN, and MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. Let me say this: if you enjoy the Pink Floyd/Beatles type of "psychedelic sound", then you'll like the way the production is handled on SF SORROW. My only critism, is that the CD is MONO. Apparently, you can get the STEREO version, if you buy the 2CD set, with the CONTEMPORARY COMPLETE PREFORMANCE of the entire Opera, along with the narration voiced in. I read that the stereo version is plagued with sloppy stereo seperation. I have not found listening to this in MONO to diminish my appreciation of the work. In fact, as far as "DATED" psychedelic sounds, at least this album in MONO doesnt have the sound swirling between speakers, or any of those placement tricks, that DO sound dated, with todays audience. So, the effect of the heavy psychedelic sections, are more that of OVERLOAD, like the Velvet Underground with WHITE LITE, which doesnt rely on stereo games, for most of the songs. Rather than sitars, wah-wah guitar solos bouncing back and forth between the speakers, etc, you have the essence of the MUSIC, sparking the colors.

So, What does this sound like? Dont go by the earlier PRETTY THINGS sound, cos for one thing, they had changed a few major members of the group, before this LP. EMOTIONS, altho attempting psychedelia, was overdubbed against the bands wishes with tons of strings. And, the early R&B sound, isnt present on this album at all. Maybe because it DOESNT Sound just like anyone else, is why I am able to listen to this album over and over, and get so into it. THE PRETTY THINGS were never major movers and shakers in the UK psychedelic sound, but for some people, this ALBUM is up there with SGT PEPPER and PIPER AT THE GATE OF DAWN. So, I recommend just buying it. This opera might take a couple of times to get under your skin. I do think that there is enough here, to make it a worthwild investigation for anyone into the psychedelic sound, or perhaps the growth and developement of the Concept album- Rock opera.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT PSYCHEDELIA, May 18, 2003
By 
MurrayTheCat (upstate New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: S.F. Sorrow (Audio CD)
S.F. SORROW seems to elicit extreme responses--many either love it or love to bash it. I'm in the former category; in fact, I think it's the group's masterpiece and one of the many masterpieces from the psychedelic era. After the two 1965 albums (albums that were a bit ahead of their time, I might add), Pretty Things released EMOTIONS (1967) in the UK and started working on S.F. SORROW the same year. It's an enthralling work--yes, brilliant...there isn't a weak song to be found. The whole is cohesive, and it's filled with bracing variety.
Pretty Things keep the chord progressions fairly simple and straightforward, which works well with the group's hard-edged sound. The thoughtful and infectious melodies and harmonies, the highly tasteful and original rhythms, the band's mix of drive and finesse...all this works together most convincingly to thoroughly knock me out. Even the endings are imaginative! Horns and strings are used to give a classy psychedelic disposition to "S.F. Sorrow Is Born." An interesting, even bizarre mix of instruments embellishes "Bracelets Of Fingers." The middle instrumental breaks of that tune and "She Says Good Morning" pour on the cosmic splendor. "Private Sorrow" is a favorite of mine, with its quirky little breaks and hypnotic march rhythms. Each song is individualistic and has its own uniquely special qualities.
The Beatles and Pink Floyd influences are present, but are assimilated into the group's own sound and style. Nothing here sounds pilfered, not even the very Beatles-like "Baron Saturday." (The bending strings on the chorus are just an ecstatic gas, and that fake-out ending gets me grinning from ear to ear every time!)
I see no need at all to compare this album with anything done by The Who. I love The Who, and I love Pretty Things. They are two different bands with two different sounds.
As far as this being the first rock opera goes, I'm still not convinced that a true rock opera exists. (Grab a copy of Willi Apel's HARVARD DICTIONARY OF MUSIC, read the seven and a half pages for opera, then read the two pages on oratorio and make up your own mind.) I think it's really stretching it to call this and TOMMY opera--too much is simply narration, for one thing.
The first rock concept album? I think the first rock concept album was by Elvis. In general, both Christmas and Gospel easily qualify as concepts, and the Elvis albums predate S.F. SORROW by several years.
Because of various circumstances, this product of 1967 was not released until late in 1968 (when psychedelia was very much on the decline). That's no matter; anyone who loves the psychedelic 60s should thrill to this. My advice is to forget all the hype on what this album was supposed to be, and just enjoy it for what it still is--a great album.
Cheers,
Murray
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic Msasterpeice, February 26, 2002
By 
daj "daj" (east coast Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
One of the great classics of the era,though unfortunatly not as well known as some other of their contemperaries,this is a definate must hear to any fan of early Pink Floyd or similar bands,as one reviewer stated above this is so completly different to their earlier R & B matriel it's almost sounds like a completly different band (eaqually great though!)
As for the sound this is the version to get,the stereo remaster is far better than either the mono remaster or the original Edsel issue,the sound jumps out at you and swirls around and is so much more revealing than earlier issues of this that it ads a whole new psychedelic level to this gem
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Treasure, April 11, 2005
By 
Charles Agee "tsalichooch" (Tahlequah, Oklahoma United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
Even though I am a greying old child o' the sixties, I was unaware of S.F. SORROW until I heard the title track on a disc released by UNCUT magazine entitled THE ROOTS OF TOMMY. I loved "S.F. Sorrow Is Born;" a beautifully melancholy song. After much internal debate, I decided to order the disc from amazon, admittedly with fingers crossed because a) another reviewer complained that it was in mono and I KNEW I wished to hear it in stereo, and b) what if it was wretched? Well, a) the disc I received IS in stereo and b) the disc is decidedly NOT wretched; it's quite good. I will admit I am still evaluating S.F. SORROW (not every track is an absolute gem) but it is a fascinating creation and certainly undeserving the snubbing it received "way back in '67."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Treatment It Deserves, October 14, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
Snapper Music released the mono version of this album quite a while before issuing the stereo mix. that could almost be called dirty business practice, for once you've heard the whole new psychedelic dimension this version offers, you won't want to go back to the mono: There's that much more to hear and revel in. It's difficult to hear this without thinking of Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, not surprising given producer Norman Smith's work on both. This really is one of the best cds I've purchased in a long time, and I highly encourage those of you who've either already bought the mono version, or are considering buying it because of its lower list price, to go the extramile and buy this one: You won't be sorry. Note: All four bonus tracks are in mono: Apparently no stereo mixes of those tracks can be found--or created. Really, the only advantage the all-mono edition has over this one is that it contains the full-length 4:30 version of "Defecting Grey," whereas this edition contains the original single. That's a small price to pay, however, in exchange for the fun you'll have putting on your stereo headphones and listening to one of the all-time innovative psychedelic masterworks the way it really deserves to be heard. Buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Treasures of the Sixties, January 6, 2006
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
S.F. Sorrow is one of the hidden treasures of the 60s. I first heard the album in 1979 at a friend's house. I already owned their "Silk Torpedo" album from 1974. At the time I liked it even though psychedelic albums sounded dated. I came to appreciate more over time. Listening to the opening track "S.F. Sorrow Is Born" first reminded me of Stephen Stills with the acoustic guitar and then the Moody Blues with the mellotron. The horn overdubs gave it a different sound. One should contrast this version with the "BBC Sessions" version which uses a Hammond organ instead of a mellotron and no horns. Next comes "Bracelets" a song about masturbation which anticipates groups like Queen. "She Says Good Morning" is about falling in love. "Private Sorrow" about going to war with an interlude that segues into "Balloon Burning". This latter song alludes to the Hindenburg disaster and features an excellent guitar solo by Dick Taylor. Next comes "Death", a bluesy dirge that has keyboardist John Povey playing sitar (owned by George Harrison). "Baron Saturday" follows and features Dick Taylor on vocals and a drum solo followed by flutes, etc. This is followed by the medley of "The Journey" which starts out with acoustic guitars and ends with electric acid rock rave up that segues into "I See You" a melancholy song in the vein of Cream's "White Room" and finally into the noise effects of "Well of Destiny". All is calm with the instrospective "Trust" a song about seeking new values and then the violent "Old Man Going" which features acoustic and electric guitar interplay (compare this to the Who's "Pinball Wizzard") and finally "The Loneliest Person". The Snapper reissue has four bonus tracks which are excellent psychedelic pop songs from 1967-1968. I would have added some other bonus tracks from the BBC Sessions "Turn Your Head" and "SF Sorrow Is Born". Supposedly, "Defecting Grey" was originally recorded as a 12 minute demo. That may be nice too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the Stereo Version, July 2, 2002
By 
Amazon.com Customer (Huntsville, Alabama United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
The Pretty Things never sounded this good or experimental. Even though "Parachute" was written up in Rolling Stone Magazine as "Album of the Year", this is more interesting. If you are a fan of British 60's psychedelic period, this is the CD you'll want. Think of Syd Barrett's version of Pink Floyd, Tomorrow, the Beatle's John Lennon and George Harrison songs on "Revolver" through "Magical Mystery Tour" or the Rolling Stones "Dandelion" or "Their Satanic Majesties Request", and you'll get the idea. The mono version is good, but this version is better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, December 3, 2003
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
It's a shame the Pretty Things' "SF Sorrow" never had the commercial impact of its Abbey Road contemporaries', "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "Sgt. Peper" (Pink Floyd and the Beatles respectively). Though sales were modest, the album spawned an interest in conceptual music and greatly influenced bands like The Who, CA Quintet and yes, Pink Floyd. And when you listen to the music, you can see why.
"SF Sorrow" examines the life of Sabastian F. Sorrow. A young man who's seen war, loss and deceit and ultimately withdraws himself from society.
It isn't your typical organ and fuzzed out guitar psych album. Most of the acid trip relies on the masterful production (very close to what you would hear on Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here") and an appealing mixture of British folk and eastern music (of course, with a 60s twist). Still, it's not pretentious and boring like most concept albums. The Pretties never cease to serve up some tasty hooks to keep you groovin!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Things - 'S.F.Sorrow' (Snapper Music), April 21, 2004
This review is from: Sf Sorrow (Audio CD)
Yet another CD I wound up with as I was recently going through my stack.Forgotten just as to how GOOD 'S.F.Sorrow' really is.Some say it's the first ever rock opera to make it onto a record.Call me crazy,but this album very much reminds me of the Beatles 'Sgt.Peppers' era.With it's rich harmony vocals,well written arrangements and catchy lyrics,it's hard not to thoroughly enjoy this MUCH under appreciated UK psychedelic band.From looking through the well assembled 18-page booklet,I can see that Pink Fairies drummer Twink appears on several tracks.Four bonus tunes are tagged on to the original lp that are JUST as good as the lp is.Songs I liked best were "S.F.Sorrow Is Born","Baron Saturday",the beautiful "I See You","Trust" and "Old Man Going".Worthy reissue,to say the least.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you know which Snapper version you're getting, March 19, 2007
By 
JR Hercules (Somewheres, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: S.F. Sorrow (Audio CD)
There are TWO versions of S.F. Sorrow that Snapper released on CD. The digipack is the STEREO mix; the jewel case Snapper is the MONO mix. Both are interesting in their own right.

Snapper Digipack: Stereo
Snapper Jewel-case: Mono
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Sf Sorrow
Sf Sorrow by The Pretty Things (Audio CD - 2003)
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