Front and Back The laminated gatefold sleeve is still bright and glossy in very good condition with no tears or splits but there is a very slight creasing where the top edge of the record sits and to the edge nearest the spine. It has some very light wear to some corners but otherwise is in excellent condition with the colours still very bright and there isn’t any writing, taping or stickers;
Inside The unlaminated inside with full lyrics and Phil May’s original artwork is very clean, bright and vibrant in excellent condition and there isn’t any writing, taping or stickers;
Spine there’s only minimal edge wear and the spine is firm and totally legible but has some slight creasing.
Inner Sleeve The original EMI advertising inner sleeve is still in excellent condition and features promotional photos of 32 other EMI albums
I will also include the original plastic outer that I bought with it, it has a fold-over top, still fits tightly and has successfully kept the dust off for all these years
Record It’s pressed on heavyweight vinyl The record itself is clean and glossy and the disc retains its deep, black vinyl sheen. There are some faint hairline marks on both sides but nothing ugly or deep to affect the sound quality
Labels Excellent The Classic UK 1st Press blue & black Columbia labels show some minimal signs of use, have no writing and are clean with minimal spindle marking.
Audio Quality Excellent Minus The record itself is clean and glossy and plays well apart from some of the usual vinyl hiss and crackle between tracks that unfortunately are noticeable in some of the quietest passages but vanish after a few seconds and there are two audible pops at the start of the last track on side 2 none of which detract from the overall sound, which is still amazing although deep cleaning would probably remove them. Hence the slight downgrade to Excellent Minus. It lays flat on the turntable and plays well without the needle sticking or jumping.
Until 1970 I only ever played my albums on a Garrard Sp25 Mk11 with a Sonotone 9TAHC cartridge and from 1970 onwards on a Pioneer PL12D with a Shure N75 ED-T2 cartridge and stylus, tracking at 1.5 grams which I continue to use today – although the stylus has been replaced regularly. Since 1970 all my records have been played on a Pioneer PL12D with a Shure N75 ED-T2 cartridge and stylus, tracking at 1.5 grams which I continue to use today – although the stylus has been replaced regularly.
ORIGINAL ADVERT S.F.SORROW IN MIME AT MIDDLE EARTH!!!!!!! There probably isn’t another one of these left out there, except in the vaults of the now defunct Melody Maker from whence I cut it. It features a photo of drummer Twink as S.F.Sorrow and despite a little yellowing, is still in VERY GOOD condition.
PRETTY THYINGS PRESS CUTTINGS I’m also including a few music press cuttings from the same period, I think these are also very rare as I’ve never seen them referred to in books or on the web
Summary: This is a unique opportunity to acquire a genuine, original and very hard to come by 1968 1st U.K stereo pressing of the world’s first (and still the best) Rock Opera together with an undamaged original advert from the only complete live performance and some original press cuttings.
You may ask why this is one of the most important Rock albums ever made. In order to understand, you need to know some background to The Pretty Things. They recorded S. F. Sorrow in the world famous Abbey Road studios in the summer of 1967. In the studio next door, a group called The Beatles were creating Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and in another one The Pink Floyd were recording Piper At The Gates Of Dawn using the same producer as the Pretty Things, the incredibly talented Norman “Hurricane” Smith.
The Pretty Things were always at the forefront of Rock’n’Roll outrage from the day they started. The singer Phil May was said to have the longest hair of any man in Britain; which in 1964 was taken as proof positive that the world was ending! Viv Prince the drummer was so deranged that he became a totally dangerous liability and set the standards for modern rock looniness that even Keith Moon failed to achieve! The driving, blistering powerhouse guitar at the heart of the group was the amazing Dick Taylor, who had previously been an original member of the Rolling Stones, but left, because their brand of R’n’B wasn’t hard enough! By the mid 60’s Viv Prince had been replaced by the equally deranged Twink on drums, the group had recorded Emotions – containing the banned track “L.S.D.” and were at the forefront of the emerging revolutionary, underground, counter-culture. This, together with their open support for minority left wing and openly revolutionary causes made them appear even more of a threat to the Establishment than before. Consequently they only ever had a limited appeal and, when the S. F. Sorrow album was released, it sold in very small numbers making all 1st pressing copies incredibly rare.
At their gigs fights often broke out, as the Pretties were seen as such an affront to social respectability that gangs of lads (especially the early Skinheads) would often rush the stage to try and wreck the equipment and hurt the group.
Against this background S. F. Sorrow was a total shock, yes there was lots of hard, uncompromising Rock but there was also lots of sensitivity and much darkness that (apart perhaps from Eleanor Rigby) Rock’n’Roll had never confronted before; it was hard to describe it as anything but Art; - a Rock Opera. And so the term was born, nearly a year before The Who’s ‘Tommy’.
Tracklist : S. F. Sorrow Is Born, Bracelets Of Fingers, She Says Good Morning, Private Sorrow, Balloon Burning, Death, Baron Saturday, The Journey, I See You, Well Of Destiny, Trust, Old Man Going, and Loneliest Person.
Musicians : Phil May - Vocals, Dick Taylor - Vocals / Lead Guitar, Wally Allen - Bass / Guitar / Vocals / Wind Instruments / Piano, John Povey - Organ / Sitar / Percussion / Vocals, Twink - Drums / Vocals, and Norman Smith - Producer.
This album is a lovely piece of genuine memorabilia from a bygone time that changed the world and would grace any collection. If you haven’t heard it on vinyl this could be for you. It certainly doesn’t sound forty-nine years old. If you haven’t heard it on vinyl or don’t own a copy this could be for you and, if you are serious about building a worthwhile vinyl collection a 1st pressing of S. F. Sorrow is a must . I’m not a dealer of any sort, but am just downsizing and having to clear things out and trying to survive on a poxy pension. I’m starting it at a sensible price so a genuine fan or collector can enjoy it without paying rip off prices (Some copies have sold recently in excess of £500!) Good luck with your bidding and feel free to ask any question.A Word About Payment and Postage
Sorry but I accept Paypal only and it will be posted as soon as payment has cleared, which must be paid within 24 hours of the end of the auction. This may seem harsh but I’m fed up with time wasters!
I use 12" Vinyl LP Record Cruciform postal mailers and protect them with an additional layer of bubblewrap. In the UK I use Royal Mail Signed For. If you require some other form of postage/delivery, I’m more than happy providing you meet the extra costs. If you are outside the UK, I will use Ebay’s own service.