10 February 2011

The Electric Banana - 1967-ish - Blows Your Mind

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Unfortunately for the Pretty Things, they weren't quite in the top tier of moneymaking British rock bands and had to moonlight recording film soundtrack music under the psuedonym The Electric Banana. Fortunately for us, this means that there are a bunch of other songs recorded by the band around their S.F. Sorrow prime. If S.F. Sorrow is the Pretty Things' Sgt. Pepper, then this is their Magical Mystery Tour. This collection doesn't hold together as an album the way S.F. Sorrow does, nor does the production sparkle quite as much, but it doesn't really need to. You can take these on a song-by-song basis, and on that criteria you'll find quite a few gold sonic nuggets.

I love the tribal pounding "Alexander," which repurposes a short bass riff from "Defecting Grey," and build onto that to make a first rate psychedelic rocker. "Blow Your Mind" and "Rave Up" do just what they promise to do, with the band a full tilt and giving the Yardbirds a run for their money. Elsewhere, "Eagle's Son" is a great anthemic sounding track which the band probably could of used as a single. "If I Needed Someone" is not a Beatles cover, but a horn-laced ballad that shows off the band's softer side (which is good, but admittedly not as awesome as their balls-out rocking side). "I See You" is a rerecording of the S.F. Sorrow track - it's not as good, but it's still an interesting take of a great song. They do drift a little too close for comfort into pop cheesiness on the twee "What's Good For the Goose," while "Danger Signs" goes for the Motown sound and misses the mark. But since there's not really much flow to this collection to start with, they are easily ignored.

You'll hear some of the Pretty Things at their best and worst as the Electric Banana, but the balance definitely tilts to the positive side and this serves well as a companion disc to S.F. Sorrow. I only recently became aware of this set recently, and it was certainly a very groovy surprise.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.mediafire.com/?78ejox7v7n2swgi

Patriots Of The Wasteland said...

Thanks so much, I'm lovin' this album. I had never known about Electric Banna, huge fan of the S.F. Sorrow album. Dig your page. I've got a Psychedelic band called The Bloody Strummers, we're finishing up our first album at the moment, check us out at http://www.myspace.com/thebloodystrummers
Also thanks for the Mono mixes of the 13th Floor Elevators, so much better than the stereo mixes.

Dr. Schluss said...

Glad you dig it! I love stereo, but in the 60's it was new and rock n' rollers just didn't know how to mix in it. The 60's belong to mono!

magicbeenz said...

Thanks for posting this rarity. Electric Banana music turns up in a few films from the 60s, especially the Norman Wisdom comedy, "What's Good For the Goose", where the Pretty Things themselves make an appearance. There are a few clips from it on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq0fQganCJU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5M1CUskqHM

BTW Anyone who likes "SF Sorrow", could also try "Parachute" from 1970. It's moving from psychedelia into rockier territory but is a great album -- the Pretty Things best IMO.

Very cool blog -- Thanks!

WEISSMAN said...

I hadn't put "Alexander" together with "Defecting Grey" before. It seems obvious now!

stinky.steve said...

Thank You.

I have to agree with the previous comment about Parachute.

That was the first I have ever heard of The Pretty Things in the early `70's and still to this day it's one of my favorite albums.

Miles said...

Dear Doctor...

I haven't had the opportunity to drop by your garage for some time now. I've been stuck in traffic. I'd previously heard that The Electric Banana were in fact The Pretty Things, but I never believed it until I read your post. I always trusted your advise, so I'm DLing now. Thanks for the bargain, and nice to see you again.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Do you still have this one locked down in your vault? Is it possible to re-open that vault and let this little stone out once again? And, what else, besides this and S.F. Sorrow is the way to go on if I want more Pretty Things/Electric Banana?

Anonymous said...

Except that Parachute, that is, ofcourse

Mendeleyev's 115th Dream said...

Re upload?

ChrisB68 Mr B said...

Any chance of refreshing this link ? Much appreciated. Arguably one of the finest british bands of the psychedelic persuasion. Much copied never equalled.