Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music

Most likely, the first thing you think of when you hear the words “rock opera” is Tommy. The Who’s 1969 classic is popularly thought of as the first rock opera, an extra-long concept album with characters, a consistent storyline, and a slight bit of pomposity. Actually, the often overlooked Pretty Things beat The Who to the punch in 1968 with S.F. Sorrow, as did the Small Faces with Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake (rating: 10), which, while much shorter than most rock operas, is for my money the best rock concept album ever.


Meanwhile, S.F. Sorrow mixes the story of the protagonist Sebastian and his journey towards learning to trust people and ultimate disillusionment with a psychedelic pop score that fittingly captured the mood of 1960s Swinging London. Shortly after S.F. Sorrow, founding member Dick Taylor left the group and the Pretty Things regretfully became mainly a prog/hard rock band.

Rating:

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


Related Articles
26 Sep 2007
The Pretty Things take a risk by dabbling in acoustic Delta blues on their latest album -- and mostly succeed.
discussion by
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.