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Baker's Dozen

Darkness And Relief: Sean Lennon's 13 Favourite Albums
Patrick Clarke , July 19th, 2017 11:03

From Herbie Hancock's darkest depths to Brian Eno's anxiety-relieving light, Sean Lennon guides Patrick Clarke through thirteen records that changed his life


The Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow
It's one of my favourite concept albums, one of my favourite psychedelic albums, one of my favourite albums from that period full stop. I don't really know what the story to it is, I've never really bothered to figure it out, I just think The Pretty Things are one of the coolest bands of all time. There's something so edgy about their take on British Brian Wilson-influenced music. I love Odessey and Oracle, and I love all the more famous concept albums, but there's something about S.F. Sorrow that feels so much more rock 'n' roll, there's something about the way that they play that feels like punk rock for its time.

They just have a real cool edgy energy, but at the same time it's sophisticated and lush. Obviously there were a lot of different bands experimenting in England at that time, but this is special to me because it feels more glib and more flippant, and less precious. It's well thought through but it has a useful punk edge that puts them in another class.

I think one of the first times I really got into this album and realised what a masterpiece it is was ten or eleven years ago when I first met my girlfriend Charlotte. We went up with a few friends to a farm in Pennsylvania. It was the first time Charlotte and I kissed, it was a very magical lost country weekend. I remember hearing this record a lot that weekend. I already knew about The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle and I was a huge Beach Boys fan, but I didn't realise that the Pretty Things had done something so complete. They were leading the way, they were ahead of their time and not just copying the others, they were setting the bar.