Sunday, August 7, 2011
The Pretty Things: October 26
This 1971 single sounds like one terrific hangover from a party so "happening" it must have been revolutionary.
October 26, 1917 is the day after the Bolsheviks took over Russia and began spreading Communism in the 20th Century. The plan was to implement worldwide revolution. It didn't quite happen that way.
But aside from the date, this song appears to be about the end of another revolution. This one was orchestrated by hippies and it ended after a ten month span in which The Beatles broke up and Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Altamont concert-goer Meredith Hunter all died.
For The Pretty Things "October 26" ends a string of remarkable albums ( S.F. Sorrow, Parachute) and singles cut at Abbey Road. At this point vocalist Phil May was the only original member of the band left. The single made no impact in the UK but broke the Top 30 in The Netherlands. You can find "October 26" on the re-issued Parachute album.