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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Pink Fairies “What A Bunch Of Sweeties"1972 UK Heavy Psych


Pink Fairies “What A Bunch Of Sweeties"1972 UK Heavy Psych 
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https://open.spotify.com/album/0RMM6qmvvLLTkPusmFoCqf


This is in response to a slightly misinformed review and another nameless review from someone that is obviously closed-minded musically if he likes Hawkwind and Motorhead, yet would dismiss and disrespect Pink Fairies in such a way as he did. 
Any member of Hawkwind or Motorhead, former or present (and we’re talking about a huuuuge alumni), would probably agree that Pink Fairies were somewhere on their list of the top 5 greatest, underrated, underground 70’s heavy-psych proto-punk rock bands ever…and all 3 of their ‘classic-era’ full-length albums, 'NeverNeverLand’ (1971), 'What A Bunch of Sweeties’ (1972), and 'Kings Of Oblivion’ (1973), are well worth checking out for yourself to hear and see if you don’t agree. Pink Fairies were an enormously talented band who were waaaay ahead of their time. 
Evolving from late 60’s proto-punks The Deviants, drummer Russell Hunter, bassist Duncan Sanderson, guitarist/vocalist/frontman Paul Rudolph along with ex-Pretty Things drummer John 'Twink’ Alder became the Pink Fairies and released their debut album 'NeverNeverLand’ in 1971. Twink left the Fairies and the remaining trio released this album in 1972. 
Although most reviewers see this album as the worst of the 3 classics…it’s actually my favorite. For their unbelievable version of The Ventures’, 'Walk, Don’t Run” alone, which is a 9-minute epic with movements of early heavy metal, proto-punk, and psychedelic jamming all rolled into one extended concoction of musical joy that takes me to another world every time I hear it. It segues into my 2nd fave, 'I Went Up, I Went Down’, which continues even deeper musically into the psychedelic realm with lyrical content describing a 1st-time acid trip in a way I could identify with: 
“I went up, I went down, 
My sight could penetrate beneath the solid ground 
I went up, I went down, 
I saw all colors never seen all spinning 'round…” 
I always get the best flashbacks of my old acid daze while listening to that one! 
The other tracks are also great. The goofy tongue-in-cheek 'Pigs Of Uranus’ is my most fun sing-along ever. 
Not a fan of the Beatles (hard-rocker at heart…they were way too soft n bubble-gummy for my taste), but The Fairies really rocked out 'I Saw Her Standing There’ in a way which makes me have a bit of respect for the Beatles even though I otherwise find their music pretty lame, completely outdated, and only significant for having supplied rudimentary ideas for the endless bands they’ve later inspired but which had exponentially more talent…enough to obscure anything they’ve ever done as inferior, and outdated to the point of being unlistenable for me. But that’s the beatles…we’re talkin Fairies… 
Paul Rudolph proves on this album that he has GOT to be one of the most tragically underrated 70’s rock guitarists ever. This is only my opinion…as a mostly self-taught guitarist for over 35 years now who has since the early-late 1980’s developed my own style by extensively studying and practicing the techniques of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, etc., etc., …and with that I can sincerely tell you that Paul Rudolph’s playing style is just as captivating as any of the aforementioned guitar legends. 
Paul Rudolph left Pink Fairies (recording with Brian Eno, Robert Calvert of Hawkwind fame, and eventually replacing Lemmy after he had just been fired from Hawkwind), and the new frontman was Larry Wallis, (who later joined Lemmy for the first incarnation of Motorhead). 
The new Fairies line-up recorded 'Kings Of Oblivion’ in 1973. Probably their best and most successful album according to most fans, (not to me…this album’s my fave, NeverNeverLand 2nd) and the band was at their highest peak…but they soon dissolved into oblivion. A couple years later, all 5 members who appeared between all 3 classic Pink Fairies albums, …Twink, Hunter, Sanderson, Rudolph, and Wallis…got tegether for a live show which was recorded and released as 'Live at The Roundabout '75’. 
Afterwards, there were various live recordings released, mostly of the Rudolph, Sanderson, Hunter trio time frame. The 'Previously Unreleased’ album came out in the early '80s and can be found these days on a 3-album CD compilation along with 'Live at the Roundhouse '75’ and an EP Twink recorded in '77. There were more reunions throughout the years which included various past members…most noteably in 1987 with the release of 'Kill Em and Eat Em’ followed by a live recording from the tour, 'Chinese Cowboys’. 
Twink and Paul Rudolph joined together as the Pink Fairies and recorded 2 albums in the '90s, 'Pleasure Island’ and 'No Picture’. Better reviews than the 1987 Fairies reunion album…but good luck finding copies of them. Extremely rare because they were limited to 1,000 copies. 
In September 2016, Pink Fairies released their latest album 'Naked Radio’ with Sanderson and Hunter being the only original members. 
I haven’t heard any of their material after the Chinese Cowboys live cd from '87, and most of the later stuff is for die-hard Fairies freaks only …but I strongly believe the 3 original classic-era Fairies albums are ABSOLUTE MUST HAVES for EVERY audiophile who loves and appreciates timeless heavy/psych/progressive/proto-punk/classic rock music….by…greymatter101…


I have a special love for this album. In one way its so bad its ridiculous. The mix is often terrible and the cover is one of the worst I’ve seen. Songs like “I went up” or “Right On” are far too long and a few tracks are just redundant. So what is there left? Loads of trashy energy and their spectacular rendering of “Walk don’t Run” which to this day still is one of my favorite tracks of all time. 
To me there is something special with recordings that are spontaneous and direct. I don’t know if the tracks were recorded like that but is sure sounds like it. Today Elder carries the torch from the madness and passion of “Walk don’t Run”. I’m glad someone do…by…yvonna …~




As you may know, you can usually find out the dates of anything by looking on the internet, but I cannot find when The Pink Fairies played The Wedgewood Cinema in Colwyn Bay. I am guessing it was late 1971 or early 1972 and they most certainly played there. I was at a catholic boarding school at the time – all trace of it has now gone – and it was unusual to be let out in the evening, but I was and I remember meeting up with various chums who were dayboys. There was a certain amount of indulging in cigarettes both jazz and straight and I do remember one of our company being very sick. I also remember that there was some disappointment in the fact that Twink was not present (were we expecting him to get his kit off?) and that The Pink Fairies were the loudest thing I had ever heard. I, still after all these years, have not heard anything louder or at least I don’t think I have. 
And it is The Pink Fairies’ second album – “What A Bunch Of Sweeties” – that best represents the band I saw that night in Colwyn Bay. It was released in July 1972 and the line up was Russell Hunter on drums, Duncan Sanderson on bass and Paul Rudolph on guitars. Vocals were handled by Paul Rudolph and Trevor Burton who had been with The Move added some “tasty licks” as the sleeve would have it on a couple of the tracks. With the departure of Twink, The Pink Fairies had lost quite probably their best writer and there is no doubt that “What A Bunch Of Sweeties” has in its nine tracks quite a bit of filler – for example, “Walk Don’t Run” which runs for over nine minutes was a stage favourite and is a jam based very loosely on The Ventures’ instrumental but on the album is a bit over long. (The bonus tracks, incidentally include the first take, which is even longer but actually better.) The otherwise fine track “Marilyn” has a drum solo in it and the album finishes with another stage favourite – The Pink Fairies version of The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” – not bad, but perhaps a live version may have worked better. 
There is also a mercifully short “Prologue” which is stoned nonsense about play a gig on Uranus and a sort of Country piss take “Pigs of Uranus” – with adapted lyrics by Gilbert Shelton from his cartoon “Wonder Warthog And The Pigs Of Uranus” Rather daft but redeemed in part by some fine guitar playing at the end.  
OK so those are the weak points and despite of these, I really like “What A Bunch Of Sweeties” because when it is good, it is terrific – especially Rudolph’s guitar playing. “Walk Don’t Run” despite being over long is a fine example of this. 
The first track after “Prologue” is “Right On, Fight On” and it is marvellous really good stuff. This is followed by “Portobello Shuffle” which is something of a boogie anthem about the part of London they come from. What was Side 1 finishes with “Marilyn” – great rocking stuff besides the drum solo. 
Beside the tracks I have already mentioned, Side 2 contains the lengthy” I Went Up, I Went Down” which is different from the rest of the album which is more like psychedelic rock – let down by The Pink Fairies trying to sing and “X-Ray” which is short and very good. 
Besides “Walk Don’t Run” the bonus tracks include The Pink Fairies version of “Going Down” and this is excellent – should have been on the album originally rather than “Pigs Of Uranus” and/or the “Prologue”. – Oh well, the early 1970’s were certainly different times. 
The music is loud and heavy but owes more to American Punk bands than, say, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. The Pink Fairies were very much punks before their time (despite playing very long songs) and it is no surprise that John Lydon thinks highly of them. 
The CD replicates the inside of the foldout sleeve (clearly Polydor thought “What A Bunch Of Sweeties” would be a big seller) but cartoonist Edward Barker which very much aligns The Pink Fairies with the UK Underground particularly their old lead singer when they were in The Deviants – Mick Farren. The sleeve itself shows badges from the collection of Boss Goodman who was a roadie. 
“What A Bunch Of Sweeties” propelled The Pink Fairies into superstardom and they became the biggest band on the 1970’s? Sadly not. Paul Rudolph left the band in August 1972 after arguments with Hunter & Sanderson over “psychedelic substances” and visa issues – he is Canadian, remember. His story after The Pink Fairies is interesting but more of that another time. 
Surprisingly, The Pink Fairies continued and next time I will write about their third album – “Kings Of Oblivion.”…by….CharlyF1954 …~





























Credits 
Bass Guitar – Duncan Sanderson 
Design – Penny Smith* 
Drums – Russell Hunter 
Engineer – Frank* 
Guitar – Paul Rudolph 
Guitar [Tasty Licks] – Trevor Burton




Tracklist 
A1 Prologue
A2 Right On Fight On
A3 Portobello Shuffle
A4 Marilyn
A5 The Pigs Of Uranus
B1 Walk Don’t Run
B2 I Went Up I Went Down
B3 X-Ray
B4 I Saw Her Standing There 

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