Year of Release: 1990
People with famous relatives don't always have an easy ride. A few weeks ago I wandered into a local charity shop and found a signed copy of Julian Lennon's debut album "Valotte" on sale for 25p. You would have thought that an item once touched by the hands of John Lennon's son would be worth more than the price of a small child's lollipop, but don't look at me. I don't make the rules of the marketplace up.
Something Pretty Beautiful were a band put together by Julian Cope's brother Joss, and in an utterly expected fashion failed to scale the career highs of everyone's favourite mic stand clamberer. They were snapped up fairly quickly by Alan MacGee and signed to Creation Records, who put out their debut EP "Freefall" in October 1989 to some critical interest but not a great deal of sales action. The second EP "Freak Outburst" was scheduled for an April 1990 release, but amidst Creation's financial turmoil somehow didn't actually materialise, the label instead opting to cobble the tracks intended for that issue together with the songs from "Freefall" to create this mini-LP.
It's actually a refreshing listen, taking a hard edged indie guitar sound and marrying it with buoyant, summery, Byrdsian melodies. "Expect A Miracle" in particular showcases the band's ability to create sharp, breezy and compelling pop songs with polite English vocals. Not entirely unlike The Doctor's Children (who we examined some time ago) Something Pretty Beautiful seemed to occupy a space favoured by the numerous psych-influenced independent guitar bands who littered the eighties, and perhaps their sound seemed rather stripped back and lo-fi against the bolder, funkier statements being made by bands such as The Stone Roses at the time. Listening to them now in 2012, though, it's noticeable how invigorating their sound could be.
Joss Cope is still involved in music, playing for Dexter Bentley and also sessioning for various other small, underground acts. The fact that he has occasionally played keyboards for his brother Julian on some sessions also cannot be ignored.
I've left mp3s of two tracks from this mini-LP live below as tasters, but if you want to download the full works, click on the link beneath the track listing.
1. Freak Outburst
2. I Want To Watch
4. Expect A Miracle
6. Free Fall
Download It Here