Phil May: cross talk

POSTED: September 11, 2020

Phil May died on May 15 this year, as the result of complications following hip surgery after a cycling accident.

You can read his obituary here.

Yesterday and this morning I listened to a Pretty Things album from 1980 called Cross Talk. I remembered how, at the time, several critics dismissed it as bandwagon-hopping. New wave had arrived and, in their first album for several years, The Pretty Things had short, sharp songs, with choppy rhythms and the right kind of production.

I think I probably followed along, and paid it little attention. I finally got a copy last year at a summer flea market and now I have dug it up and start listening to it properly.

In retrospect, they hardly changed their sound at all. From a distance of forty years it sounds just like The Pretty Things (who, as a matter of historical record, always sounded better than whatever The Rolling Stones had out at the time).

Cross Talk sounds fine to my ears now. It does have short, sharp songs though.

I eagerly await their final album, recorded acoustically just before Phil May died, and due in October.