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Andy Pratt

Andy Pratt live at Greenbelt.
Born 25 January 1947 (1947-01-25) (age 62)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Andy Pratt (born Andrew S. Pratt) is an American rock music singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In the 1970s, he made a number of experimental records that were appreciated by small audiences, and scored a commercial hit with "Avenging Annie".

After words of praise from Rolling Stone magazine ("By reviving the dream of rock as an art and then re-inventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock"), he tried a more commercial approach. Having converted to Christianity and settled in the Netherlands in 1987, he continued to make records and perform at big Christian pop music festivals.

Pratt returned to Boston after an absence of 13 years in 2004. The continually-prolific Pratt has been trying to make a comeback with a new band as well as solo appearances at regional festivals (such as South By Southwest in 2006). Despite his reputation as a one-hit wonder of the 1970s, Pratt has released twenty studio albums as of mid-2006.

Contents

Prelude

The great-grandson of oil magnate Charles Pratt, who founded Pratt Institute, Andy was the son of Edwin H. Baker Pratt, headmaster of exclusive Cambridge, Massachusetts day school Browne & Nichols School (now Buckingham Browne & Nichols), which he attended as well. Later, attending boarding school, he tried to make life more bearable by joining various school bands.

Inspired by The Ventures, he played guitar or bass guitar in Bogus Chimes, Zinias, and Vagabonds. Pratt attended Harvard College and was awarded an B.A. in English Literature in 1968 (he missed attending Harvard with Gram Parsons, who had dropped out in 1963 after one semester). Soon afterward, he released his debut album, Records Are Like Life (1969), recorded just after his graduation from Harvard and re-released in 1971 on Polydor. It was not a success.

Pratt worked on his music with Boston-area bands Butter (a pun on Cream) and The Chosen Few, with whom he toured Europe. Neither the groups nor his first album were a success outside the Boston area. His family wealth enabled him to build AEngus Studios, where he broadened his knowledge of recording techniques and multi-tracking arrangements in the spirit of Brian Wilson and Phil Spector.

Rise

In 1973, he signed with Columbia Records on the basis of a demo of Avenging Annie. The vocals on this song (based on Woody Guthrie's Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd) took 500 studio hours to record, and range from basso profundo to a maniacal falsetto. The label released Andy Pratt in 1973, which achieved modest commercial success on the strength of its hit single. Roger Daltrey recorded a raunchier version on his solo album One of the Boys. Pratt's version was used on the soundtrack to the film Velvet Goldmine in 1998.

After an American tour to promote the album, he was dropped by Columbia. In 1975, his father died and Pratt returned to the musical scene with Atlantic Records. Bee Gees producer Arif Mardin was recruited for a more commercial approach on Resolution. The result is a somewhat bombastic but more accessible record, a far cry from the eerie atmosphere of its predecessors. In 1977, after a final concert for 7000 people in Boston's City Hall Plaza, Pratt was forced to leave the music industry due to a lack of support (see[1]).

European sojourn

In 1979, Pratt converted to Christianity and moved to Europe in 1987. Startled by the punk rock wave ("I hate ugly music"), Pratt produced the religious pop album Motives, after which he settled in the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1988 he married a journalist and became active as a social and pastoral worker. In 2004, he was divorced from his second wife and returned to the Boston area.

However, he continued his recording activities and performed at festivals and in churches. A solo concert at the former Hippie temple Paradiso in Amsterdam was appreciated by a mere handful of remaining fans, but an undaunted Pratt sang as if he were playing a crowded stadium. Not Just for Dancing (recorded with Stephen Hague) and Fun in the First World were later re-released on a single CD, as was the collection Heaven & Earth from this period.

Return to Boston

The re-patriated Pratt started a new band in Boston with Sal Baglio (former frontman of '80's Boston band The Stompers) and John Troy, formerly of Pousette-Dart Band; the former joined him (along with Mark Doyle, Tommy Hambridge and Gary Link) on Live at the Village Underground.

Pratt was sporadically seen busking at underground train stations. A reunion with his guitar pal Doyle resulted in Cover Me (2002) and I'm All Right the year following, on which Pratt also plays saxophone. The material covered ranges from Gene Pitney's Town Without Pity and The Beach Boys' Don't Worry Baby to The Message by Grandmaster Flash.

In 2005, the Indie music website ([2]) itsaboutmusic.com became the main source of Pratt's music, with his entire catalogue downloadable in MP3 format, and available also on CD ([3]) Mediawire.

In 2006, Pratt signed a deal with Ran Song Express Publishing to publish his personal memoirs, Shiver in the Night ([4]).

In 2008, Andy Pratt created a NEW Official Web Site andyprattmusic.tripod.com ([5]) It covers his complete music career, personal history, discography, has streaming videos, a current show calendar, and a digital music store.

Discography

  • Records Are Like Life (Polydor Records, 1969, reissued 1971)
  • Andy Pratt (Columbia Records, 1973)
  • Resolution (Nemperor Records, distributed by Atlantic Records, 1976)
  • Shiver in the Night (Nemperor, 1977)
  • Motives (Nemperor, distributed by Epic Records, 1979)
  • Fun in the First World (Enzone Records, 1982)
  • Not Just for Dancing (Lamborghini Records, 1983)
  • Perfect Therapy (GMI, 1986)
  • Life (GMI, 1988)
  • One Body (GMI, 1991)
  • Fire of Love (GMI, 1993)
  • Resolution: The Andy Pratt Collection (Razor & Tie Records, compilation, 1996)
  • Another World (Highway Records, 1998)
  • Heaven and Earth (itsaboutmusic.com, 2003)
  • I'm All Right (itsaboutmusic.com, 2003)
  • Cover Me (itsaboutmusic.com, Feb 2003)
  • New Resolutions (itsaboutmusic.com, Aug 2003)
  • Andy Pratt Is Back (itsaboutmusic.com, 2003)
  • Andy Pratt Solo (itsaboutmusic.com, 2003)
  • Live at The Village Underground (live album, download only, itsaboutmusic.com, 2003)
  • Age of Goodbye (Fun in the First World + Not Just for Dancing +2, CoraZong Records, 2004)
  • Runaway Heart (itsaboutmusic.com, 2006)
  • Masters of War (itsaboutmusic.com, 2008)

Has four new unreleased albums in the works due out in 2008 or 2009

2008 External links

  • [6] 2008 Official site
  • [7] 2008 AndyPrattRocks MySpace
  • [8] 2008 AndyPrattLovesYou MySpace
  • [9] 2008 AndyPrattAgain MySpace
  • [10] 2008 AndyPrattWillNeverDie MySpace

Other External links

  • [11] It's About Music
  • [12] Artistlaunch.Com
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