In 1969, they released the first rock opera (S.F. Sorrow) a good nine months before The Who's Tommy. It went nowhere in the USA.
The follow up, in my humble opinion, is their best album.
Pretty Things - Parachute (Rare Earth 1970)
Critics loved it. It sported a striking cover by Hipgnosis - known at the time for their work with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Music is top notch. What could possible prevent it from becoming a success?
(I know, I know as I raise my hand like the world's most annoying fifth grader)
It was released by Motown subsidiary Rare Earth. The marketing machine at Motown had no idea how to work it. There were no connections at the current FM stations. Their machine was expert at top 40 and black radio.
It's the kind of record that makes me repeat some tracks before letting it go to the next one.
I can't get past Cries from the Midnight Circus and Sickle Clowns without lifting the needle and repeating. It's that good.
Following this release, they were dumped by Motown and released one album on Warner Brothers before being signed by Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label.
Mass success and recognition never did come to this band.
Have a view of a TV appearance from 1970