This rough-hewn rocker is the first single by The Pretty Things, a London group that came on the scene at the same time as The Rolling Stones and were often compared to that group. Like The Stones, The Pretty Things had lots of raw energy and were steeped in American blues. They were not, however, sensible in business matters or capable of much musical progression. They were adored by rock purists, but never able to expand their reach. The group sputtered along in a very sporadic career that yielded a handful of modest UK hits, the biggest of which was "Don't Bring Me Down" at #10 in 1964.
The credited writers on this track are Jimmy Duncan and Bill Farley. There is no producer credited on the song, so it's likely these guys were working with the band in the studio. Duncan was a successful songwriter who wrote the Bobby Helms hit "My Special Angel"; Farley was an engineer who also worked with The Rolling Stones.
In this song, lead singer Phil May is trying to get some clarity on his relationship with Rosalyn, who is rather elusive. He loves her big time, but isn't sure where he stands. The name "Rosalyn" makes a nice rhyme with "where you've been."
The band was named after the Bo Diddley song "Pretty Thing"; the name was also an ironic nod to their appearance - they were far from pretty, and proud of it. The Bo Diddley influence is obvious on this song, which incorporates his signature beat.
The group's guitarist, Dick Taylor, was a member of The Rolling Stones in 1963. Their drummer, Viv Prince, was a notorious wildman, cited by Keith Moon as an influence.