Fable


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1970-73)

- Mac Bailey -- lead guitar 

- Pete Bickley -- bass 

- Paul Robbins -- keyboards, guitar, recorder  

- Anna Terrana -- vocals

- Keith Tully -- drums, percussion  

 

  line up 2 (1973-75)

- Mac Bailey -- lead guitar 

NEW - Peter Goalby -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, violin  

NEW - Peter Mackie -- bass, vocals  (replaced Pete Bickley)

- Paul Robbins -- keyboards, guitar, recorder  

- Keith Tully -- drums, percussion  

   

 

 

 

- Steve Brett's Maverick (Pete Bickley)

- The Tommy Burton Group (Mac Bailey)

- Dean King and the Conquests (Anna Terrana)

- Lady Jane and the Royaltee (Anna Terrana)

- Our Generation (Anna Terrana)

- Perfect Stranger  (Peter Goalby)

- Revolver (Peter Mackie)

- Royalty (Mac Bailey, Pete Bickley, Anna Terrana and Tully)

- Trapeze (Peter Goalby and Peter Mackie)

Uriah Heep (Peter Goalby)

- Wizzo (Paul Robbins)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Fable

Company: Magnet

Catalog: MAG 5002

Year: 1974

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4

Price: $50.00

Cost: $66.00

 

The band Fable came together in 1970.  Guitarist Mac Bailey, bass player Pete Bickley, singer Anna Terrana and drummer Keith Tully had played in a number of local Wolverhampton bands, culminating in their collaboration in the band  Royalty.  At the suggestion of producer Larry Page, they dropped the Royalty nameplate, opting for Fable who promptly recorded a pair of engaging, but commercially unsuccessful singles for Page's Penny Farthing label:

- 1970's 'Minstrel Song' b/w 'She Said Yes' (Penny Farthing catalog number PEN 735)

- 1971's 'With a Boy Like You' b/w 'She Said Yes' (Penny farthing catalog number PEN 751)

 

By the time the band recorded their first album for Peter Shelly and his newly formed  Magnet Records, the line up consisting of lead guitarist Bailey, singer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Goalby, bassist Mackie, keyboardist Robbins and drummer Tully.  

 

The first couple of spins this one just didn't click with me.  It was nice enough, but just didn't strike me as special.  After having set it aside for a couple of years, I gave it one more shot and was left to wonder what I'd missed the first time around.    Anyone looking at the packaging (including the gatefold sleeve band photo) for 1974's "Fable" couldn't be faulted for assuming these guys fell somewhere into the English folk-rock cauldron.  Luckily that image is 100% wrong.  Produced by Shelly and largely written by Goalby and Robbins, the opener 'See My Face' and 'Hard Life' kicked with a sense of urgency that was a pleasant surprise.  'She Knows How To Love Me' was almost funky, while 'Same Key and 'Speak Your Mind' sported some great vocal harmonies and strong melodies. Among the other highlights, 'Four Horsemen' bore an uncanny resemblance to something out of the CSN&Y catalog, while the second single 'Madolin' boasted an irritatingly catchy chorus.  Mind you, the album wasn't perfect.  Nothing here was particularly original and 'Google Eye' was needless, while 'Old Queen' sounded like it was cobbled together from a series of top-40 songs.  Still, the total package was surprisingly successful.  One of those unfortunate cases where a talented band simply fell through the cracks.

Always loved Beresford Casey and David Meyers designed cover concept.

 

Peter Goalby and Peter Mackie both reappeared as members of Trapeze.  Goadley went on to record two or three albums with Uriah Heep, before dropping out of active performances.

 

"Fable" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) See My Face   (Peter Goalby) - 2:53   rating: **** stars

The lead-off rocker 'See My Face' was a convention rocker that had two things going for it:  1.) a mesmerizing Mac Bailey guitar riff that continually kicked the song forward, and 2.) a great vocal from Peter Goalby.   Easy to understand why it was tapped as the leadoff single:

- 1973's 'See My Face' b/w 'Thick as a Plank' (Magnet catalog number MAG 3)

2.) She Knows How To Love Me   (Peter Goalby - Paul Robbins) - 3:40   rating: *** stars

A bit more pedestrian than the lead-off track,  'She Knows How To Love Me' was again carried by a nice melody and a tasty Bailey slide guitar lick.   

3.) Same Key   (Peter Goalby - Paul Robbins) - 3:28   rating: **** stars

Where in the world did 'Same Key' come from?  I certainly wasn't expecting to hear a top-40-styled ballad from these guys ...  Amazing that Magnet marketing didn't latch on to this one as a single since it had some wonderful group harmonies, as well as one of those melodies that folks swoon over.   

4.) Four Horsemen   (Keith Tully - Paul Robbins) - 3:17   rating: **** stars

Ever wondered what a Britsh Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young would sound like?  Probably not, but if you did, then 'Four Horsemen' might give you some idea.  Super pretty tune with nice guitar effects and more of those sweet hamonies.

5.) Speak Your Mind   (Peter Goalby) - 4:05   rating: *** stars

Side one closed with a pretty, country-rock tinged number.  Ironically 'Speak Your Mind' was the kind of tune I originally expected to hear from these guys.

 

(side 2)

1.) Hard Life   (Paul Robbins) - 3:20   rating: **** stars

'Hard Life' was another rocker built on a catchy Bailey guitar riff.  It might have been even better than 'See My Face'.  

2.) Madolin   (Peter Goalby) - 2:48   rating: **** stars

The atypical pop-oriented 'Madolin' showcased Goalby highly commercial voice, as well as his proficiency on mandolin.  By the way, the song title was not a typo. The song served as the album's lead-off single.

1974's 'Madolin' b/w 'Thick as a Plank' (Magnet catalog number MAG 6)

3.) Thick as a Plank   (Peter Goalby - Paul Robbins) - 2:11  rating: *** stars

'Thick as a Plank' was kind of a goofball tune - just Goalby accompanied by electric piano and a bit of harmonica.  It was certainly pretty enough, but just seemed atypical and out of place along side the rest of the collection.

4.) Google Eye   (Peter Goalby) - 2:27   rating: **** stars

In spite of the odd title, 'Google Eye' offered up a nice slice of folk-rock.  Another oddball performance showcasing Goalby's mandolin chops  and a personal favorite. 

5.) Old Queen   (Peter Goalby) - 2:55   rating: **** stars

'Old Queen' was a catchy slice of pop-rock that probably would have scored them some radio exposure had it been tapped as a single.  Interesting thing about this track was that they sounded nothing like a British band on this one.

 

 

 

 

One final non-LP 1975 single and the band called it splintered:

 

1975's 'Motorbike' b/w 'Gotta Getaway' (Magnet catalog number MAG 9) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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