Fanny


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-73)

- Nicole Barclay -- lead vocals, keyboards

- Alice de Buhr -- vocals, drums

- Jean Millington -- lead vocals, bass

- June Millington -- lead vocals, lead guitar 

 

  line up 2 (1973-74)

- Nicole Barclay -- lead vocals, keyboards

NEW - Brie Brandt-Howard (aka Brie Darling) -- drums,

  percussion (replaced Alice de Buhr)

- Jean Millington -- lead vocals, bass

- Patti Quatro -- lead vocals, lead guitar  (replaced June Millington)

 

  line up 3 (1974-75)

- Nicole Barclay -- vocals, keyboards

NEW - Cam Davis -- drums, percussion (replaced Brie Howard)

- Jean Millington -- vocals, bass

NEW - Patti Quatro -- lead vocals, lead guitar

 

  line up 4 (1975-76)

NEW - Brie Brandt-Howard (aka Brie Darling) -- drums,

  percussion

NEW - Wendy Hass -- keyboards (replaced Nicole Barclay)

NEW - Patti Macheta -- vocals, percussion

- Jean Millington -- vocals, bass

NEW - June Millington -- lead vocals, lead guitar

 

 

 

- American Girls (aka Brie Darling)

- Nicole Barclay (solo efforts)

- Boxing Gandhis (Brie Darling)

- Millington

- Jean Millington (solo efforts)

- June Millington (solo efforts)

- The Pleasure Seekers (Patti Quatro)

- Slammin' Babes (Jean and June Millington)

- Wild Honey (Alice de Buhr)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Charity Ball

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS 6465
Year:
 1972

Country/State: Sacramento, California

Grade (cover/record): VG/ VG+

Comments: --

Catalog ID: 1201

Price: $10.00

 

1971's "Charity Ball" found Fanny continuing their partnership with producer Richard Perry.   Featuring largely original material (the one exception being a dynamite cover of the Buffalo Springfield's 'Special Care;), this time around the band seemed interested in showcasing their more commercial edge.   Material like the title track, 'What's Wrong with Me?' and 'You're the One' seemed to have been crafted with an ear to top-40 airplay.  That wasn't to imply the band couldn't rock as hard as their male competitors.   Nickey Barclay's 'Cat Fever', 'Special Care' (which I'd argue crushed The Buffalo Springfield original), and 'Soul Child' were all rockers that were worth hearing.   Add to that, Jean Millington had a powerful, soul-infused voice, while June Millington was an overlooked lead guitarist with a penchant for fuzz leads.   Interestingly, listening to the album for the first time in years, I guess the biggest surprise came in terms of band contributions.   Jean and June Millington were clearly the band's focal points, but  being responsible for over half of the material, keyboardist Nicole Barclay was clearly the band's creative mainstay.  

 

 

Reprise promo photo

 

"Charity Ball" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Charity Ball   (June Millington - Jean Millington - Alice de Buhr) - 2:29

Charitably let's call it a bouncy slice of fun rock ...   Nice melody that allowed the band to show their commercial edge, while hinting at some of the real power they could muster (Jean's gospel-ish outburst and Barclay's brief keyboard solo).  Reprise quickly tapped it as a single.  YouTube has a wonderful clip of the band lip synching the song on Sonny and Cher's television program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9VM1rYcPGA   rating: *** stars

2.) What Kind of Lover  (Nickey Barclay) - 2:55

Taken from the band's website, this description tops anything I could say: "This album contains some of Nickey’s most consistent writing and this track is a good starting point. Funky and playful, it cries out for some inventive playing from the band and boy does it get it. Everybody contributes and demonstrates a real musical progression since the debut album."   rating: *** stars

3.) Cat Fever  (Nickey Barclay) - 3:22

Another tune written and sung by keyboardist Barclay, 'Cat Fever' was a cool, keyboard powered rocker with a hysterical lyric and nice June guitar solo.   Another description taken from the Fanny website: "Another consummate rocker from Nickey which powers along under the auspices of Alice’s machine gun drumming, Nickey’s own rocking piano and Jean’s riffing bass. There is some real excitement generated here which sounds more like a live take than a studio track."  rating: *** stars

4.) A Person Like You   (Nickey Barclay) - 2:57

The album's first disappointment, the faux-country 'A Person Like You' sounded like a disappointing demo that somehow snuck on to the album.  No matter how hard she tried to power her way through the song, Barclay wasn't going to be bale to save this turkey, nor could June's slide guitar moves.   rating: ** stars

5.) Special Care   (Stephen Still) - 4:24

The Buffalo Springfield original (from "Second Time Around") was impressive, but Jean's vocal simply crushed Stephen Still's  slightly ominous version, while Alice de Buhr demonstrated she could power her way through anything.   I'm sure lots of folks will disagree, but I'd suggest Fanny's cover actually beat the original.    YouTube has a killer clip of the song recorded at a November 1971 performance on the German Beat-Club show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNWcUZK3DRg    rating: **** stars

6.) What's Wrong with Me?  (Jean Millington) - 1:43

Pretty acoustic ballad, though it sounded a bit out of place on the album and was very short.   rating: *** stars  

 

(side 2)

1.) Soul Child   (Nickey Barclay -  June Millington - Jean Millington) - 3:48

'Soul Child' was interesting as a rare collaboration between the Millington sisters and Barclay.   The result was one of the album's hardest rockers and a  showcase for Jean's gritty voice and wonderful bass work.  rating: **** stars 

2.) You're the One   (June Millington - Jean Millington) - 4:06

With a catchy rhythm, and a set of slightly risqué lyrics that would have made any self-respecting riot girl smile, 'You're the One' was one of the best performances on the album.  The song featured a nice, heavily distorted June solo too boot.   YouTube has a nice clip of the band lip synching the tune on British TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q80UWYkKNzk   rating: **** stars

3.) Thinking o f You   (Jean Millington) - 3:23

Always loved Jean's sultry voice, but it's largely wasted on this MOR-ballad.   rating: ** stars

4.) Place In the Country   (Nickey Barclay) - 4:03

Penned by Barclay, 'Place In the Country' was one of the album's best rockers.   Nice showcase for the group's harmony vocals.   rating: **** stars

5.) A Little While Later   (Nickey Barclay) - 5:42

Another pretty, but painfully sincere ballad.   Pass.  rating: ** stars

 

The album's single was:

 

 

- 1971's 'Charity Ball' b/w 'Place In the Country' (Reprise catalog number 1033) # 40 pop

 

Perhaps their most consistent and enjoyable release.  Good place for curious fans to start.  By the way, pwered by the single, the parent album peaked at # 150.  Then, quite an accomplishment for an all-girl band.

 

For anyone interested, the band has a nice web presence at: http://www.fannyrocks.com/

 

 

 



Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Rock and Roll Survivors

Company: Casablanca

Catalog: NBLP 7007
Year:
 1974

Country/State: Sacramento, California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: small cut out notch lower edge; minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5926

Price: $10.00

 

You'd think there was some sort of curse on Fanny's final studio collection.  Critics have routinely slammed 1974's "Rock and Roll Survivors" labeling it as a desperate slice of corporate sellout, while Fanny's own website doesn't make mention of the album.  Could it possibly be that much of a dog?

 

First a little bit of biographical background.  This wasn't a product of the original Fanny.  In fact by the time it was released, this was essentially Fanny mark II with original keyboardist Nicole (Nicky Barclay) and bassist Jean Millington being supported by newcomers Brie Brandt-Howard (drums) and Patti Quatro (lead guitar).  Signed by Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records, their fifth studio set saw the revitalized band teamed with producer Vini Poncia.  In spite of the personnel shake up, musically the album wasn't a major departure for the band.  Quatro picked up the writing slack, contributing four tracks to the collection.  She also exhibited a likeable voice with a commercial edge and judging by tracks like 'Long Distance Lover' and 'Rockin' (All Nite Long)' was a more than proficient lead guitarist.

 

"Rock and Roll Survivors" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Rock 'n' Roll Survivors   (Nicole Barclay) - 4:27

Opening up swathed in cheesy synthesizers (courtesy of James Newton Howard), 'Rock 'n' Roll Survivors' morphed into a strange start-and-stop rock number.  With Barclay handling the lead vocal, the up-tempo sections of the song weren't half bad (overlooking the horribly clichéd lyrics).   rating: ** stars2.) Butter Boy   (Jean Millington) - 3:22

 I've always been puzzled by Casablanca's decision to release 'Butter Boy' as a single.  With Jean handling lead vocals the song had a very retro-feel to it almost doo-wop -  hardly the rock and roll outlaws image these ladies had long cultivated.   rating: ** stars

3.) Long Distance Lover   (Patti Quatro) - 3:35

One of the album's most conventional and commercial tracks, 'Long Distance Lover' sported a radio-friendly chorus and hook, to say nothing of a nice Quatro lead guitar solo.   This one would have made a far better choice as a single than 'Butter Boy'.  rating: *** stars  

4.) Let's Spend the Night Together   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 3:31

Given the number of times it's been covered, you wouldn't think there was anything left to do with The Stones 'Let's Spend the Night Together'.  Well give Fanny credit for turning in one of the better versions.  They didn't mess with the melody all that much, rather Jean and company removed all of the original's underlying sense of threat in favor of a playful, upbeat delivery.   rating: *** stars

5.) Rockin' (All Nite Long)   (Patti Quatro) - 2:38

Written by Quatro and kicked along by her fuzz guitar, 'Rockin' (All Nite Long)' was a decent, if somewhat pedestrian slice of hard rock.  The big surprise here was Quatro's voice which proved every bit as good as June Millington's had been.  rating: *** stars  

 

(side 2)
1.) Get Out of the Jungle   (Patti Quatro) - 3:58

'Get Out of the Jungle' was a plodding, AOR number that seemed written for commercial exposure, rather than anything else.  Thoroughly forgettable.  rating: ** stars  

2.) Beggar Man   (Patti Quatro) - 4:05

Another Quatro contribution and one of the best songs on the album, 'Beggar Man' boasted a nice Millington bass line that gave the song what was almost a funky edge.  Very commercial and catchy.  Another one that would have made a nifty single.   rating: **** stars  

3.) Sally Go 'Round the Roses   (Z. Sanders - L. Stevens) - 3:30

For my money 'Sally Go 'Round the Roses' was easily the best song on the album.  Harmonically rich and sporting an instantly memorable melody, the song's resemblance to The Bangles was stunning.  I've actually played this one for friends who've been amazed to learn it wasn't The Bangles.   rating: **** stars    

4.) I've Had It   (R. Ceron - C. Bonaura) - 3:02

'I've Had It' found the group taking a stab at Brit-pop a-la something out of the Chinn-Chapman catalog.  Kind of a poppy slice of glam rock, I have to admit this one's always been a guilty pleasure to my ears.  Always loved the mindless la-la-la-la chorus.   rating: **** stars    

5.) From Where I Stand    (Nicole Barclay - 6:47

'From Where I Stand' was an interesting blend of 1960s girl group and breezy tropical pop.  Barclay seldom sounded as good on lead vocals with the song serving as a showcase for the group's glorious harmony vocals.  One of the my favorite performances on the set.   rating: **** stars  

 

As mentioned, Casablanca tapped the album for a pair of singles in the form of:

 

 

- 1974's 'I've Had It' b/w 'The First Time' (Casablanca catalog number NEB 0009)

- 1974's 'Butter Boy' b/w 'Beggar Man' (Casablanca catalog number NEB 814)

 

Most bands would be thrilled to have recorded such a good album at their creative zenith.  Given the circumstances surrounding this one the results were all the more impressive.  Well worth looking for since you can still find it fairly cheap.

 

 

 

Things continue to go south for the band.  Drummer Brandt quit after getting married to keyboardist James Newton-Howard (who'd supported the "Rock and Roll Survivors" sessions).  She was quickly replaced by Cam Davis.  Unhappy with the band's musical direction and apparently unhappy with Patti Quatro's growing influence, original keyboardist Barclay then headed out the door.   Davis and Quatro left in early 1975.  Ironically the defections took place just as the single 'Butter Boy' was beginning to gain some airplay.  That left Jean without a band to promote the single.  She approached sister June about touring and together with keyboardist Wendy Haas, Brie Brandt-Howard back on drums, and Patti Macheta on percussion undertook a brief supporting tour.  Complying with June's conditions for a reunion the band played little of no material from the Fanny catalog and began performing as the L.A. All-Stars.  Based on the Millington's pedigree major labels began courting the band.  In Arista planned on signing them in 1976, but backed out when the Millingtons refused the label's demand that they record and tour under the old Fanny nameplate.  And that was it for the Fanny legacy ...

 

 

 

/group/fanny7roads

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION