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 -- 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 -- 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

 

 

 

- Nicole Barclay (solo efforts)

- Millington

- Jean Millington (solo efforts)

- June Millington (solo efforts)

- The Pleasure Seekers (Patti Quatro)

- Slammin' Babes (Jean and June Millington)

- Wild Honey

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Rock and Roll Survivors

Company: Casablanca

Catalog: NBLP 7007
Year: 1974

Country/State: Detroit, Michigan

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.

 

- 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: ** stars

- 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

- 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  

- 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

- 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  

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

- 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  

- 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    

- '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    

- '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.

 

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.

 

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

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

2.) Butter Boy   (Jean Millington) - 3:22

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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 ...

 

 

 

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