Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fuchsia - ''Fuchsia'' {England} [1971] @ 256 (psychedelic folk)

While albums from Trees, Pentangle, Spirogyra, Spriguns were until now more generally known and appreciated, this album never got its deserved attention. It was left unknown for much too long a time. But never-the-less it has all the necessary elements: a powerful play, Pre-Rahaelitic woman's voices, a beautiful male troubadour's voice with sometimes an almost female energy, with second high female voice, with many additional chamber music arrangements, long tracks, strong song structure, and a gifted individual approach Spirogyra's 3rd album, to give you some idea. Both sides are equally pleasant with their additional chamber music arrangements.


- Tony Durant / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Michael Day / bass
- Michael Gregory / drums, percussion
- Janet Rogers / violin, backing vocals
- Madeleine Bland / cello, piano, harmonium, backing vocals
- Vanessa Hall-Smith / violin, backing vocals

Track listing

1. Gone With The Mouse (4:59)
2. A Tiny Book (8:03)
3. Another Nail (6:57)
4. Shoes And Ships (6:14)
5. The Nothing Song (8:23)
6. Me And My Kite (2:34)
7. Just Anyone (3:33)

In 71, there were plenty of musical possibilities yet unexplored and Tony Durant thought about integrating the strings developing soothing rather between ELO’s first three album and JDDG’s superb, haunting spine-chilling Sun Symphonia. Rather closer to ELO’s sweeter sounds (circa Eldorado) than JDDG’s crazed sounds, the album is a pure pleasure for progheads enjoying string works that is precisely between ELO’s first three album and JDDG’s superb, haunting spine-chilling Sun Symphonia, the album is a pure pleasure for progheads enjoying string works. Although you can sense the inexperience of the group (only Durant had actually recorded before) and therefore an underlying naiveté, the album operates full-charms out on the unsuspecting proghead, even though the album’s inventiveness might not appear at first listen.

Although you will probably their music very symphonic, the real feel pervading is a rather soft folk rock with intricate (almost medieval) string arrangements. From the opening Gone With The Mouse (in JDDG’s loft? ;-) and its marvellous naïve pastoral feel, to the fabulous mini-epic A Tiny Book with its exuberant feel reminding the better ELO days, where the wise-at-first strings dare go in adventurous demoniac/fiendish grounds. The lyrics throughout the album are hardly innocent or hippy dippy rather concentrating on Mervin Peake’s oeuvre, but do not hold much wickedness, but the album is a must for anyone into Titus Groan.

Another Nail is one of two tracks that come from their Durant’s Louise days (the other being the sub-par Kite), but it is definitely the first inside the coffin of your sanity. Here the girl trio provide a hellish intro before the group takes over, but Bland’s harmonium keeps popping up and the girls come into the group to provide delicious licks on their strings and then outro the track as well.

The second side of the album starts softly on Shoes and Ship, with the whole thing definitely progressive but staying calm and featuring haunting cello drones (I was not sure I could place this line for 100 points ;-) on the closing section. When listening to the extensive mini-epic Nothing Song, one can wonder if Lynne and Wood had not laid their hands on a copy of this album. The album is not always even as there are tracks when the string section is used in a conservative manner: Kite and are hardly more than songs where a strings synths could suffice nowadays. However the closing Just anyone holds a tense suspense where the women are more discrete than on other parts of the album.

While it does not hold the insanity of Tea And Symphony, the pagan savagery of Comus and the extraordinary enthusiasm of Jan Dukes De Grey, this album is yet another just unearthed gems from the early 70’s, just waiting for progheads to stumble on it and carve out a 24-carat reputation.(some parts of review are Hugues Chantraine's)

Fuchsia made progressive music crisp and intelligent, dignified and sophisticated way beyond the pretensions of some of their heavier and indeed lighter contemporaries. A beautiful album.

Fuchsia - Gone With The Mouse:

Links in comments.


EelaFree said...


Anonymous said...

nice music really, thanks
pity it's vinyl rip
(sign vinyl rip in future please)

VacadaRisasOs said...

I love quality music, thank you

Psyence said...

May I request a repost of this album? The link is dead. I really like the "tiny book" song.

Anonymous said...

Glad it's finally avaiable on cd. My vinyl copy was completely f*#ked up by wear.

Anonymous said...

Hi, can you PLEASE repost this album?! I just fell in love with a fuchsia song on a sampler and I would love to hear more!

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