Fuchsia — Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Gems (1975-1978)
(Night Wings NWRCD 04, 1978/2005, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-06-23This is a collection of odds and ends from 1970 – 1978 compiled after the demise of Fuchsia. The first two songs are unreleased demos recorded on a primitive ¼ track about nine months after the release of Fuchsia: “Ragtime Brahms” and “The Band,” which happens to be the track Me and My Kites elected to cover on FdM. The third track, “Ring of Red Roses,” is from the original Fuchsia demo acetate and consequently the sound quality is not up to par. In 1975 Tony Durant began work on the “Mahagonny” project that was his interpretation of Berchtolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s music. This project combined the themes from both The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Tony recorded five demo songs, which are included on this disc. The music is quite a bit different from that on Fuchsia, but you can trace it back. If you are familiar with Brecht and Weill’s music you will know that it is dark and edgy. In fact their music has been covered many times, the most notable being the Doors’ version of the “Alabama Song.” By contrast, Tony’s interpretations are upbeat and melodic songs with some progressive jazz elements thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, despite the quality of these songs, timing was everything. In 1976, progressive music started to tank and be replaced by punk rock. After the Mahagonny demos are a couple of great songs by Bob Chudley, who co-wrote “Another Nail” from the Fuchsia album. These demos were Bob’s last attempt at serious songwriting. The disc closes with a wonderful folk rock song “I’ll Remember Her Face” that was recorded in 1978 and sung by John Tams who was currently in the Albion band along with Fuchsia’s drummer Michael Gregory. This song was composed for a film production titled The Golden Medallion. And for those of you unfamiliar with John Tams, he has received numerous BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards over the years, as well as writing the theme song for and acting in the Sharpe TV series. John has a unique voice and hearing him on this disc was quite a surprise. Though not quite up to the quality of Fuchsia, this companion disc of extra material demonstrates that the band could have done well if they had been better managed.
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more