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First Time In A Long Time: The Reprise Recordings

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Album Review

It's amazing that this four-CD box set exists in the first place, considering not only that Fanny never had a Top 100 album, but that they've never had a particularly big cult following either. But here it is, albeit in a limited edition of 5,000 (sold in North America only). And all the stops were certainly pulled to assemble material, including not only all four of their early-'70s Reprise albums, but dozens of extras, many of them unreleased. Non-LP singles, single-only versions, home and studio demos (the earliest of them dating from July 1969, when they were still known as Wild Honey), alternate versions, outtakes: they're all here. Plus there's more: the tracks on the Canadian version of their debut album (which included three alternate versions never released elsewhere, as well as some cuts that only came out in the U.S. as non-LP singles) that didn't make it onto the U.S. configuration; seven songs from an April 1973 Philadelphia concert; four tracks from a live April 1972 Cleveland performance; six cuts from a demo session for the Mother's Pride album; even four Reprise radio commercials. Not to mention a 52-page booklet with extensive interview quotes from June Millington, Jean Millington, and Alice de Buhr. By definition any serious fan of any act is going to be pleased with such thoroughness. But all the bells and whistles don't act as convincing evidence that Fanny were any more than an ordinary, at times mundane, early-'70s rock band, leaving aside their pioneering status as an all-woman group on a major label that played their own instruments and wrote most of their material. The loads of non-LP and unreleased material aren't all that different than from what ended up on the four proper albums, though sometimes they show a more explicitly soul direction, as on the cover of Maxine Brown's "One Step at a Time" and the unreleased take of the Supremes' "Back in My Arms Again." The live recordings do prove that the band could rock convincingly and tightly on stage, and the fidelity on those is decent, though on the Cleveland cuts in particular it probably wouldn't have been judged up to release standard. Some of the demos are a mite folkier and more singer/songwriter-oriented than the albums, though that might be due more to the more basic arrangements than the material. Note that this doesn't include absolutely everything Fanny did; there's nothing from their post-Reprise album for Casablanca, and an archival live album of 1972 stuff done in Cleveland contains music not on this box.

Customer Reviews

An oustanding deal on a unique band

This album is the only collection you will need for this excellent band. The CD version has been available for upwards of 80GBP in the high street for some time, but at 7.99 for all the main stream tracks from this unique band you will be hard pressed to find a better deal - although Songs of Yesterday by Free is a close second. The Fanny anthology includes many interesting out takes and versions not available elsewhere. What you dont get with this digital version is the highly informative narrative that is included in the CD version - but at the price is it that important. Charity Ball in all of its various versions is one of a series of classic tracks that will bring back happy memories of Bracknell Sports Centre, June 16th 1973.

They ROCK!

Hey. There were a lot of male groups in the early 70s who were a) a lot more famous / sold more records while b) being genuinely more mundane than this lot. Fanny could out-rock many of them right off the stage. Ok, they are not up with the Zepps and Purples and Motts, but how many were? There's enough here if you pick your tracks carefully. My own favourite album was the first, 'Charity Ball', but there's a load of great stuff here. If I have one criticism, it is that some songs fall halfway between singer-songwriter material and full-on hard rock, and are performed as if the band wasn't sure which it was. Fanny would (I believe) have found a larger and wider audience if they had simply decided to have a 'rock side' and an 'acoustic side'. If CSNY, Neil Young, Rod Stewart, and countless other artists could do it, this outfit certainly could too if they had had a mind to.

First time Box set - FANNY

At this price it is worth the effort to go through the 90 tracks to see how good Fanny were. Take a chance for at this price you can't go wrong. there will be tracks here for everyone. If only we could get other box sets at this price. Check out ZZ Top and Free along with Status Quo. Good box sets at excellent prices and the musics good too! Keep rockin'.

Biography

Formed: 1970 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s

Upon signing hard rock combo Fanny in 1970, Warner Bros. claimed their new acquisition was the first all-female rock band — a statement far from the truth, of course, but as one of the first self-contained female groups to land on a major label, they were an important harbinger of things to come. Fanny formed in California under the name Wild Honey, teaming singer/guitarist June Millington, her bassist sister Jean, keyboardist Nickey Barclay, and drummer Alice de Buhr. (The Millingtons and...
Full bio
First Time In a Long Time: The Reprise Recordings, Fanny
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