Fanny

Live

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This disc includes nearly an hour's worth of in-studio performances from Fanny -- the first all-female rock group to be signed to a major record label. The April 11, 1972, concert from Agency Studios was also broadcast on WNCO in Cleveland, OH. While not of the highest sonic quality, what this recording lacks in fidelity is more than replenished in spirit. As this disc attests, Fanny proved to be much more than a token girl "rock" band based on hot looks instead of hot licks. This broadcast coincides with the release of the band's third album, Fanny Hill, and likewise a majority of the songs are from that release. That said, conspicuously absent is one of the record's focal points -- June Millington's "You've Got a Home." The band is in tremendous form right out of the box with an inspired and funky "Borrowed Time." Then Millington breaks out her trademark spacious electric guitar sound on "Place in the Country." Millington possess the rare capability of sustained intensity bringing to mind the ferocity which Frank Zappa is often noted for. Other highlights during this performance include cover versions of the Beatles' "Hey Bulldog" and an up-tempo and overtly blues-filled rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar." Additionally, the interplay between Nickey Barclay at the keys and bassist Jean Millington could easily be mistaken for the instinctive soul backbone of Booker T. & the M.G.'s. Yes, girls can rock, too! However, Fanny does more than simply rock. Their grooves are original and propulsive, instead of the fodder that produced the '70s "battle of the wah-wah pedal" mentality. The final two tracks hearken back to their previous album, Charity Ball. The title cut was, in fact, meant to be their final selection of the broadcast. Then, after realizing they had a few minutes to kill, they launch into a request of "Cat Fever." The results are on par with the remainder of this high-energy performance. Highly recommended.

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