Fresh

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Influenced by Sly & the Family Stone and Rare Earth, Fresh was an obscure, little-known 1970s band that combined soul and funk with rock. The interracial outfit, which shouldn't be confused with either…
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Influenced by Sly & the Family Stone and Rare Earth, Fresh was an obscure, little-known 1970s band that combined soul and funk with rock. The interracial outfit, which shouldn't be confused with either the 1990s hip-hop engineer or other bands that have called themselves Fresh, didn't get very far commercially -- quite possibly, its three LPs were too funky for rock stations and too rock-influenced for R&B stations. Fresh was formed in 1975, when its original six-person lineup consisted of lead singer Bill Pratt, lead guitarist Paul Marshall, rhythm guitarist Elaine Mayo, keyboardist David Kaffinetti, bassist Milo Martin, and drummer Fred Allen. In 1976, the band signed with MCA, which released its debut album, Get Fresh, the following year. It was also in 1977 that Fresh was an opening act for Rufus & Chaka Khan; Fresh received generally favorable responses from Rufus fans, but regrettably, that didn't translate into record sales. Get Fresh bombed commercially, and the band parted company with MCA. In 1978, Fresh resurfaced on Motown's Prodigal label with its sophomore effort, Feelin' Fresh, and unveiled a new seven-person lineup. Most of the original members were still on board, although a saxophonist, George Englund, had been added -- and Kaffinetti had been replaced by keyboardist Frank Savino. After Feelin' Fresh, Mayo left the band. Neither Feelin' Fresh nor Fresh's third album, Omniverse (which Prodigal/Motown released in late 1978) received much attention -- and in 1979, the band broke up. All three of Fresh's albums were out of print by the 1980s and are unlikely to ever be reissued on CD.