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Fuzzy Duck (UK) - 1970 / 2002 - "Fuzzy Duck"
(51 min, "Hi-Note")


*****
Tracklist:
1. Time will Be Your Doctor 5:32 (Francis, White)
2. Mrs. Prout 6:44 (Francis, Sharland)
3. Just Look Around You 4:22 (Hawhsworth)
4. Afternoon Out 4:57 (Francis, Sharland)
5. More Than I Am 5:09 (Hawhsworth)
6. Country Boy 6:02 (Francis, Sharland, White)
7. In Our Time 6:37 (Hawhsworth)
Bonus tracks:
8. Double Time Woman 2:59 (FUZZY DUCK)
9. No Name Face 3:06 (=)
10. One More Hour 3:59 (=)
11. A Word From Big D 1:37 (=)

Line-up:

Paul Francis - drums & percussion
Mick Hawksworth - vocals;
bass & classical guitars; electric cello
Grahame White - vocals; electric & acoustic guitars
Roy Sharland - organ (+ "ducking voices" - on 6)

Recorded by Keith Harwood
at "Olympic Studios", London; U.K.

Prologue. As well as in the case of July, only a few dozens of the only Fuzzy Duck LP were originally released. Recently, the album was for the first time released on CD. However, the length of the original "Fuzzy Duck" album was about 40 minutes and there were only seven songs on it (see tracklist). The booklet of this CD doesn't contain information on this matter.

The Album. So, let's begin with the contents of the original "Fuzzy Duck" album. Above all, it must be said that the band played a very original music, successfully combining the energy of Deep Purple with the intricacy of Yes. (Certainly, the examples that I used in the previous sentence are relative, but not comparative.) All seven of the songs that were presented on the original LP were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, the best definition of which would probably be the next. Overall, this is a blend of Classic Art-Rock and Hard Rock. However, only four out of seven songs completely conform to that definition. These are Time will Be Your Doctor and Mrs. Prout, Country Boy, and In Our Time (tracks 1, 2, 6, & 7). Each of them contains a few lengthy instrumental parts, most of which consist of virtuosi, high-speed and hard-edged, arrangements. All of these songs are filled with such essential progressive ingredients as frequent changes of tempo and mood, odd measures, diverse and, often, contrasting interplay between solos of organ and bass guitar, and riffs of electric guitar, etc. Yes, interplay between solos of organ and bass guitar, all of which are very diverse, tasteful, and virtuosi, play a prominent role in the development of arrangements throughout the album. While the bright, masterful, and truly significant solos of guitar are featured only on five tracks: Time Will Be Your Doctor, Just Look Around You, Afternoon Out, Country Boy, and In Our Time (1, 3, 4, 6, & 7). With regard to the 'level of progressiveness' however, Mrs. Proud and especially Country Boy (2 & 6) surpass all the other songs on the album. Structurally, all three of the remaining tracks: Just Look Around You, Afternoon Out, and More Than I Am (3, 4, & 5), are not unlike those four songs that I've described above. There are, however, the less number of hard-edged arrangements on these three songs. Nevertheless, the instrumental arrangements that are featured on them flow nonstop regardless whether there are the vocals, which is typical for the (original) album as a whole. In that way, all the songs that were present on the original "Fuzzy Duck" LP are definitely progressive. Each of the four bonus tracks of this album is about a pared-down version of the band's original style. In short, three of them are the nice and original Hard Rock songs, and the last track on the CD is the instrumental piece of the same character.

Summary. Frankly, "Fuzzy Duck" is a very strong and original album. I find it much better than many of the other albums that were released in 1970, including those by Focus, Colosseum, Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash, and even Yes. Fuzzy Duck had everything to become the cult band - at least like the same Hawkwind and Wishbone Ash. I can't find any info on the band, but anyway, I regret that they didn't continue their musical career. Doubtless, if the "Fuzzy Duck" LP would've been properly released and distributed, it would have been one of the most popular albums at that time.

VM. June18, 2002


Related Links:

"Hi-Note" web-site / online ordering: http://www.hinotemusic.com/


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