Get this crazy baby off my head!


Crabby Appleton

Crabby Appleton - Crabby Appleton - 1970 - Elektra

A touch of "The Archies" about them, (read bio), the band had moderate success with a Top 40 hit, "Go Back," which stayed in Billboard's charts for 14 weeks. A pleasant album of pop/folk rock with baroque influences, and an unusual conga and timbale-assisted sound. The album on it's release was critically acclaimed by some of the world's top music publications, although the album is arguably overrated, as not all of the tracks "gel". Many of the good reviews are based on the one great track, "Go Back". The other nine tracks are not in the same league. Some of the "hard rock" and folksy songs have pointless jamming, and often seem to aimlessly drift "in one ear and out the other". The band's "Rotten to the Core" release may be a stronger offering. What is your opinion of Crabby Appleton?


A1 Go Back (3:08)
A2 The Other Side (3:11)
A3 Catherine (2:40)
A4 Peace By Peace (5:32)
A5 To All My Friends (3:06)
B1 Try (3:43)
B2 Can't Live My Life (2:56)
B3 Some Madness (2:59)
B4 Hunger For Love (7:21)
B5 How Long Will It Take (3:20)

All songs composed by Michael Fennelly


Guitar, Lead Vocals - Michael Fennelly
Bass Guitar - Hank Harvey
Keyboards - Casey Foutz
Drums - Phil Jones
Timbales, Congas, Percussion - Flaco Falcon


Crabby Appleton's debut, produced by Elektra Records' house producer, Don Gallucci, was released by Elektra in 1970. The band enjoyed reasonable success with a fantastic Top 40 hit, "Go Back," which peaked at number 36 in June 1970 after 14 weeks on Billboard's singles charts. The rest of this album — while much of it lacks the punch of the single — is nevertheless a charming collection of power pop, moderate-tempo rock, and folky rock, and the occasional emphasis on organ-powered material with no real fodder. "Catherine" is a plaintive British folk-style number with nice vocal overdubs. "To All My Friends" is a punchy, piano-driven rocker that wouldn't have sounded too out of place on a Badfinger album circa Straight Up. "Try" is an upbeat, congas-and-organ-driven track, and the sad-but-pretty "Some Madness" also features pleasant percussive elements courtesy of celebrated conga and timbales player Felix "Flaco" Falcon. Happily, in 2002, this album was reissued on CD by Collectors' Choice. © Bryan Thomas, allmusic.com


After departing from Curt Boettcher's various studio-based groups — the Millennium, Sagittarius, et al. — guitarist/vocalist Michael Fennelly struck out on his own. In 1969, Fennelly went to Thee Experience, a Sunset Strip club, where he met the members of Stonehenge, a blues-oriented group whose lineup included Casey Foutz (keyboards), Hank Harvey (bass), Felix "Flaco" Falcon (percussion), Phil Jones (drums), and an unknown guitarist/lead vocalist. Stonehenge were, at the time, being scouted by a friend of their manager's, Elektra A&R man David Anderle, who had told the band that — in order to get a record deal — they would probably have to replace their lead singer, as he didn't write songs and clearly wasn't up to par with the rest of the band. Members of Stonehenge and Fennelly hit it off and, as Fennelly's "To Claudia on Thursday," a Millennium single, was getting airplay in L.A. at the time, the band thought he might be the perfect collaborator. They took the idea to Elektra, who agreed, and they formally invited Fennelly to join the band. They soon changed their name to Crabby Appleton (the name of a villain in a cartoon which aired during the Captain Kangaroo Show in the '50s and '60s) and began recording their first album. The eponymous Crabby Appleton, produced by Elektra house producer Don Gallucci (from Don & the Good Times and Touch), was released in 1970. The band enjoyed some success with a hooky single, "Go Back," which peaked at number 36 in June 1970 after five weeks on the charts. Over the next two years, subsequent singles by the band failed to catch fire. The group's second album, Rotten to the Core, found the band stretching out in different directions, but it failed to connect with its intended audience, and the band decided to break up. In 1973, Fennelly moved to England and began to focus on a solo career. He released two solo albums — 1974's Lane Changer, produced by ex-Zombies bassist Chris White (the album also featured another Zombie, Rod Argent, on synthesizer), and 1975's Stranger's Bed, produced by Denny Bruce — though he never achieved the kind of success that everyone expected. © Bryan Thomas, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Crabby Appleton was an early 1970s band who scored a Top 40 hit with their first single, "Go Back." Though nearly everyone in the group was from the LA-based band called Stonehenge, the group's line-up was revamped with the introduction of Michael Fennelly. Fennelly was the final addition to the group and became the group's leader—writing all their material, and becoming the sole guitarist and vocalist. Fennelly had been one of the principal vocalists and songwriters in The Millennium, whose sole album (Begin, 1968), is considered a classic of sunshine pop. In addition to Fennelly, the group's members included Felix "Flaco" Falcon (percussion), Casey Foutz (keyboards), Hank Harvey (bass), and Phil Jones (drums). Phil Jones previously of Oskaloosa, Iowa, but most recently of Laurel Canyon, helped form the band after meeting Michael Fennelly at Thee Experience, a club on the Sunset Strip. Phil had heard the song, "To Claudia on Thursday," which Michael wrote and sang with his group The Millennium, and recruited Michael to join Stonehenge as lead singer and songwriter. Phil, along with managers Mike Goldberg and Karl Bronstein, took the band, with Michael as lead singer and songwriter, to David Anderle at Elektra Records where Crabby Appleton were signed and recorded their first record: Crabby Appleton. The band's debut single, "Go Back," climbed to #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band opened for the Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, Three Dog Night, Guess Who, ABBA, and George Carlin. They appeared on American Bandstand, the Real Don Steele Show, What's Happening with John Byner, and enjoyed critical success. Both of their albums, Crabby Appleton and Rotten to the Core, received rave reviews in Rolling Stone and Creem magazines. Following the disbanding of the group, Fennelly recorded two solo records which were critically well received. Phil Jones enjoys success as a drummer and percussionist in the Los Angeles music scene and has recorded and toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Joe Walsh, Roy Orbison, Abba, Cracker, Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles), Roger Mcguinn, and is playing with the Waddy Wachtel Band.


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