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3.9.10

Michael Fennelly


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Michael Fennelly - Lane Changer - 1974 - Epic

Michael was a member of the band Crabby Appleton that released a couple of great albums in the early seventies. Their 1970 self-titled album contained the great "Go Back". Many people regard "Lane Changer" as a very underrated mid seventies rock album. Michael was quite a good vocalist and guitarist. There are plenty of good bluesy vocals from Mike throughout the album. The album often sounds like a mixture of Argent (Rod Argent and Russ Ballard both play on the album) and T-Rex. There is a hard rock element through the album in the Marc Bolan style (the front cover is like Marc in appearance). There is also some mellower balladic rock tracks, and even a hint of that '70's "Glam Rock". Don't let the "Glam Rock" reference put you off this album. This is nothing like The Glitter Band or Mud. Try and listen to Michael's 1975 "Stranger's Bed" album. N.B: Trivia for Steely Dan disciples - Michael sings background vocals on "The Boston Rag" on Steely Dan's classic "Countdown to Ecstasy" album.

N.B: This album's for you, Patricia! Sorry about the sound imperfections. Best copy available!!

TRACKS

Lane Changer
Touch My Soul
Won't You Please Do That
Over My Dead Body
Dark Night
Easy to Love
Shine a Light
Bad Times
Flyer
Watch Herself
Give Me Your Money

All songs composed by Michael Fennelly

MUSICIANS

Rod Argent (Synthesizer), (Background Vocals)
Russ Ballard (Background Vocals)
Michael Fennelly (Guitar), (Special Effects), (Vocals)
Jeff Beck - Guitar
Dave Wintour (Bass)
Casey Foutz (Keyboards)
Henry Spinetti, Robert Henrit, Michael Giles (Drums)
Gasper Lewel (Percussion)
Alan Holmes (Clarinet), (Saxophone)
Nick Newell (Soprano Sax)
John Beachman (Trombone)
Michael Cotton (Trumpet)
Jim Rodford (Background Vocals)

All About Michael Fennelly (from Lane Changer promotional sheet, 1974)

Michael Fennelly spent the month of September recording at CBS’s studios in London—he came back with the flu, a case of pink eye, a fondness for English beer, and a superb first solo album. Items numbers one and two have long since been cured, and the extra few pounds acquired as a result of the beer are rapidly disappearing. But, deservedly, the album will be here for a long time to come. In it, Michael’s writing and performing talents are joined with the producing ingenuity of Chris White, former Zombies bass player noted for his brilliant coproduction work with Argent and Colin Blunstone. The pairing proved to be a stroke of genius since it tempers the raw power of Michael’s music with the influence of Chris’s exquisite taste. With the added presence of Argent’s bass player Jim Radford and drummer Bob Henrit on seven tracks, Rod Argent’s mellotron work in Dark Night and Jeff Beck’s lead guitar in “Watch Yerself,” concrete hard rock has rarely been so listenable. But there is more to this album—the title Lane Changer is not only the name of one of the songs, it is also an indication of Michael’s multi-faceted musical personality. As the liner notes aptly state, he can move from “searing blitz rock to complex ballads to acoustic love songs” with an agility that would be the envy of any California freeway driver. In addition to such hard rock sides as “Give Me Your Money,” “Won’t You Please Do That,” “Lane Changer” and “Watch Yerself,” the album highlights these contrasts: the completely acoustic “Easy to Love”­—featuring Michael singing backed by his own slide guitar accompaniment-is touching in its simplicity; “Flyer” combines a sensitive vocal with a memorable sax solo by Nick Newall; and words to describe “Touch My Soul” are hard to find except to call it a classic. All in all, a total album of uniquely high standard that will re-introduce a brilliant artist to the music scene. Re-introduce because Fennelly’s name is not new to rock aficionados. Shortly after his arrival in Los Angeles at seventeen from Westfield, New Jersey, he became a member of the now-legendary Millennium, whose only Columbia album was a critical but not commercial success. The songs Michael wrote for that album were considered by many to be the best the group recorded. Two years later, Fennelly was again making his presence felt, this time as the prime mover in the group Crabby Appleton, once described as the “quintessential American rock and roll band.” They released two albums on Elektra, Crabby Appleton and Rotten to the Core—a total of 24 songs (including a hit single “Go Back”) written by Michael Fennelly, who also sang all lead parts and played lead guitar. After the breakup of that group, Michael laid low in the house he shares with his calico cat, Ace, and prepared to strike out on his own. Then he recorded this album, and there’s no doubt that he was prepared. Posted by admin • April 14th, 2008 © 2010 Curt Boettcher.com http://www.altuspress.com/curtb/2008/04/14/all-about-michael-fennelly-from-lane-changer-promotional-sheet-1974/

BIO

Michael Fennelly was born in 1949, in New Jersey, but moved to L.A. where he became involved in California's pop/protest movement. By 1967, Fennelly had secured a publishing deal with songwriter/producer Curt Boettcher's Mee Moo Music and became a member of Boettcher's studio-based collective of musicians, including the two main groups, Sagittarius, and the Millennium. Fennelly -- one of five singer/guitarist/songwriters in the latter group, who were actually intended to be a proper live act -- provided fabulous falsetto vocals in addition to co-writing much of the group's material, often with guitarist/vocalist Joey Stec, another member of the Sagittarius/Millennium collective. In 1969, Fennelly was looking to form a group of his own to showcase his lead vocal talents and songwriting when met the members of a band called Stonehenge, a blues-oriented group who were being scouted by Elektra's David Anderle, a friend of their manager's. The band -- with Fennelly now taking over lead vocals and songwriting duties -- changed their name to Crabby Appleton and signed to Elektra Records. Their first album, Crabby Appleton, was produced by Don Gallucci (from Don & the Good Times) and released in 1970. It enjoyed reasonable success with a catchy Top 40 hit, "Go Back," which peaked at number 36 in July 1970 after five weeks on the charts. Crabby Appleton's second album, Rotten to the Core, was released in October 1971. Despite complimentary reviews, the group's two albums proved ultimately unsuccessful and the band broke up. Fennelly later traveled to England, where he began focusing on a solo career, recording two solo albums. The first, Lane Changer, was recorded in London with the support of ex-Zombies bassist/producer Chris White and Rod Argent on synthesizer. A second solo album, Stranger's Bed, was recorded in L.A., produced by Denny Bruce and engineered by Keith Olsen (incidentally, Fennelly's album was Olsen's last as a engineer -- he was, at the same time, producing Fleetwood Mac's first album with two new members, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks). Released by Mercury in 1975, Stranger's Bed failed to chart. Fennelly is still involved in the music business.. © Bryan Thomas, © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/michael-fennelly-1

BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Michael Fennelly (b. 4 April 1949) is an American musician known for his work as a singer and songwriter in the 1960s and 1970s, notably in The Millennium and Crabby Appleton. Fennelly was born in New York, the second of three children. He grew up in Pennsylvania and Westfield, New Jersey, and attended high school there. He began taking guitar lessons when he was nine years old. At the age of 17 he hitchhiked to Los Angeles and began performing in clubs there. By 1967 he had become a member of songwriter/producer Curt Boettcher's studio-based collective of musicians. He contributed electric sitar and vocals to the album Present Tense by Sagittarius, and then became one of the five singer/guitarist/songwriters included in The Millennium, the sunshine pop group assembled by Boettcher. In 1969 he joined an existing band, Stonehenge, as lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, changing their name to Crabby Appleton. The band were signed to Elektra Records, and released two albums, with Fennelly's writing becoming influenced by such emerging musicians as Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Their single "Go Back", written and sung by Fennelly, produced by Don Gallucci and taken from the band's first album, reached # 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid 1970. After the band broke up, Fennelly embarked upon a solo career, recording two albums, Lane Changer (1973) and Stranger's Bed (1975). However, neither was successful. Fennelly also recorded with Steely Dan; he sings the high harmony on "The Boston Rag" from Countdown to Ecstasy, their second album. Fennelly remained in the music business thereafter, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

14 comments:

Patricia Lacerda said...

Thank You! This sounds great!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Patricia. Many thanks. If I can help you out again, please let me know. Keep in touch & ttu soon

Michael said...

hey great blog, michael fennellys strangers bed can be found at bolt.org jusa heads up on a hard to find lp

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Michael. Thanks a million! I like your blogs! Cheers,& keep in touch

Ivan said...

Patricia has good taste, I have this on vinyl, & been looking for a post for ages...I have a wide range of tastes & am trying to duplicate my large collection onto my hard drive....... thanks for this gem !

Ivan said...

tryin' to duplicate my vinyl collection ....this gem has made me happy, lookin' for it for a long time......superb site you done got ! Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Ivan. Patricia HAS good taste, and so have you my friend. There's a few old vinyl albums that I'm still looking for. It's a long slow process finding the records, but always worthwhile. Thanks a million for your comments. Stay in touch, & TTU soon

Ivan said...

I replied to your e-mail but not sure you'll get it so...I have searched for Herbie Flowers - Plant Life for a long time , do you have it , or know who has ? Great stuff , loads I've been trying to get ! let me know what you're looking for and in the unlikely chance I have it , I'll get it to you............ somehow.
I'm hoping to set up a blogspot myself , no-one seem willing to help , which I can understand , don't know me from adam.. but an old friend may be able to point me the right way next week..... I'll let you know...thanks loads...Ivan. Warwick UK

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Ivan. Send me a mail @ anoverdoseoffingalcocoa(at)gmail(dot)com We'll have a chat. Thanks...P

puck said...

Is the cover you show to a UK or release other than the US? I have this album, but that is not the cover I have.
just curious.
Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,puck. The album I have is the UK 1974 Epic release. I think the US Mercury release has a different cover. I have seen 4 different covers for the album. Thanks, & TTU soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

http://dfiles.eu/files/8j55tr9k2

x said...

Dear A.O.O.F.C
Thankyou for the re-up of Lane Changer....
Any chance I could get Stranger's Bed too...??

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi x. Sorry. I don't have album to re-up. Post a request in comment box on this blog and you may get help. TY...Paul