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Sad end for the pioneers of Female Rock,
This review is from: Rock And Roll Survivors (Audio CD)
By 1974 Fanny had lost guitarist June Millington and drummer Alice De Buhr due to internal strife and had replaced them by Suzi's sister, Patti Quatro and long time cohort, Brie Howard, respectively. Consequently the change of line-up, as well as a change of producer and record label created an entirely new ambiance on this, their fourth and last album.
The normally prolific songwriter, Nickey Barclay, contributes only two songs which bookend the album; the opening title track, a typically structured rocker comprising a riff-driven verse complimented by Brie's Latin tinged drumming and a leisurely, pastoral interlude and the closer, a syncopated melody that brings to mind early 50s tinged Carole King songs.
Sadly, Jean Millington's `Butter Boy', became a belated hit for Fanny at a time when the band was in final disintegration. There is a pervading 1950s undercurrent to this album, which manifests itself here by some `wah-oo' backing vocals and a relentlessly jaunty rhythm.
The remainder of the album comprises three rather workmanlike covers and four songs composed by Patti Quatro of varying degrees of competence and immersed in her thin buzzing guitar tone. `Beggar Man', arguably her best effort, is a mid tempo rocker given an unusual treatment by the use of her wah-wah rhythm playing, whispered vocals and some wonderfully moody keyboard shadings from Nickey.
`Rock `n' Roll Survivors' is a patchy album and somewhat unrepresentative of the band Fanny had been on their previous three Reprise albums. As a long time fan of the band, I found this a disappointing end to the career of a truly pioneering quartet.