Tuesday, December 11, 2007
MICHAEL FENNELLY - Lane Changer (1974)
Yep, that ugly promo sticker. I know. Well, I tried to peel it off. You can see the results. Come to think of it, it has been stuck there for... what? 33 years. OMG...
Anyways... but who is this guy above (and below)?
Mr. Bryan Thomas from AMG says:
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 Boetcher'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 (Actually, I gotta step up here... This is not correct 100%. The only synth sound I can identify is on Touch My Soul -a very gentle background- and in Watch Yerself's crazy solo interplays. So there.)
A second solo album, Strangers Bed, was recorded in L.A., produced by Denny Bruce and engineered by Keith Olsen (yes, I've got to have this somewhere...) (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, Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks). Released by Mercury in 1975, Stranger's Bed failed to chart. Fennelly is still involved in the music business, and continues working with Joey Stec.
All songs by M. Fennelly. Cockroach, Haymarket, Hard Core and Mee Moo Music BMI.
Touch My Soul
Won't You Please Do That
Over My Dead Body
Easy To Love
Shine A Light
Give Me Your Money
All guitars, pyrotechnics and vocals by M. Fennelly with noted exceptions.
Also, very fine musicians playing in some of the songs:
Drums: Robert Henrit, Henry Spinetti and others.
Bass: Jim Rodford, Dave Wintour.
On Touch My Soul: Background vocals by Rod Argent, Russ Ballard and Mystery Singer.
On Dark Night: Rod Argent plays the mellotron.
Produced by Chris White (of the Zombies).
From the back cover:
Lane Changer is Michael Fennelly's first solo album.
Lane Changer doesn't have to apply to him. It's one of the eleven songs here and not necessarily the best. The words sound good together. Lane Changer.
In the late sixties he was part of the notorious Millenium. In the early seventies he was the leader of Crabby Appleton, writing and singing Go Back and everything else the group recorded.
The changes continue on Lane Changer. Searing blitz rock to comfortably complex ballads to acoustic love songs.