Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tres Bulldog

From AMG:

Fanny Hill is the work of a rock & roll band which goes beyond gender and should have been as popular as it is classic. Beginning with "Ain't That Peculiar," the 1965 Top Ten hit for Marvin Gaye, June Millington's slide guitar is augmented by Bobby Keys' baritone sax creating an entirely new sound for the Motown standard. Recorded at Abbey Studios in London, Fanny cleverly use the Beatles' facility and the Rolling Stones' horn players, an excellent combination. 

Nickey Barclay's "Knock on My Door" creates a subtle mood; however, the gals can't seem to wait to explode again with "Blind Alley." Jean Millington's "Wonderful Feeling" is very strong, with the musicians weaving textures here as they do on sister June Millington's "Think About the Children." Nickey Barclay's keyboards have that elegant "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" sound that Steve Winwood was so enamored of. It is perfect here, with Richard Perry keeping the instruments in their own space, gaining insight into what he would do with the Pointer Sisters years after this album, the density of "You're So Vain" and "Photograph," the producer's neo-Phil Spector radio hits, not employed on Fanny Hill.

Perry wisely lets Fanny provide the sound -- as they do so well on one of the finest covers in Beatles history, their definitive version of "Hey Bulldog."

Really? Think he meant definitive "cover" version?

I hadn't heard this album in years, probably not since Rhino released that limited edition Fanny set in 2002, and back then, not since the mid-70s. I revisited the LP yesterday, wanting to feel what AMG reviewer Joe Viglione felt.  I did not. Not even close. What is he hearing that is so definitive in their version of "Hey Bulldog?"

Maybe he never heard this version.

Or this, which is I think is the definitive version.



buzzbabyjesus said...

I think Joe was getting paid to write a puff piece and based his review on the album cover.
Boxer's version is interesting partially because it features Ollie Halsall, who went on to play "Paul" in The Rutles(not in the film but on record). Between his stints in Patto and Boxer, Ollie was briefly the front man and principal writer in Tempest, whose 1973 album includes this version of "Paperback Writer". Of course the Beatles version is definitive, as it is one of their finest moments, but this revved up rendition looks forward a few years to punk rock.


Jeff Matthews said...

Almost by definition, there's no such thing as a "definitive" cover, because covers are interpretations and there's no "definitive" interpretation of a song or any other idea.
I always thought Fanny rocked, and they were groundbreaking in their own way - not only the all female lineup but the the way their being fronted by two Filipino sisters challenged ethnic stereotypes.
Earl Slick was married to Jean for a while, and their two kids are really cool in their own right. Lee is a drummer and personally linked to Naia Kate. Marita is a chef and photographer who writes a fantastic blog.

soundsource said...

Okay I know this is gonna get me in trouble but what the fuck. maybe he meant definitive version by a girl group. There I've said it.

FD13NYC said...

In my opinion it's a little hard to really compare The Beatles version of Hey Bulldog to anyone's cover. But...Fanny's version is good, while Boxer's definitely kicks ass! A terrific go at it.

buzzbabyjesus said...

The definitive version is the one recognized as the best so far. Some so-called definitive versions are covers. Frank Sinatra didn't write "Summer Wind". One persons definitive is another's bullshit version.
Here is what I consider the definitive cover of "Yer Blues", by Shiina Ringo. I've shared this before. I think it kills.
And here is Spooky tooth's version of "I Am The Walrus". I'm not sure definitive is the right word, but it gets credit for being so elaborately different that I nominate it for some sort of special award.

Gene Oberto said...

Keith Ellis was the bass player for Boxer until his death a few month's ahead of Mike Patto. I met Keith in a most unusual way, at a pub in Islington. Keith was just over his stint in Juicy Lucy (remember them?) He was living in a modest flat with the sister of Keith Emerson. Yeah, the same one. A friend of mine, Dave H., and I had gone to London to buy Norton motorcycles, which we did.

Keith was a lovely, sensitive guy and Mr. Emerson's sister, (I want to call her Susie) was a pistol, the epitome of a r&r girlfriend. They put Dave and I up in the flat, and we bought drinks and other refreshments. I remember a trip up to Windsor Castle with Keith up on my Norton and Susie on Dave's. I sensed a little more than friendship between Dave and Susie, Dave had that magnetic charm. Keith never seemed bothered and I never asked.

When the Boxer LP with that explicit cover came through our import shop, it renewed good memories and I was glad that Keith was still working in what he loved.

His untimely death caused me to pause. If any one wanted the recognition, it was Keith.

Shriner said...

OK, I've always liked this version:


But I'm a big Alice Cooper fan (even with all the Steve Vai wankery...)

mabroch said...

I'm partial to this frat-boy version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwZFvlhkXT0

buzzbabyjesus said...

Those two covers just put me over the edge. I'm finished with "Hey Bulldog" forever. I've just heard it two times too many. I can't even go back to the Beatles.