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.