Sunday, March 16, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1975 on Mercury Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 256 Kbps
Produced By: Denny Bruce for Dave Swaney's Co.
Engineered By: Keith Olson
Recorded At: Sound City, Los Angeles, Californi
Pretty Face / Hard Bargain Driver / Tomorrow's Star / Only A Child / Stranger's Bed / Dreamer / Turn To Me / Sweet Pain / Sad Dream Of Louise / The Day Of The Fire
All Songs Written and Arranged by Michael Fennelly
Michael Fennelly - Vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers
Brian Page - Guitars
Dave Catron - Bass
Dana Green - Drums, Percussion
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. A second solo album, Strangers 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, 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.
Bryan Thomas, All Music Guide
By Yours Truly:
This is an excellent piece of musical vinyl. Each song on this Lp is a gem in it's own right. Michael can rock with the best of them one minute and then the next pull you in close with a beautiful ballad. The album starts off with a Rockin' 2 fer and I mean rockin' If by the time Hard Bargain Driver is over you don't want to hear what comes next then I guess there's no hope for ya. The rest of side 1 is full of great vocals and guitar riffs not to mention great lyrics. Side two starts out with another rocker, Turn To Me. Why this one wasn't a monster hit is beyond me. Everybody at the record company musta been sitting on their hands back in those days. The Theme of the last two cuts on this fine disc have to do with Racism and Aliens and that's all I'll say about that......Don't let the album cover scare you this excellent piece of work and let it groove thru your veins for a couple plays and see if you don't end up being a Michael Fennelly fan.
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Blogger Ringbearer said...


I notice that you don't mention the incredible talents of Brian Page and his one of a kind guitar playing on this record.

Brian has been a friend of mine since 1968 and remains the greatest guitarist I have ever heard, and that is comparing him to the recorded output and multiple times I've seen such artists as Hendrix, Clapton (with Cream x 2, Blind Faith, D&Dominos as well as solo) Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page (w/Yardbirds & Zeppelin in 69/70), Peter Green and almost anyone else you might name (I stuck with the UK Greats from the British Invasion).

While Brian's guitar playing on this record is devastating, it pales by comparison to what I've heard him play over the last 40 years in my own living room!

Declan Lewis~

Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 1:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Mr. Lewis,

First off thanks for the feedback. Let me say that the guitar playing on this album is awesome but there was really no way for me to discern what's Michael's work and what's Brian's. That said, if you ever find your way back here again, I'd be more than happy to hear more about Brian's work over the years. Do you have a Discography for him? or links where I can go to learn more? Even better yet have him stop by....being a bit of a guitar player myself I'd love a chance to ask some questions about technique and scales and such.
At any rate thanks for stopping by and be sure to tell Brian that he has fans out there and thru blogs like mine more folks that weren't even around in the '70's are hearing his work now.


Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 11:04:00 PM EDT  
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