As many people do know the sixties and seventies still have a lot of lost musical releases that didn't get the recognition they deserved at the time they came out. One of them is without a doubt the eponymous album made by the British band Fuchsia. At the time they consisted of Tony Durant (acoustic and electric guitar, vocals), Michael Day (bass), Michael Gregory (drums and percussion), Vanessa Hall-Smith (violin and vocals), Janet Rogers (violin and vocals) and Madeleine Bland (cello, harmonium and vocals). The band members all studied in those days at the University of Exeter. The band did get in 2015, a well deserved reissue of an album which was originally released in 1971. Esoteric Recordings was responsible for that, so a show of hands for them. The original album was restored under the supervision of original member Tony Durant. Furthermore the album also got the original artwork and was accompanied by an impressive booklet which features the original lyrics and a band picture from the early days.
The band was signed on the prestigious label Pegasus Records which made them record the album in a very short time in England and France. Fuchsia was produced by the well known David Hitchcock who has worked with acts such as Caravan, Camel, Genesis and Elton John. The result was an album perfectly in tune with the times and the movement of British folk-inspired progressive rock. Most of the songs were written by Tony Durant and to give them a final shape he hired producer David Hitchcock to get them recorded in a proper recording studio. Musically we may call them in the same breath with bands like It's A Beautiful Day, Trees, Mellow Candle, Spirogyra and Pentangle. The atmosphere of the seventies is nowadays still very notable when you hear the seven tracks. For somebody, like myself, who likes this musical period a lot there is enough to enjoy on this forty five year old release. Even if no bonus tracks are included-something which is a bit strange when you do know from the booklet that two demos were recorded in those days. But I guess they might not have been of the same quality as the songs that appear on their debut.
Tony Durant later moved to Australia when the band split up. He became a successful jingle writer before he recorded a second album with a new line up of Fuchsia. He named the album Fuchsia 2, From Psychedelia To A Distant Place. If it contains the same kind of strong music as on the band's debut it is unfortunately not known to me because so far I never got hold of a copy of this album. Until then I might play their fine eponymous album one more time...
*** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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