Fuzzy Duck - Fuzzy Duck
In September 1971 (no exact date) "Fuzzy Duck" released their only album "Fuzzy Duck".
This album is undoubtedly one of the hidden treasures of the early seventies. We generally hold the opinion that there is no album released between the years 1967 and 1973 that is a bad album, and this album is the winning proof that even a relatively anonymous band that has not received any publicity, can release an album that, if had been released in a slightly different time, would surely have been a great success. There were simply so many great treasures released during this period that even an excellent and amazing album like this was lost in the vast and rich musical paradise that prevailed during that magical time.
This is the only album of a unique band that made great music in the early seventies, lived for a short period, and disbanded without leaving a bright trail of fire as many others did during their time, so it is very difficult for music lovers to track them down. To the above must we add the fact that only 500 copies of the band's only album were originally printed, and there you have a cultural-musical disaster that allowed only virtuous individuals to know this blooming treasure.
So let's start by getting to know the band a little. "Fuzzy Duck" was a hard rock - progressive band from London, formed in 1970. It included Mick Hawksworth, known among others from bands like "Killing Floor", "Andromeda" and "Crazy World of Arthur Brown" - on bass, guitar, Electric cello, and vocals, Roy Sharland - on keyboards and vocals, Grahame White on guitars and vocals and drummer Paul Francis from the band "Tucky Buzzard".
The band got lucky and in a short time, they signed a recording contract with producer Gordon Mills' MAM label, known for having worked with artists such as Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. Wanting to grow and develop in other musical genres, Mills was looking for an underground band to sign to the new label he had just founded and the ever-emerging line-up of "Fuzzy Duck" fitted him like a glove.
The album was produced by bassist Mick Hawksworth who believed that the band itself would do a better job better producing the album, rather than an outside producer who is not familiar with the band's unique style. He was indeed right!
This album style is a crazy mix between blues, hard-rock, funk, psychedelia, and fine British progressive rock similar to bands like "Soft Machine", "Caravan" and highly recommended for classic rock fans who enjoy Hammond organ and rough electric guitar solos.
The album opens up with "Time Will Be Your Doctor" - a song written by drummer Paul Francis together with his two friends from his previous band Tucky Buzzard - bassist David Brown and keyboardist Nick Graham. Indeed it is evident that this is a song that a drummer and keyboardist co-wrote, with a thick and dominant Hammond sound and energetic drumming. The Vocal duties on this album are split between bassist Mick Hawksworth and guitarist Grahame White, who fills the vocal role in this case.
The album continues with this one-off band's unique groove and energetic tempo changes. The song "Mrs. Prout" is an amazing technical display of all the members with a classic Hammond organ, precise drumming that holds the rhythm, despite the frequent rhythm changes, and the sharp and focused guitar work. The band changes the musical color as the song progresses, just like a chameleon, from a stormy fast-paced part to an amazing progressive section, just brilliant playing. But what makes this piece so special is the instrumental part in the middle of the song. It just proves how professional these guys are.
The fifth track "More Than I Am" written by bassist Mick Hawksworth and sung by him, is one of the standout songs on the album with a cool guitar riff, a particularly catchy organ melody, and unforgettable harmonic vocals. The quiet guitar line in its opening reminds us a lot of the "Strawbs". This is undoubtedly a song that should have represented the band as the lead single from the album.
The sixth track "Country Boy" is a good song, melodic and rhythmic. What makes it more interesting is the sudden break and transition to a slow tempo with the distinct "Led Zeppelin" guitar solo and drumming. Then the song picks up speed again and before you realize what's happening you're back to the opening tune again, this time with some crazy organ solo. Just pure perfection.
Another great song on the album is "Just Look Around You", written and sung by Mick Hawksworth and featuring one of the catchiest choruses on the album and amazing guitar work by Grahame White, with short and hot solos. "In Our Time" features guitar work reminiscent of the legendary Ritchie Blackmore, and keyboards and vocals that all bring us back to the first "Deep Purple" lineup.
The album is sealed with "A Word From Big D", a humorous, sweeping, and rhythmic instrumental piece with duck sounds and effects accompanying the music. It is simply a psychedelic piece and an original way to end such a special album.
Over the years "Fuzzy Duck" became a rare and underground classic. Whoever owned the original vinyl copy of it, is just like the owner of a golden egg. The demand for this album grew through the years until the record company decided to release remastered versions of the album, which also include four new bonus songs that were not released before.
Unfortunately, "Fuzzy Duck" released only one album before disappearing from the classic rock scene. They disbanded only 18 months after their formation, leaving us wondering why the tremendous potential that lay within it remained wasted and unrealized.
For Listening: Spotify, Apple Music