Fuchsia — Fuchsia (Deluxe Edition)
(Fruits de Mer crustacean 86, 1971/2018, 2LP+DVD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-09-30
Back in 2013, after Fruits de Mer released the Me and My Kites 7-inch with Tony Durant, I went on a search for Fuchsia’s albums. Even the CD reissues were difficult to find, but find them I did and subsequently reviewed them in 2014. With the resurgence in interest of Tony Durant’s music, Fruits de Mer obtained special permission from Cherry Records to reissue Tony’s first album Fuchsia on vinyl. Since its release in 1971, there have been poor quality bootleg vinyl reissues as this is quite a collectable album. And in point of fact two weeks after the release of the FdM reissue on July 30, 2018, the colored vinyl double LP set is already sold out. Since the first LP is the same as the original LP and what I reviewed in 2014, I will focus instead on the second LP of early demos, though the sound of the first LP is a bit cleaner than the CD reissue. The vinyl set also includes a 15 minute DVD with Tony speaking about the album and what he has been up to for the last 40 years, as well as a fold-out poster of the cover art and a 24 page magazine including a reprint of Richard Morton Jack’s 16 page Flashback band feature. It is no small wonder that this reissue went extremely fast, but unfortunately the FdM promo did not include these extras. The second LP contains eight tracks. The first is “Somnambulist,” a new recording of a very early Durant song. This song is a great gothic psych song with gritty vocals, unlike other Fuchsia songs. The second track is another new recording of an old song, “Rocks and Books,” an acoustic pop psych song. Then FdM included a fifteen minute track taken from an acetate demo that Fuchsia recorded in the studio that led to their recording contract for their debut album. As expected, the sound quality is muffled, but the music and performance are outstanding. This is great psych rock with French horn and violins swirling in a heady mix with the band sounding like Arthur Lee and Love, plus a bit of the obscure West Coast psych band Chrysalis, namely their song “Lacwewing.” The demo first appears as one long song with a lively extended instrumental break. But after 13 minutes there is an abrupt shift to what sounds like a new instrumental with cello and acoustic guitar. Then there are two versions of “The Band,” the original demo track and the other taken from Me and My Kites' FdM release. It is interesting to compare the two versions as the string quartet break on the original is missing from the cover. “Ragtime Brahms,” another demo track, a trippy baroque psych similar to 60s band Ars Nova also appeared on the CD reissue. Then we have the beautiful unplugged version of “Fuchsia Song” from Fuchsia II. And the disc closes with another demo from Fuchsia II, “The Waves.” Normally I would recommend that you grab a copy, but since all copies of this limited edition reissue of a 70s classic are gone, the best you can do is track down a CD reissue of the studio LP, or beg a friend who was lucky enough to snag the double LP to share it with you.
Related artist(s): Fuchsia
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