Butter BoyRock And Roll Survivors
Candlelighter ManFanny
Charity BallCharity Ball
Come And Hold MeFanny
Knock On My DoorFanny Hill
A Little While LaterCharity Ball
Think About The ChildrenFanny Hill
Thinking Of YouCharity Ball
Wonderful FeelingFanny Hill
You're The OneCharity Ball

Fanny photo 2

Fanny (l to r): Jean Millington (guitar), Alice de Buhr (drums), Nickey Barclay (keyboards), June Millington (bass)



Fanny playlist



Contributor: Merric Davidson

Fanny. Not a long career but a dynamite one while it lasted.

I have been an enthusiast all these years although that may never have happened but for a long sunny weekend at a friend’s house in the country in the summer of 1971. That’s when I first heard Fanny; their second album, Charity Ball, became the soundtrack for that balmy weekend. Some things just stick in your mind – that’s music for you.

This is a top 10 for today. It might have been different way back but, fundamentally, this listing should offer a good introduction to a woefully underrated band. The third album, the exquisite Fanny Hill – the one with the faux With The Beatles cover by David Bailey (see above) – was recorded at Apple Studios in December 1971. The album was produced by Richard Perry, and Bobby Keys plays sax on three tracks. The fourth album, Mothers Pride, was produced by Todd Rundgren.

If it had been a top 12 it would also include two of the finest cover versions you’re ever likely to hear: Randy Newman’s Last Night I Had A Dream on Mothers Pride; and certainly one of the best Beatles covers you’ll come across, Hey Bulldog on Fanny Hill. The rest are all their own work; sock-rockin’ brilliant. Fanny were one of the first, rockingest and definitely the foremost of the US female bands at the start of the 70s and beyond.

You’ll find the first four albums on the 4CD set First Time In A Long Time: The Reprise Recordings.

“One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without trace. They were one of the finest fucking bands of their time. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been. Revivify Fanny and I will feel that my work is done.” David Bowie



Fanny Rocks

Fanny – all Beat Club live video recordings

Fanny biography (Apple Music)

What’s your favourite Fanny track? Their version of Cream’s Badge is up there, as are most of the tracks on the storming Charity Ball album, and the beautiful sad/happy You’ve Got A Home off Fanny Hill. That one really should have gone in. Also try to track down the 70s solo albums from Nickey Barclay (Diamond In A Junkyard) and the Millington sisters (recording as Millington) with Ladies On The Stage.

Merric Davidson is a retired publisher who started this site in 2013. He tweets toppermost @AgeingRaver.

TopperPost #43


  1. Peter Viney
    Aug 9, 2013

    In the 70s Fanny completely passed me by, which as with Rodriguez, leaves me wondering what else is out there undiscovered. Then a few months ago, I saw a demo 45 of Ain’t That Peculiar (which is from Fanny Hill), and picked it up out of interest in the song rather than the band. A few plays later, I innocently said, ‘Fantastic! Who are the backing guys?’ to find myself berated for sexism, for indeed, they play everything themselves, except the sax solo, which is Bobby Keys.
    So I set out to find out more. It starts with the story that the band were named by George Harrison, and the band apparently had no idea of the British meaning of ‘fanny’ imagining it to refer to the chorus of ‘The Weight’ … take a load off Fanny. I can believe that George Harrison suggested it. I don’t believe it took more than a minute or two to find out the British meaning.
    The First Time in A Long Time compilation is available as MP3s at around £25, but as I swiftly discovered one of the three new physical CD copies of the numbered 5000 issued in 2002 will set you back £230 to £288 on in August 2013. A used one will cost £90. That means that Fanny are collectable, but it’s a poor investment because CDs retain high prices only until a new remastered box set comes out, as it inevitably will. I resorted to Record Fairs, and at the first one managed to get three of the four first LPs, plus Rock & Roll Survivor (with Patti Quatro) on vinyl, for around £10 in total. Some were £2. Others £3. They’ve been staring at me for weeks now. I’ll make a start by putting the Toppermost selection on a CDR, as suggesting starting points is a great virtue of Toppermost.

  2. Rob Millis
    Aug 9, 2013

    Fine band. Try the video of the Steve Sills song “Special Care” that was on Beat Club …

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