Fanny’s fourth long-player would also be the last to include the original quartet, as June Millington (guitar/vocals) and Nickey Barclay (keyboards) would be replaced by Patti Quatro (guitar/vocals) and Brie Howard (percussion) on the band’s final album, Rock’n'Roll Survivors (1974). Under the production of Todd Rundgren, Fanny pulls out one of their most ambitious efforts, while retaining their abilities to mix anthem-esque rock with increasingly introspective ballads. Likewise — with the notable exceptions of the obscure cover of Uncle Dog’s “Old Hat” and Randy Newman’s “Last Night I Had a Dream” — Mothers Pride consists of some of the group’s best original material. There is a darker and more pensive edge pervading much of the album, perhaps suggesting the internal struggles that were beginning to divide and ultimately conquer the group. There is a definite sense of longing on “Is It Really You” as well as the two rare June Millington/Nickey Barclay co-compositions, “Beside Myself” and “Feelings.” Contrasting those works are the decidedly amplified “I Need You Need Me” — which is also one of Barclay’s most powerful contributions to Fanny — and the feel-good rocker “Summer Song.” There is also a rare lead vocal from percussionist Alice de Buhr on the tongue-in-cheek “Solid Gold.” In 2002, the Internet-only audio boutique Rhino HandMade compiled all four of Fanny’s albums as well as unissued live tracks, demos, and previously unearthed studio outtakes for a four-disc collection titled First Time in a Long Time: The Reprise Recordings. More information can be found online at http://www.rhinohandmade.com. – Lindsay Planermore »
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