Fox (band)

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Fox
Origin United Kingdom
Genres Rock, pop
Years active 1974–1977, 1980
Labels GTO Records
Associated acts Wooden Horse
Yellow Dog
Noosha Fox
Past members Noosha Fox
Kenny Young
Herbie Armstrong
Jim Gannon
Pete Solley
Gary Taylor
Jim Frank

Fox was a British-based pop band popular in the mid-1970s. Led by American songwriter and record producer Kenny Young, the band was perhaps best known for its charismatic Australian lead singer Susan Traynor and the instantly catchy Kenny Young songs. Susan performed under the name Noosha Fox.

Band history[edit]

The band was founded by Young, who had composed the song "Under the Boardwalk" for The Drifters in 1964. Young had worked off and on with the Australian singer Susan Traynor on one of his solo albums.. Last Stage For Silverworld, where she was listed as 'Amanda'. , after Young had written Reparata and the Delrons' "Captain of Your Ship", which had been a UK hit.

Young then discovered Northern Irish singer Clodagh Rodgers on a television show, who had recently released the single, "Play The Drama till The End". The partnership produced hit singles over a three-year period, beginning with "Come Back and Shake Me". With this, Rodgers became something of a blueprint[clarification needed] for the group, as she recorded demos of some of the songs which would eventually surface on the first Fox album in 1975, as well as earlier Young tunes.

Meanwhile, Traynor was in a folk group called Wooden Horse, which released two albums before breaking up. After his success with Rogers, Young founded Fox with Irish singer Herbie Armstrong, recruiting Traynor as lead singer. She adopted the stage name 'Noosha', a scrambled version of her own name, and a glamorous image inspired by Marlene Dietrich, wearing elegant dresses to contrast with the scruffy look of the rest of the group.

The band's self-titled debut album was released on GTO Records in 1975 to critical acclaim. The lead single, "Only You Can", was a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, the follow-up "Imagine Me Imagine You" also reached the Top 20[1] and "He's Got Magic" was a hit in some European countries. Also the track "Love Ship" was played extensively on Radio Caroline, and was subsequently adopted as one of their theme tunes in the 1970s. Shortly after the release of their first album, Fox made a cameo appearance in the film Side by Side.

However, Noosha shared vocals with other members of the band in 1975 follow-up album, Tails of Illusion, with the songs sung by Noosha, Young, Frank and Armstrong.. The album enjoyed some cult critical acclaim but not the sales success of its predecessor; without Noosha's distinctive voice, casual listeners did not associate the songs with the band that had recorded "Only You Can". Roger Taylor of Queen added backing vocals to the song "Survival".

The band returned to the charts in April 1976 when "S-S-S-Single Bed" was a Top 5 UK hit and topped the Australian chart. (Bananarama did their own version of this song in 2009 on their album Viva.) Again, the band did not attempt to capitalise upon its previous success, and the accompanying album Blue Hotel (1977), yielded only one further single, even though Noosha was lead singer on all its tracks.

Noosha Fox left the band after Blue Hotel. Armstrong and Young continued to work together in the band Yellow Dog, Their 2nd single for Virgin became the first hit single that Virgin Records released, 'Just One More Night' making it to no. 7 on the charts. but after a short hiatus of success, Armstrong went on to work with Van Morrison, and Solley later joined a Miamii dance band. Noosha launched a solo career, and her first single, "Georgina Bailey", written and produced by Young, briefly entered the Top 40 in the UK (reaching number 31) after getting banned by the BBC. in 1977.[1]

In 1979, Noosha Fox tried again to start her solo career with a single, "The Heat Is On", on Chrysalis Records. A cover version by ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog was a big European hit four years later. Noosha recorded several singles in the early 1980s for the Earlobe label but none were successful, and she evidently retired from the music industry, although she did not return to Australia.

Fox reformed briefly in 1980, releasing the new wave-influenced "Electro People", written as the theme music for the Kenny Everett Show. The band considered a reunion in the early 1990s, but the tracks recorded at this time were unreleased until 2004, when they appeared as bonus tracks on the Tails of Illusion CD.

After the band[edit]

It was reported in 2007 on BBC Radio 4's The Music Group that Noosha Fox was recording a solo album of electropop, and that she has her own website.

In April 2011, British physician and journalist Ben Goldacre announced on Twitter that Noosha Fox is his mother. He tweeted this while watching a repeat of a 1976 episode of Top of the Pops which included Fox's performance of "S-s-s-single Bed". He also tweeted that his mother is currently working on new material.[2][3]

Herbie Armstrong recently tried to find solo success, appearing on the 2011 series of Britain's Got Talent. He made it through to the live semi-finals, but did not make it through to the final. In his semi-final, he appeared singing a version of Barry Manilow's hit, "Mandy".

Members[edit]

  • Noosha Fox (born Susan Traynor) – vocals
  • Kenny Young – guitar, vocals
  • Herbie Armstrong – guitar, vocals
  • Jim Gannon – lead guitar, vocals
  • Pete Solley – keyboards, vocals
  • Mike Lavender – accordion, electric piano
  • Gary Taylor – bass, vocals
  • Jim Frank – drums, percussion, vocals

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Format Label Catalogue ref Chart position
1975 Fox 12"LP GTO GTLP 001 No. 7 UK
1975 Tails of Illusion 12"LP GTO GTLP 006
1975 Pop Power – The Fantastic Fox 12"LP POLYDOR 2459 302 compilation
1976 S-S-S-Single Bed (European version) 12"LP GTO GTLP 011 compilation
1976 S-S-S-Single Bed (Australian version) 12"LP GTO 2321 111 compilation
1977 Blue Hotel 12"LP GTO GTLP 020
1996 Only You Can CD WISE BUY WB 866 702 compilation, including unreleased material
1997 The Very Best Of Fox CD THE HIT LABEL AHLCD 51 compilation
2002 Fox (plus four bonus tracks) CD CHERRY RED CDMRED 222
2004 Tails Of Illusion (plus two bonus tracks) CD CHERRY RED CDMRED 263
2006 Blue Hotel (plus one bonus track) CD CHERRY RED CDMRED 272
2014 Images '74-'84 - Deluxe Edition 2CD CHERRY RED CDBRED 605 35 tracks including all 7 singles A and B sides

[1][4]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Format Label Catalogue ref Chart positions
UK AU US DE NL
1974 "Only You Can" / "Out Of My Body" 7" single GTO GT 8 3 16 53 2 -
1975 "Imagine Me, Imagine You" / "If I Point At The Moon" 7" single GTO GT 21 15 - 53 7 -
"He's Got Magic" / "Love Ship" 7" single GTO GT 37 - - - - -
"He's Got Magic" / "The Juggler" 7" single GTO PSC 418 - - - - -
"Strange Ships" / "Little Brown Box" 7" single GTO GT 41 - - - - -
"He's Got Magic" / "Strange Ships" 7" single GTO 2099 151 - - - - -
1976 "S-S-S-Single Bed" / "Silk Milk" 7" single GTO GT 57 4 1 - - 10
"Love Letters: Love Letters" ~ "The Juggler" / "Only You Can" ~ "Spirit" 7" EP GTO 2206 101 - - - - -
1977 "My Old Man's Away" / "Are You Sure?" 7" single GTO GT 94 - - - - -
1981 "Electro People" / "If You Don't Want My Peaches" 7" single BBC RESL 115 - - - - -

[1]

Noosha solo[edit]

Year Title Format Label Catalogue ref Chart position
1977 "Georgina Bailey" / "Pretty Boy" 7" single GTO GT 106 No. 31 UK
1979 "The Heat Is On" / "Some Enchanted Evening 7" single CHRYSALIS CHS 2337
1979 "Skin Tight" / "Miss You" 7" single CHRYSALIS CHS 2383
1981 "More Than Molecules" / "Odd Peculiar Strange" 7" single EARLOBE ELB S 101
1981 "Hot As Sun" / "The Cheapest Night" 7" single EARLOBE ELB S 105

[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 211. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Twitter / bengoldacre: @alexispetridis haha no i mean". Twitter.com. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  3. ^ Petridis, Alexis (29 May 2011). "Alexis Petridis on pop's worst year". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ "Fox | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 

External links[edit]