|Associated acts||Blue Rivers and the Maroons|
Demon Fuzz was an afro-rock group which was formed in 1968 and broke up in 1972. Its members had all immigrated to Britain from Commonwealth countries. The band's name means "devil's children or bad policemen". They originally played soul, but the music they heard during a trip to Morocco lead to a change in their style to what has been described as a blend of funk, rock, jazz and African music. Their album, Afreaka!, has become a popular source for sampling. Since 2008, they have received sporadic airplay by the BBC radio presenters Huey Morgan and Gideon Coe.
The band was promoted The Red Bus Company agency in London, which also handled Mungo Jerry, Mike Cooper, Titus Groan and Wildmouth which arranged for them to appear at a concert incongruously named the "Hollywood Music Festival", in May 1970 at a Leycett farm near Newcastle-under-Lyme.
They appeared on the BBC television show Disco 2 produced by Stephen Clive Turner had been offered (but did not take) 25 pounds for having them on the program. After he told BBC management about the incident, he was fired. Subsequently, the News of the World ran a story about the event.
They signed with the Dawn Records division of Pye Records, for whom they released two recordings: the studio album Afreaka! (catalogue number DNLS 3013) and a maxi-single with the songs "I Put A Spell on You" (written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins), "Message To Mankind" and "Fuzz Oriental Blues", both released in 1970.
Demon Fuzz's cover version of "I Put A Spell on You" was included in the 1971 sampler album, The Dawn Take-Away Concert (catalogue number DNLB 3024). Priced at 99 pence, the LP also had songs by Mungo Jerry, Comus, The Trio, Heron, Paul Brett's Sage, Mike Cooper, Atlantic Bridge, Jackie McAuley, Bronx Cheer, John Surman, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Stu Martin, Karl Berger and the Be-Bop Preservation Society.
In 1976, after the band dissolved, their second album, Roots and Offshoots, was self-published under the Paco Media Inc. label.
A 1999 compilation CD, From Calypso to Disco: The Roots of Black Britain, includes the Demon Fuzz' recording of "Message to Mankind".
Their performance of "Mercy" is included in Harmless Records' 2002 compilation CD (also published as a double-LP set) Paint It Black: Kaleidoscopic Funk Collision.
In 2003, the Get Away label made a vinyl reissue in Italy of The Dawn Take-Away Concert (catalogue number GET 626).
Another vinyl pressing was made by Janus under the same catalogue number as the 1971 edition.
- Paddy Corea, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, vibes, congas
- Ray Rhoden, piano and organ
- Sleepy Jack Joseph, bass guitar
- Smokey Adams, vocals
- Steven John, drums
- W. (Winston) Raphael Joseph, guitar
- Clarence Crosdale, trombone
- Ayinde Folarin: credited for "additional congas" on Afreaka!. He was brought in on the recording session only.
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- Michael Cable (1977). The pop industry inside out. Allen. p. 108. ISBN 9780491023818. LCCN 78304025.
[...]to accept money—albeit only a miserable ₤25—for featuring a group called Demon Fuzz on his BBC 2 show Disco 2. Turner—who had already confessed this to the BBC and been fired before the News of the World exposé was published—never actually took the money although the group did indeed appear on[...] But it nevertheless remained a fact that Demon Fuzz had been carefully selected by the News of the World specifically because[...] Even more important in minimising the impact of the News of the World's payola revelations was the inevitable[...]
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- Corbett, John. "Afreaka!: Demon Fuzz" Down Beat 71. 1 (January 2004): 18.
- Thompson, Ben. "Pop: Demon Fuzz: Afreaka!", The Sunday Telegraph 8 January 2006: p. 36.