This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2012)
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Years active||1971–1977 , 1990s, 2000s|
|Associated acts||Goddo, Saga, Leigh Ashford, Quartz|
|Past members||Brian Pilling (deceased)|
Jorn (John) Andersen
Fludd had its roots in a band called The Pretty Ones, formed by Ed Pilling and Greg Godovitz. The band was briefly part of Toronto's Yorkville scene in the 1960s, but broke up before achieving much commercial success. Pilling and his brother Brian then moved to Birmingham, England, where they formed a band called Wages of Sin and spent some time touring as a back-up for Cat Stevens in 1970, but returned to Toronto by the end of that year. Inspired by the then-emerging psychedelic blues rock sound of British acts such as Small Faces, they then reunited with Godovitz, and recruited drummer John Andersen and guitarist Mick Walsh to create Fludd.
The band released its self-titled debut album in 1971, and had a modest chart hit, "Turned 21", that year. Walsh subsequently left and was briefly replaced by Mick Hopkins, a British guitarist whom the Pillings had worked with in Wages of Sin. The band's second single, "Get Up, Get Out, Move On", was released in 1972 but again charted only modestly, and they were dropped from their original label; Hopkins returned to England, where he would later form the band Quartz. Instead of recruiting another guitarist to replace Hopkins, Fludd added classically-trained keyboardist Peter Csanky, and signed a new deal with Daffodil Records. They planned for their second album to be titled Cock On, and to feature a cover image of the band posing as flashers, wearing overcoats but naked underneath, but the label's distributor, Capitol Records, was skittish and the plans were dropped; the album was instead released as ...On!
The album's singles, "Always Be Thinking of You", "Yes", and "C'mon, C'mon", did not perform much better on the charts, but received sufficient radio airplay that Daffodil kept the band on for a third album, sending them to Mike Oldfield's studios in England to record. Due to Oldfield's simultaneous recording of Tubular Bells, however, they faced delays in their ability to book time in the studio, and the sessions were eventually scrapped. The delays also led Csanky to quit the band; he was replaced by Peter Rochon. With no new material to release, however, the label revisited ...On! in the hopes of pulling one more single; the song chosen, "Cousin Mary", became the band's breakthrough hit.
The band began new recording sessions in Toronto, completing three songs, "I Held Out", "Brother and Me", and "Dance Gypsy Dance", in 1974. "I Held Out" was released as a non-album single but failed to chart, and Daffodil dropped the band. Godovitz left, going on to form Goddo, and was replaced by Doni Underhill of the band Leigh Ashford. Brian Pilling was also diagnosed with leukemia around this time, and had difficulty meeting his commitments to the band due to treatment; while he did not leave the band outright, Underhill's Leigh Ashford bandmate Gord Waszek also came on board as a second guitarist. Andersen took a brief hiatus from Fludd as well, and was temporarily replaced by Pat Little, but returned before the sessions for their next album.
The band subsequently signed to Attic Records, who also bought out the non-album songs from the 1974 sessions; both songs were released as singles, with "Brother and Me" reaching the Top 30 but "Dance Gypsy Dance" failing to chart. They then began recording their third full album, Great Expectations, which was released on Attic in 1975. Bolstered by a controversial cover depicting a pregnant woman's bare belly, that album spawned the top ten hit single "What an Animal". Due to Brian Pilling's continued health problems, the band was unable to tour to properly support the album, so Waszek, Underhill, and Andersen left to form the band Fingers, while the Pillings carried on as a recording project with bassist Jim Crichton and drummer Ian McCorkle, recording and releasing the single "I'm On My Way" in 1975; Steve Negus replaced McCorkle in 1976 for the singles "Help Me Back" and "With You". However, with Brian Pilling's health continuing to deteriorate, the band called it quits after recording the 1976 singles, and Attic Records released the greatest hits compilation From the Attic '71 to '77 in 1977.
Crichton, Negus, and Rochon went on to form the band Saga. Waszek went on to join reunion lineups of Leigh Ashford and Motherlode, Andersen became a session musician, and Underhill went on to join Trooper.
Brian Pilling died of cancer on June 28, 1978, just two days after his 29th birthday. As a benefit to raise money for his children, Godovitz put together a band of Toronto musicians, including Bob Segarini, to record a tribute single consisting of "Fortune in Men's Eyes", an unrecorded song he had previously written with Pilling, and a remake of Fludd's song "Homemade Lady".
Godovitz and Ed Pilling reunited in 1997, recording an album under the band name No Flies on Frank. In the 2000s, a reunited Fludd has toured various classic rock festivals and other venues, with a lineup consisting of Ed Pilling, his younger brother Steve Pilling, Scott Shelson on bass guitar, and Jim Crichton. This lineup released a new CD, Fludd Lights, in 2006 for sale at their concert appearances, but the album has never been released on a commercial label.
- "Turned 21" (1971) #16 CAN
- "Get Up, Get Out, & Move On" (1972) #34 CAN
- "Always Be Thinking of You" (1972) #39 CAN
- "Yes" (1973) #47 CAN
- "C'mon C'mon" (1973) #57 CAN
- "Cousin Mary" (1973) #17 CAN
- "I Held Out" (1974) #94 CAN
- "Brother & Me" (1974) #29 CAN
- "Dance Gypsy Dance" (1974) #58 CAN
- "What an Animal" (1975) #11 CAN
- "I'm On My Way" (1976) #79 CAN
- Fludd (1971) #58 CAN
- ...On! (1972) #61 CAN
- Great Expectations (1975) #65 CAN
- From the Attic '71 to '77 (1977)
- Greatest Expectations (1994)
- Cock On! (2001)
- Fludd Lights (2006)