When someone of the rock god stature of David Bowie calls your group one of the most important bands of the decade, that’s got to make you feel pretty special. David Bowie was regarded as one of the most important rock artists of the classic rock era. However, Bowie felt it was very important to single out the band Fanny as “extraordinary.” Bowie was quoted as saying in Rolling Stone magazine that the band Fanny were just as important as anyone else in rock and roll history including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen etc….. Nonetheless, according to Bowie, he felt they just came along at the wrong time.
Fanny was an all female band that was formed at the end of the 1960’s era. They were one of the first all female groups to be signed to a major record label. the original lineup of the band consisted of Jean Millington on bass guitar and vocals, her sister June Millington on lead guitar and vocals, the fantastic keyboardist and Hammond player Nickey Barclay and Alice de Buhr on drums.The band’s first album was released in 1970 entitled appropriately Fanny. The band was signed to Reprise Records. The band’s second album entitled Charity Ball was issued in 1972. The title track just cracked the Billboard Top 40 peaking at the 40th slot. In 1973, they released their third record called Fanny Hill. The band than released their fourth and final album with the original lineup also in 1973 entitled Mother’s Pride. The fourth album was produced by Todd Rundgren.
The band split up after Mothers Pride, but released one final record with two new members entitled Rock and Roll Survivors in 1974. After the issue of Survivors, it was all over for the band as the group completely disbanded.
There has been multiple live albums and reissues released by the band over the years. The Millington sister continued on in the music business in various projects involving some of the biggest names in the rock and roll business.
I had a Fanny album in my collection that I had must have brought in a garage sale lot. I had never listened to it. After reading what David Bowie said about the band, I became interested in listening to the record. It’s easy to hear what Bowie was talking about. It’s a shame they never became bigger that they did. Although having a top 40 hit and releasing four records on a major label pretty much does quality for making the big time. It’s just that almost 50 years later, there are many fans that many have never heard of the band. If your reading this article, now you have. Check them out….Bowie was right!
Fanny Summer Song 1972
Fanny Charity Ball 1971