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Fresh Maggots

Prog Folk

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Fresh Maggots Fresh Maggots album cover
3.80 | 32 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dole Song (3:23)
2. Rosemary Hill (3:30)
3. Quickie (1:23)
4. Everyone's Gone To War (3:55)
5. And When She Laughs (2:48)
6. Spring (3:21)
7. Balloon Spring (3:55)
8. Guzz Up (1:45)
9. Who's To Die (3:50)
10. Elizabeth R (2:50)
11. Frustration (6:00)
12. Car Song * (3:59)
13. What Would You Do * (2:42)

Total Time: 43:31

"Hatched" adds the following live bonus cuts

14. Frustration (5:55)
15. Rosemary Hill (3:49)
16. Quickie (1:30)
17. And when she laughs (3:07)
18. Spring (3:07)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mick Burgoyne / guitar, vocals, percussions, violin
- Leigh Dolphin / acoustic guitar, vocals

Releases information

RCA SF 8205 ? CD Fan Club CD8205
CD Radioactive (2005)
LP Amber Soundroom ASLP 050 (2007)
CD Sunbeam SBRCD5002 (2006) called "Hatched"
2 LP Sunbeam SBR2LP5002 (2007) called "Hatched"

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to kenethlevine for the last updates
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FRESH MAGGOTS Fresh Maggots ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRESH MAGGOTS Fresh Maggots reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars This rare psych-acid-folk-prog disc is full of surprises, as this duo is almost as unknown as another English duo, Jan Dukes De Grey. Outside both being duos, their first albums are actually fairly similar in sound and spirit. Both filled with pastoral hippy acoustic tunes bordering on the traditional folk, a few psych twists (like a fuzzed out electric guitar in FM) with some added orchestrations, but nothing overpowering that what would ruin the essence of the music.

There are some incredibly beautiful moments on here such as the delicate (almost Pentangle-like due to the glockenspiel and superb cello lines) Rosemary Hill, the short self-explanatory Quickie, the happy When She Laughs (with its piccolo), the haunting Spring (added strings to the end of the song), the dreary-spirited Who's To Die (here the strings are very present, but to good effects) and the instrumental Elizabeth R. But clearly the rockier fuzz guitar mixed with some medieval folky guitar lines are the attraction of the album (Dole Song, Everybody's Gone To War, Balloon Song, and the demented lengthy Frustration) and this is precisely this electric trait that created the legend around this album, even if the fuzzy tracks are the minority on the disc. The bonus tracks come from a non-album single of the same year, and they both fit quite well with the spirit of the album. As an added bonus tracks to the original album are included the two son-album single tracks: obviously, they could have had a massive hit with the A-side Car Song (almost a sing-along) while What Would You Do is meddling well with the rest of the tracks. While not as incredibly tenacious in your mind as Tea and Symphony's Asylum or JDDG's Loft album, this is an incredibly pure artefact from those ideally pure hippy years, much like JDDG's Sorcerers album.

For a long time FM's album was hard to get, even in the counterfeit market, but recently the semi-legit Radoactive label and the fully-legit Sunbeam Records have released their own version, the later coming with an added bunch of Radio Luxembourg Broadcast tracks (with short explanations between), all of which one figure originally on the vinyl. So while the extra bonus tracks are not essential additions - not excellent sound quality, although they represent a fairly different facet of the duo)- you might as well get the full legit version, especially that it comes with an extended booklet. A real must-hear for those folkie progheads.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Fresh Maggots’ one and only album is one of the many semi-legendary rare vinyl issues that had their bubbles burst a bit when they started being reissued in the nineties. Thanks to technology bands like Spring, Mellow Candle, Jan Dukes de Grey, Comus, the Pentangle and many others whose music was previously known only as legend could now be listened to by the masses without having to sell vital organs to purchase a rare, obsolete original vinyl recording. And all those heavily-vested collectors cried.

Anyway, in some cases the real music lived up to the legends; in other cases the music turned out to be not really all that good. Fresh Maggots falls somewhere in between. One of the problems of course is the couple of decades or so that elapsed between when albums like this were first recorded, and when they finally showed up on CD. Things change over time, and some of this early progressive folk music hasn’t aged particularly well. Fresh Maggots were as na´ve as many other young people of their day and the sappy lyrics on many of these tracks will probably meet with rolled eyes or even derision by the more hard-boiled listeners of the 21st century. Also, the instrumentation was pleasantly contemporary over thirty-five years ago, but seems too sparse and simplistic today to be considered innovative or progressive. In today’s light most of these songs come across as lightweight and a bit vapid in some cases (especially the acoustic tracks where Mick Burgoyne isn’t ripping into some psych guitar chords like “And When She Laughs”, “Elizabeth R” and “Guzz Up”).

On the other hand a collection of earnestly-played mellow folk from a couple of teenagers can’t be all bad, and there are a few pretty bright spots here despite the almost complete lack of any commercial sensibility on the part of Burgoyne and acoustic guitarist Leigh Dolphin. “Balloon Song” had to be one of the earlier acid folk tunes to combine fuzz guitar and violin as lead instruments, and to good effect despite the trivial lyrics. “Rosemary Hill” is mostly acoustic but is well-accented by percussion including tin whistles and some sort of bell-sounding instrument – the acoustic guitar fingering sounds an awful lot like Simon & Garfunkel’s version of “Scarborough Fair” though.

“Frustration” seems to be the duo’s magnum opus, a six minute long languid acoustic number that shifts midway to some excellent fuzz psych guitar wrapped around torrid violin, both played by Burgoyne. A stellar number that I would have thought beyond the ability of a couple of teenagers. Turns out I was wrong.

Most of many reissues include a couple ‘bonus’ tracks – “Car Song” and “What Would You Do”. Neither adds or detracts from the original, although I’d speculate in saying these may have been included simply as a way of extending the CD to a legitimate album length since the original ran only about thirty-five minutes.

I’m glad I wasn’t one of those people who paid an exorbitant price for an original vinyl of this back before it came out on CD, as I don’t consider this to be an indispensable classic. But it is pretty decent, especially when considering the young age of the two guys who put it together. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t have more of a career, although by 1971 this sort of music was fading in favor of more bombastic prog rock so the timing of their births was probably unfortunate. Oh well; three stars solid, three and a half if I could give it that. Recommended to fans of Forest, Trees, Jan Dukes de Grey, Loudest Whisper and bands of that ilk.


Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars FRESH MAGGOTS may sound like a great name for a modern day death metal band but this group was nothing of the sort being an English acid folk rock duo that released this sole album in 1971. The duo consisted of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin and together they remind me of the psychedelic folk version of Simon & Garfunkel only slightly more aggressive with acoustic guitar arpeggios, electric guitar solos and heavy fuzz. The guitar sounds a little Tull at times and I almost find myself expecting to hear Ian Anderson to start singing. The other instruments include glockenspiel, tambourine, violin and tin whistles but noticeably missing is any percussion. This is a drum-free affair.

The tracks are mostly upbeat in a hippie kind of way but tracks like 'Everyone's Gone To War' lament over the reality of the era. This isn't the most progressive album i've ever heard, it does have some unorthodox song structures albeit fairly short in length with all less than four minutes except the closer 'Frustration' which reaches the six minute mark. The songs are reasonably varied which make it an easy listen.

This album sold poorly and the duo disbanded shortly after its release and it became a cult favorite for decades. I suspect that was due to the name alone since despite being an interesting album it is not the long lost masterpiece that one hopes to uncover years later. I do rather like this. It has a quirky charm all its own. It may not go down in history as one of the best the subgenre has to offer but it is a fun listen throughout its entirety and is catchy enough to love on first listen with some mildly progressive twists and turns that keep it from being forgettable.

The two songs 'Car Song' and 'What Would You Do' which weren't on the original vinyl release are on the CD version and are well worth having as they are actually two of the best songs. Another band that showed potential only to disappear into the seas of history. I am left wondering what kind of flies would have hatched from these acid folk rock making maggots. 3.5 rounded up

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars The dawn of the 1970s was rife with music like this - acoustically dominated folk with string and acidic accents, and idealistic lyrics with occasional protestations. Artists like FOREST, COMUS, JAN DUKES DE GREY, SPIROGYRA, and DONOVAN passed through before or during this duo's brief brush with fame. Others like STRAWBS and NICK DRAKE had merged folk rock with strings quite deftly. Yet somehow FRESH MAGGOTS produced a single album that was distinct enough to warrant your consideration even in this overcrowded field. Their brilliant harmonies, lush strumming style, instinct around economical arrangements, and sheer youthful enthusiasm more than compensate for any shortcomings, which in any case they make no effort to hide, only accenting their off the charts likability. That they were only 19 at the time of recording is hard to fathom yet paradoxically might explain all.

With a near total reliance on acoustic guitar and a few other instruments, Burgoyne and Dolphin managed to both arrange and sequence tracks such that they appear much more musically diverse than they actually are. We start with the immediately electrified social commentary of "Dole Song", enhanced by tin whistle and fortified by several appealing changes of pace, allowing the song to flit from acid folk/hard rock to singalong to trad ditty while only raising eyebrows in a positive fashion. "Rosemary Hill" is considered by many to be the only potential classic on the disk, but such talk misses the point of the exercise. It's a lovely reflective ballad devoid of amplification which adopts a few string accents as it progresses, but, like everything else here, is fortified by the company it keeps. "Everyone's Gone to War", "Balloon Song", and "Frustration" are the other "rockers", interspersed through the rest of the album. "Balloon Song" is much lighter in content than the others, like a cross between FOREST and FUSCHIA, but with more panache. Among the other ballads, "And When She Laughs" is pure bliss, while "Spring" is like an unplugged take on the more electrified numbers, swapping lead guitar for adept acoustic picking.

The bonus cuts consist of the A and B sides of a single that flopped just like the album. "Car Song" is a ringer for DONOVAN circa 1967, while "What Would you do" has a light mid period BEATLES feel. Both are welcome here for completeness but don't really make or break the CD release.

I hold out hope that, like FUCHSIA, FRESH MAGGOTS might find a way to reward their fans and collectors after an interminable absence. By my reckoning they would only be a spry 65 at this point, so why not have a go? In the meantime, this re-release is worth much more than a fly over if you are a prog folk fan, and why else would you have read this far?

Latest members reviews

4 stars A great folk album! Fresh Maggots alternates between electric and acoustic folk, holding the listener's attention throughout. What makes the album great is that a fast-paced electric guitar solo is followed by a mellow folk track with soft harmonies (for example, "Dole Song" followed by "Rosemary ... (read more)

Report this review (#230770) | Posted by Concentration Moon | Sunday, August 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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