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FRUUPP

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Fruupp picture
Fruupp biography
Founded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK in 1971 - Disbanded in 1976

Irish guitarist, singer and writer Vince McCusker had spent some months in London to find musicians for his musical ideas. Disappointed he returned to Belfast and recruted musicians to play his material: Miles McKee (lead vocals), Stephen Houston (keyboards/oboe), Peter Farrelly (bass/vocals) and Martin Foye (drums). They called themselves FRUUPP, the name is dreived from an Electroset Page, the band added an U and a P. FRUUPP signed a contract with Dawn Records and in '71 they released the debut album titled "Future Legends", in '74 followed by the "Seven Secrets" and "The Prince of Heaven's Eyes". The band was making real progress (good sales, succesfull gigs) but Stephen Houston left for religious reasons the band and was replaced by John Mason. In this line-up FRUUPP made their last but acclaimed LP "Modern Masquerades" ('74).

The best introduction to the very distinctive sound of FRUUPP is the compilation CD "Songs for a Thought (Sequel Records, '92) featuring 14 tracks from their four albums. FRUUPP showcases a great maturity in writing, combining several styles and showing lots of instruments and changing atmospheres: classic with oboe, folky with acoustic guitars and symphonic with propulsive interplay between electric guitar and organ. This CD also includes the previously unreleased track On a clear day: an alternating piece with powerful electric guitarplay, tasteful keyboards and strong vocals. The best comparison to the unique FRUUPP sound is YES-rooted band like Druid and England but FRUUPP sounds more sophisticated and more colourful.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS

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Buy FRUUPP Music


Future LegendsFuture Legends
Remastered
Esoteric 2009
$11.26
$18.07 (used)
The Prince Of Heaven's EyesThe Prince Of Heaven's Eyes
Remastered
Esoteric 2009
$11.43
$11.45 (used)
Wise As Wisdom: Dawn Albums 1973-1975 - RemasteredWise As Wisdom: Dawn Albums 1973-1975 - Remastered
Esoteric 2019
$23.48
$32.21 (used)
Modern MasqueradesModern Masquerades
Remastered
Esoteric 2009
$42.80 (used)
Seven SecretsSeven Secrets
Esoteric 2009
$99.97 (used)
Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)
Esoteric
$78.89 (used)
Future Legends by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)Future Legends by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)
Esoteric
$39.78
$40.17 (used)
It's All Up Now - Anthology by Fruupp (2006-01-01)It's All Up Now - Anthology by Fruupp (2006-01-01)
Castle
$49.86 (used)
Seven SecretsSeven Secrets
Wasabi 2016
$39.36
$51.71 (used)

More places to buy FRUUPP music online Buy FRUUPP & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

FRUUPP discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRUUPP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 200 ratings
Future Legends
1973
3.42 | 129 ratings
Seven Secrets
1974
3.22 | 143 ratings
The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes
1974
3.37 | 122 ratings
Modern Masquerades
1975

FRUUPP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FRUUPP Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FRUUPP Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 11 ratings
Songs For A Thought
1992
3.30 | 16 ratings
Future Legends / Seven Secrets
1996
3.73 | 17 ratings
The Prince of Heaven's Eyes / Modern Masquerades
1996
3.66 | 20 ratings
It's All Up Now - Anthology
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Wise As Wisdom: The Dawn Albums 1973 - 1975
2019

FRUUPP Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Prince of Heaven
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Janet Planet / Why
1975

FRUUPP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 200 ratings

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Future Legends
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars With a bizarre name like FRUUPP, you might imagine this five-piece band are some obscure Krautrock outfit from deep in the heart of Germany, but no, they're some obscure Belfast-based outfit from deep in the heart of Northern Ireland. They have four albums to their credit with this album "Future Legends" (1972) being their first. Later albums were "Seven Secrets" (1974), "The Prince of Heaven's Eyes" (1974), and "Modern Masquerades" (1975). A fifth album was planned for 1976, but due to poor record sales and the emerging Punk/New Wave movement, Fruupp were consigned to the prog history books when they broke up at the end of the year. Progressive Rock has triumphed over the shortlived Punk-Rock era in the long run though, because Fruupp have gone on to become "Future Legends" in their time, with their marvellous brand of mellifluous melodic prog experiencing a well-deserved resurgence of interest on the Internet. The 2009 CD remaster of "Future Legends" includes the bonus track, "On a Clear Day", which classical buffs may recognise as being a proggy reworking of "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst's "Planets Suite"

"Future Legends" opens with the title track, a short classical piece of music which acts as a prelude to "Decision", a lively and rumbunctious number that gallups along nicely with a pounding rhythm and builds up to an impressively rousing finale. An awesome opening to the album. "As Day Breaks with Dawn" follows next, with a melodic classically-inspired opening, which breaks out into a powerful thrumming Genesis-like number with the singer sounding remarkably like Peter Gabriel. Yes, we're definitely in Genesis territory here, with a somewhat heavier sound, and very good it is too. Onwards now to Track 4 and "Graveyard Epistle", a song which begins as a melodic ballad before breaking out into some very proggy, heavy and intense riffing. In true prog fashion, there are constant changes of tempo, staccato breaks and a few key changes thrown in too, to keep the listener entertained and enthralled. We're halfway through the album now and this is sounding very good indeed!

Side Two opens with "Lord of the Incubus". It's a grand-sounding title and the music is impressively grand too, Again, it sounds like a song Genesis could have recorded in their classic prog years. There's a thumping rhythm section and the guitarist is really in his element here as he demonstrates his virtuosity with some masterly soloing. Track 6 "Olde Tyme Future" has a more sedate pace, with some beautifully melodic keyboard motifs. The cryptic lyrics are shrouded in mystery but with music this good, who cares about the lyrics anyway!? And now we come to the penultimate and longest song on the album, "Song for a Thought". It's a seven and a half minute long magnum opus which opens in fine rollicking style and then transposes into a laid-back mellow and melodic groove in the middle section. before the resounding and reverberant grand finale, which might just blow your socks off. It's melodic, it's dramatic, and it'll leave you feeling euphoric. The final song is a brief and gentle vocal reprise of the classical title track which opened the album. It's a perfect ending to a magical album full of proggy tales of mystery and imagination.

This is a very impressive debut album from this Northern Irish band that's likely to appeal to fans of the classic Peter Gabriel years of Genesis. It's hard to pick out a highlight of the album, because "Future Legends" is full to the brim with great songs. If you're looking for a band with the musical talent and melodic finesse of Genesis with a somewhat heavier edge, then you'll be in prog heaven with this superb album. This prog masterpiece is such a delight to listen to that you may be inspired to give Fruupp's following three albums a spin too. A must-have album for any discerning collector of classic British prog.

 Wise As Wisdom: The Dawn Albums 1973 - 1975 by FRUUPP album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Wise As Wisdom: The Dawn Albums 1973 - 1975
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Unless there's a latter-day reunion of Fruupp (highly unlikely, so far as I can tell) or someone manages to dig up some decent-quality live material from the band, this budget boxed set from Esoteric is pretty much all the Fruupp that's there to enjoy: you get a no-frills presentation of their four studio albums, with significant non-album tracks incorporated as bonus tracks on the relevant albums, and that's your lot.

If you only wanted the absolute cream of the crop when it came to Fruupp, you might hold out for just Future Legends and mmmmmaybe also spring for Seven Secrets or Modern Masquerades if you were feeling generous, but this boxed set is sufficiently generously priced and compactly formed that I consider it a reasonable enough way to get this mid- tier act's work into your collection.

 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 200 ratings

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Future Legends
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars First things first. This unique progressive rock band known as FRUUPP that formed in 1971 in Belfast, Northern Ireland is pronounced like it rhymes with "cup," "sup" or "pup" and contrary to claims that the band was named after a ghost as posted in an early bio, the name was in reality taken from letters remaining on a Letraset page with an extra U and P added just because it's proggier that way! Thus the name is nonsensical and has proved to be a source of confusion throughout the band's legendary status as one of prog's hardest working bands that played hundreds of gigs alongside the greats such as Genesis, Queen and King Crimson, released four albums on the Dawn label and created an innovative mix of Celtic folk and progressive rock mixed with an interesting mix of classical, blues, jazz and a highly creative imagination. Sadly, FRUUPP has been rendered to near obscurity despite a very original mix of highly melodic eclecticism, particularly on this debut album FUTURE LEGENDS.

After a trip to London to test the musical waters and then back to Belfast where he formed FRUUPP, many band lineups were assembled by founder and guitarist Vincent McCusker before the group finally settled down as a collective of classically trained musicians that consisted of McCusker, Peter Farrelly (bass, guitar, lead vocals), Martin Foye (drums) and Stephen Houston (keyboards, oboe) before releasing their debut album FUTURE LEGENDS which came out in October 1973 just as the progressive rock scene was in its peak years. While not in sync with the ballroom dancing that was all the rage in Northern Ireland during the early 70s, FRUUPP nevertheless found a loyal following in the rest of the UK with the incessant touring that amounted to up to 230 shows in a year! Yet somehow despite it all, FRUUPP has gone down as legendary myth only known to hardcore proggers who dig beneath the surface. FUTURE LEGENDS is however one of the great albums of the era despite not appearing at the top of the prog history charts.

Starting out with a string section makes you wonder if you've been slipped a classical record as no prog rock is present and to be honest, the opening title track seems like a stray dog running around in the midst of a pack of tigers as it seemingly has no relationship to the sounds that follow. While not too overly different from the heavier side of Genesis, "Decision" opens with a symphonic proggier-than-thou attitudinal bombast with McCusker cranking out the aggressive guitar parts while the rest of the band dishes out an equal delivery of pure cacophonous time signature angularity before the track changes at the drop of a hat to a vocal jazz standard sound that continues to leap from style to style but maintains the overall melodic flow, a trait that FRUUP mastered superbly. McCusker provides one of many exemplary guitar solos matching the neoclassical prowess of Ritchie Blackmore and this is only the first track!

Masters of dynamics, tempos, timbres and the art of morphing from extremely lush pastoral symphonic melodies to dark, ethereal and manic outbursts of instrumental gymnastics carries the album through the seven of nine tracks that exist in the rock paradigm. FRUUP consistently delivers a never-ending mix of guitar riff oriented passages that drift along with McCusker's guitar work as the showcase but Farrelly's lead vocals give the album its own distinct personality unlike any other of the era. "Graveyard Epistle" and "Lord Of The Incubus" continue the soaring melodies that divert into Deep Purple-esque hard rock, symphonic operatic classical and Yes like freneticism. "Song For A Thought" is perhaps the strongest track on board as well as the longest as it tackles neoclassical scales, Irish jig jitteriness, hard rock organ stabs and pummeling percussion and guitar bliss. It also has some extra string arrangements conducted by Michael Rennie. The track also sums up the album's accomplishments with all the elements juxtaposed into an interesting sprawling Celtic folk drive with all the prog elements completely unleashed.

The album ends with a second title track except this one is a vocal choir in folk form instead of a classical piece but just as brief and totally unrelated to the the songs in between. A strange effect that didn't exactly work for me in the beginning but somehow conveys a true sense of the unexpected which is exactly what the majority of FUTURE LEGENDS presents. In many ways, FRUUPP's debut reminds me a lot of the romantic symphonic prog of the Italian greats like PFM, Banco and Le Orme with its over-the-top melodramatic sensuality that also dives deep into the wellsprings of true prog with hardened time signature runs, aggressive bombast and careful attention to the compositional constructs. However the Irish influences and well adapted English lyrics keep this in its own little section of the prog universe. While the band didn't quite replicate another brilliant album of this magnitude, at least they delivered the goods on this phenomenally brilliant debut.

 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.42 | 129 ratings

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Seven Secrets
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Some reviewers consider the second album by this Genesis-influenced Irish band a disappontment after the debut Future Legends (1973). I'm not quite sure where I stand. It is pleasant in its hurriless, pastoral approach, but admittedly it's quite uneven and feels lame here and there. In my opinion the band strongly improved on their next two albums, both in songwriting and in production. My favourite Modern Masquerades (1975) was excellently produced by ex-Crimson Ian McDonald.

The fascinating cover art for Seven Secrets was again done by vocalist-bassist Peter Farrelly. The 8½-minute opener 'Faced With Shekinah' I am now listening for the first time, from YouTube; I have the rest on the 2-cd compilation It's All Up Now, as it contains all four albums nearly completely. The long instrumental intro with a brief citation from Händel (if I remember right) isn't very convincing, but the song turns out to be surprisingly powerful and close to the style of the debut. Someone mentioned Trespass (1970) by Genesis. Think of the songs 'Looking for Someone' or 'The Knife'. 'Wise As Wisdom' has some atmospheric vocal harmonies amidst instrumental-oriented prog. There's some boring repetition too in the playing; with just a couple of minutes shorter it would be a great track.

'White Eyes' is pretty mellow, otherwise nice but the instrumental final section repeating the same laid-back theme for a couple of minutes gets boring, as if the band had suddenly totally lost direction but they had to reach seven minutes anyway. 'Garden Lady' (the B side opener on a vinyl) is a highlight, and it features a fine electric guitar solo from Vincent McCusker. However, some editing would have done good for this 9-minute composition too, to avoid a sense of aimless wandering at times. 'Three Spires' is a serene, folky acoustic song featuring a nice string arrangement especially at the beginning. I like this emotional song!

The album is mostly composed by McCusker. Keyboardist Stephen Houston is credited for 'Elizabeth' that kicks off with a very lively string section. A nice, classically flavoured song, but as the album in general, not entirely free of dull wandering here and there. The little acoustic end piece, 'The Seventh Secret', is marred by the irritatingly phoney old man's narration. This interesting album of pastoral prog has so many weak spots and a rather weak production that I can't rate it higher than three stars.

 Prince of Heaven by FRUUPP album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Prince of Heaven
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Belfast-based, and in my opinion all too underrated Fruupp were founded in 1971 and they released four albums. This single preceded their third album titled The prince of Heaven's Eyes, which confusingly didn't contain 'Prince of Heaven'. Anyway the song's musical style is much more comparable to the following album than to the edgier Future Legends (1971) or hazier- sounding Seven Secrets (1974). The melodies are catchier than before in this upbeat and tight song. It would have been a nice addition to the following album, in which 'Annie Austere' has rather similar energetic atmosphere. As a whole, the album is better than those two faster songs.

'The Jaunting Car' on the B side is a short and joyfully rollicking instrumental, something one could imagine hearing in a dialogueless, comical scene of a film set in the British countryside, perhaps before the war. (This is just my own association.) Not quite Benny Hill stuff but close.

[ For the music I rate the single only 2½ stars, but for having two non-album songs it can be rounded up, so and so. ]

 Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.37 | 122 ratings

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Modern Masquerades
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Zayash

4 stars A fine album but sadly underestimated. The Fruupp became known for outstanding Future Legends, with your sound sharp and consistent, a heavy prog of the best. Without much refinement in the compositions and production in two 'lbuns after future legends the Group also lacked certain lack of versatility, falling in worn and repetitive formulas. Then in the "Modern" the music appears redesigned and with more resources combined with a sound production (Ian Macdonald) more careful and clear. The style is more to Camel with an eclectic and very technical tone. The Heavy almost gives to rustic with more symphonic tone and elegant, with addition of wind instruments like oboe and trumpets. Peter Farrely vocals is very well fitted, with vigorous and organic interpretations (Sheba's Song is an example). 'Gormenghast' is a composition that grace a dedicated and attentive hearing: it is a work of great beauty, very delicate and rich in detail, with a bottom almost melancholy without being depressing. For the radical supporters don't accept heavier groups making cleaner and more complex music this album may not please. However, the mark of previous albums is as a background that allows new experiments and landscapes that only enrich the musical experience. In my opinion, Modern Masquerades is a great job overshadowed by nationality of the band (Ireland) and maybe by the time it was made late (1975). Before you judge, meet! It's worth it!
 Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.37 | 122 ratings

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Modern Masquerades
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars I've always had a thing for Fruupp. The odd name attracted me at first, leading me to discover "Prince of Heaven's eyes" which is a jolly little affair well worth checking out. Though Irish i would say that not that much leads me to think of the Green Island. Surely there are folky influences in their music but not to the extent that Horslips, for instance, do. Rather Fruupp progressed from a harsh sounding prog outfit to a smoother, more symphonic one. Though I award "Modern masquerades" only three stars, it still holds a special place in my heart due to a few songs in particular. These are songs that beautifully demonstrate the gentleness and symphonic touch of these ought to be giants in progressive rock.

The first two tracks are astonishing and such outstanding examples of all that's great about prog in general but in the british (by that I mean the british isles) in particular. The jewel in the crown, however, is the track Gormenghast. Based, obviously, on Titus Groan, the novel by Mervyn Peake that inspired so many a band in the 70's, is like a warm embrace with it's lush and beautiful arrangements. The gentle voice of the vocalist soars on top of it all like a gentle breeze. Balancing on the brink of 11 minutes it is no short of a masterpiece. Really. (And now I used the very word I elaborated on earlier this morning, thus claiming this song to have that je ne sais quai that is so hard to put down in words.)

All in all, the remaining tracks, though not bad but not very special either, draws down the rating a bit. Still, the track Gormenghast is worth every penny for the CD or vinyl. Listen and be ready to float oway on the wings of heavenly bliss that is Fruupp at it's best. No, at prog's best, that should read.

 The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.22 | 143 ratings

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The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

2 stars Professional performance - poor progression...

The instrumentation is good and professional, acceptable arrangements, composition moderately good and excellent sound quality. Soft progressive and complacent, telling of a young man searching for happiness or rainbow. I expected much more of an Irish band. Nothing illustrates to highlight, especially without identity. The album is decreasing in interest over time and repeated listening. Some songs are a little better than others, but nothing excels. The vast tracks do not reach the expected significance. In fact, the shorter tracks are better, from my perspective.

Depending on musical tastes, some people enjoy it more than others. In the progressive field is not recognized and adhere to it.

 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 200 ratings

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Future Legends
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Future Legends, Fruup's debut. A precious album. From the first track after the intro, a riffstorm starts and nothing can't stop these guys, but the lenght of the LP. An interesting point is: This is a symphonic prog album driven by the guitar player, and it really works! I really like this, because even being a keyboard hardcore fan, I'm a guitar player and some of my songs really sounds like this kind of songwriting. So many brilliant riffs and beautiful solos. I will easily highlight the guitar work here. The bass timbre is awesome and gross. Keys and drums tone are great too. Very creative prog tracks. Highly recommended!
 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.42 | 129 ratings

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Seven Secrets
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Two months of intense gigging was the aftermath of ''Future legends'' for Fruupp, which ended on November 29th 1973 with a memorable concert in Belfast with the Ulster Youth Orchestra.At the beginning of 1974 the group returned to the Escape Studios in Kent to record the follow-up of their debut.With six basic cores already written and another working song appearing in the process, the album was entitled ''Seven secrets'' and it was ready after two months of recordings.Its official release date by Dawn was scheduled on April 19th.

The result was another well-crafted album of a Symphonic Rock approach and Fruupp sound more or less like a less raw BEGGARS OPERA version.Its basic characteristic remain the Classical arrangements and the good melodies next to the usual rockin' textures.The keyboards of Stephen Houston are again the driving force, mostly his ethereal Hammond organ, which drives the rest of the group to mellow but really strong orchestrations.Some beautiful melodic lines played on harpsichord and piano are also contained in Houston's armour.The vocals remain senstive and warm with plenty of polyphonic choirs, while the guitar work McCusker is rather supporting, still quite competitive with interesting STEVE HACKETT vibes.At this point though originality starts being an issue, as influences by the early-70's British Prog movement are all over the place.The music though appears pleasant and enjoyable all the way with the group taking care of proceeding in long compositions with multiple variations, even if these are quite smooth and lack a high amount of energy.

No question, this is a decent purchase candidate for all fans of 70's Classic Prog.Delicate, elegant and well-executed.Recommended.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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