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FRUUPP

Symphonic Prog • Ireland


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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 : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Future LegendsFuture Legends
Music on Vinyl 2017
$22.51
$25.48 (used)
The Prince Of Heaven'S Eyes /  FruuppThe Prince Of Heaven'S Eyes / Fruupp
Remastered
ESOTERIC 2018
$10.30
$10.25 (used)
Modern MasqueradesModern Masquerades
Jvc Victor
$86.28
$16.71 (used)
Seven SecretsSeven Secrets
Esoteric 2009
$25.35
$25.35 (used)
Future Legends by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)Future Legends by FRUUPP (2009-03-31)
Esoteric
$33.88
It's All Up Now - Anthology by Fruupp (2006-01-01)It's All Up Now - Anthology by Fruupp (2006-01-01)
Castle
$211.54
$11.99 (used)
Modern Masquerades by Fruupp (1999-12-16)Modern Masquerades by Fruupp (1999-12-16)
Pye (1999-12-16)
$248.48
Seven SecretsSeven Secrets
Wasabi 2016
$28.08
$30.39 (used)
Prince Of HeavenPrince Of Heaven
Dawn
$88.81 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Fruupp Future Legends Vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $41.37 Buy It Now 5h 19m
Friars Aylesbury Flyer for FRUUPP on 19 April 1975 USD $2.56 [0 bids]
11h 37m
Friars Aylesbury Flyer for FRUUPP on 7 December 1974 USD $2.56 [0 bids]
12h 49m
Friars Aylesbury Flyer for FRUUPP on 7 December 1974 USD $1.92 [0 bids]
15h 29m
Friars Aylesbury Flyer for FRUUPP on 7 December 1974 USD $2.56 [0 bids]
15h 34m
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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)

3.84 | 189 ratings
Future Legends
1973
3.25 | 124 ratings
Seven Secrets
1974
3.17 | 134 ratings
The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes
1974
3.24 | 116 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
3.65 | 19 ratings
It's All Up Now - Anthology
2004

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
 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.25 | 124 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
3.24 | 116 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
3.24 | 116 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
3.17 | 134 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
3.84 | 189 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
3.25 | 124 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.

 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.84 | 189 ratings

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Future Legends
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by baz91
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Album for a Thought

Based in Northern Ireland, Fruupp were a progressive rock group who's story would sadly be cut short after just four albums, preventing them from becoming the 'Future Legends' they might have become. However, the music produced by this band is some of the most consistently brilliant prog this reviewer has ever heard!

The gatefold cover immediately betrays that this album is indeed progressive. The artwork, by bassist Peter Farrelly, is some of the most beautiful in prog history. This is one of those album covers you can keep coming back to and see something different! Fortunately enough, the music inside matches the high quality of the artwork.

The original tracklisting had eight songs, but the first and last tracks are both called Future Legends and bookend the album. The remaining six songs are little progressive gems that can be rediscovered again and again. All the songs on the record are less than 7½ minutes long, but this is really not a problem. The style of music is quite eclectic, ranging from the folky Old Tyme Future to the heavy Decision, the latter of which has a brilliant guitar solo. The band's influences are quite broad: the rock 'n roll instrumental of Lord of the Incubus contrasts greatly with the Wishbone Ash-inspired Song for a Thought. What comes across clearly when listening to the album is how energetic the band are. One listen to Graveyard Epistle and you'll know exactly what I mean. The band's compositional skill's are fantastic though, and songs like As Day Breaks with Dawn know just how to pull you in with quirkly little musical devices.

The latest reissue (from Esoteric) contains a song that was only released on the first 100 pressings of the album, On A Clear Day. I definitely recommend finding this reissue, as this track is probably my favourite of the lot. Having a sensational rhythmic verse, the song ends with a tribute to Gustav Holst by playing a segment from Jupiter on the guitar. The band would use classical influences regularly in songs to come.

The reason I enjoy this disc so much (and also why I'm giving it 5 stars) is that Fruupp know how to deliver music that I personally want to hear. This is progressive music with an edge. After such an energetic debut, the band would wind down for the second album, but retained the high quality of composition. Fruupp are a band that every prog fan should hear, and there's no finer place to start than this debut.

 Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.24 | 116 ratings

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Modern Masquerades
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars John Mason replaced Stephen Houston for this Fruupp album, which I consider to be a mild return to form after the disappointing two previous albums. Steering towards the mainstream crossover end of the symphonic spectrum, the band manage to incorporate other genres into their music rather better this time around (with a jazz jam breaking out in Mystery Might), perhaps thanks to the guiding hand of Ian McDonald (who produced the album and provides saxophone interjections).

The second half of the album is probably weaker - Mystery Might is padded out a bit much, Why is a limp torch song, Janet Planet is cabaret nonsense and Sheba's Song goes nowhere. The first three tracks, however, are a crossover-pastoral tour de force, the first two tracks integrating Fruupp's cabaret flirtations much more smoothly than usual and Gormenghast being a full prog rock epic, with a hint of Canterbury about the edges and a direction not unlike that Camel would take in the later years of the decade. Here John Mason's more subtle keyboard style works to the album's advantage, allowing the other instrumentalists in the band a chance to take the spotlight to an extent they hadn't before.

On balance, I have to give this one two stars because I just can't stand the second side, but there's a solid four-star side 1 here married to a weak one-to-two star second half. It's a shame Fruupp never recaptured the high standards of their debut, and I'm inclined to blame their crazy work schedule - recording four albums in the space of one and a half years, during which they not only had to find a replacement lead singer and keyboardist but also undertook tours with hard-working megastars like Genesis and Queen. I don't think any band could be seriously expected to write high-quality new material under such a gruelling schedule, and it's no surprise to me that the band burned out. Had they taken things a bit more slowly, who knows where they could have gone?

 The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.17 | 134 ratings

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The Prince Of Heaven's Eyes
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'd say this one is a notch above its predecessor, provided that as a listener you're happy with Fruupp steering away from the complex material of their debut album in favour of a style influenced strongly by musical theatre. Theatricality seems to be the main focus here - appropriately, since this seems to be a concept album - but unfortunately what this all too often results in is weak vocals and an excess of forced whimsy which is more likely to irritate than charm. Musically speaking, much of the material is significantly more simple than the band's previous output, and tends towards emotionally manipulative sentimentalism. On the whole, in fact, the album carries about it an aura of Trying Too Hard - trying too hard to be whimiscal and ending up being enervatingly twee, trying too hard to be emotional and ending up becoming sappy, and trying too hard to make a concept album because, well, everyone has to make a concept album, right?

On top of this, not only is the music less interesting this time around, but I also detect a hint of self-plagiarism. The Prince of Darkness is a jaunty tune about a demonic figure... but didn't they already do something like that on the debut with Lord of the Incubus? And wasn't that song much more interesting with its sudden instrumental breaks and its wild guitar? One rather suspects that the band went into the studio light on ideas yet again for this one - especially considering that they recorded this so soon after Seven Secrets - and without the concept to string things together they might not have been able to come up with anything at all.

If Fruupp hit the bottom of the barrel with Seven Secrets, The Prince of Heaven's Eyes is the sound of them making themselves comfortable down there rather than trying to climb out.

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