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FRUUPP

Symphonic Prog • Ireland


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Fruupp biography
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.

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Future LegendsFuture Legends
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$10.51
$9.16 (used)
Prince of Heaven's EyesPrince of Heaven's Eyes
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$10.58
$7.34 (used)
Seven SecretsSeven Secrets
Import
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$10.57
$9.16 (used)
Modern MasqueradesModern Masquerades
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$10.52
$8.98 (used)
FUTURE LEGENDSFUTURE LEGENDS
INDIE (JAPAN)
Audio CD$52.83
MODERN MASQUERADESMODERN MASQUERADES
INDIE (JAPAN)
Audio CD$52.83
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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)

3.81 | 136 ratings
Future Legends
1973
3.15 | 87 ratings
Seven Secrets
1974
3.12 | 95 ratings
The Prince of Heaven's Eyes
1974
3.16 | 77 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 | 6 ratings
Songs For A Thought
1992
3.32 | 12 ratings
Future Legends / Seven Secrets
1996
3.69 | 18 ratings
The Prince of Heaven's Eyes / Modern Masquerades
1996
3.57 | 20 ratings
It's All Up Now - Anthology
2004

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

FRUUPP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.16 | 77 ratings

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Modern Masquerades
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Prince of Heaven's Eyes by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.12 | 95 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.

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 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.81 | 136 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!

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 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 87 ratings

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Seven Secrets
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.81 | 136 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 7 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.

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 Modern Masquerades by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.16 | 77 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?

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 The Prince of Heaven's Eyes by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.12 | 95 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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 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 87 ratings

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Seven Secrets
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Fruupp went into the studio with six songs prepared, but decided to call the album Seven Secrets because that sounded more mystical - The Seventh Secret, the final track which was tossed together in the studio, is a stupid throwaway filler track involving aimless guitar noodling and narration in a goofy fake "old man" voice; the only nice thing I can say about it is that it lasts for barely over a minute and then is, thankfully, over.

Unfortunately, it seems that not only were the band short of seven songs, but the six songs they had simply aren't of the standard of their excellent debut. Maybe it's just that the musicians seem to be going through the motions this time around - particularly guitarist Vincent McCusker, who was such a presence on the debut - but the songs seem unenthusiastic and weak in their performance, without the energy or emotional peaks of the debut. Furthermore, compositionally they're just plain slack, and often just end up with the band noodling in one particular musical mode or another. The nadir of this is probably towards the end of White Eyes, in which the band end up just playing smooth cocktail jazz for an extended period of time.

Whilst there are still occasional flashes of talent on this album, I feel that I have to mark it harshly because of the way said talent is so wasted. The fact is that the songwriting and performance on this album falls far short of the standards set by Fruupp's debut, and short of the standard that any mid-tier prog group of the mid-1970s would expect to be able to muster. Other reviewers have described Fruupp as being a "frustrating" band, and as far as this album goes I'm inclined to degree - there's so many places where it could be absolutely brilliant had the band just put a bit of effort in and refined and developed their approach more, but they fail to, and as a consequence whatever flashes of enjoyment there were in the album soon end up being killed off. Even the best song on here, Elizabeth, suffers from being drawn out too long and not really going anywhere; I like it when I start listening to it, then I wonder when they're going to move on to something else, then I realise they're just going to bang on in this vein for several more minutes, then I get bored and angry at them.

If the album gave me the impression that anyone involved in the project was actually making an effort, I'd give it two stars like a shot, but due to the lack of enthusiasm and vigour it exudes I'm going to give it one.

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 Future Legends by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.81 | 136 ratings

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Future Legends
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut Fruupp album is an intriguing slice of pastoral prog in which the highest plaudits must surely go to Vincent McCusker, whose guitar mastery is the main reason why I've given this one the fourth star. Aside from McCusker, the rest of the band hand in a competent job, but it's his guitar work - and, in particular, his lightning-fast playing and the interplay he sets up with Stephen Houston's keyboard playing - that adds a unique twist to the album. Every time I listen to this album, the guitar solos consistently impress me from song to song, and that's enough for me to suggest that it's well worth a try for any symphonic prog fan.

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 Seven Secrets by FRUUPP album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 87 ratings

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Seven Secrets
Fruupp Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars My impressions of this album, having previously immersed myself into the band's debut album, "Future Legends," is that this one is much more focused, more mature, more polished, much more evenly recorded, more band-like, and, yes, more GENESIS-like. It is also very happy, upbeat. (It's like to know what they were taking during this era of their composing/recording). Liking the folk medieval side of GENESIS and ANTHONY PHILLIPS, this album works much better for me than "Future Legends." Start to finish, this is just one notch better--and just under "Trespass" or "Geese and the Ghost." I am so happy to have this in my collection! IMHO, this is a really solid album with a very special feel to it. I would highly recommend this to any lover of HARMONIUM's "Si on avait besoin d'une cinquieme saison" or Ant's "Geese."

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