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FUCHSIA

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Fuchsia picture
Fuchsia biography
Founded in Exeter, UK in 1967 - Disbanded in 1971 - Reformed in 2013 in Sydney, Australia

Not to be confused with the flower (fuschia), this group took its name from Mervyn Peake's book "Titus Groan" (just like the proto-prog group of the same name, Steerpike and Gormenghast) and was the project of Tony Durant. Having dabbled in the music business since 66 (he started with Henry Cow's Chris Cutler in a band called Louise), but leaving it for a University spell, he started writing again eventually forming a trio with drummer Gregory and bassist Day. But Durant was interested in using and integrating string instrument in another fashion than using them as a string section for embellishment, so they joined forces with a truio of classical music student babes (what a coincidence, them being a trio too ;-). The project was contemporary of the start of ELO and Jan Dukes De Grey. The music developed then very charmingly as a folkish trio with extended strings arrangements integrated fully in their music.

The album was well received by the critics but insufficiently promoted, sank without a trace and the group did not manage to tour the university circuit to promote it either. The group disbanded a little later that year, but Durant revived it for further sessions in 75. The albums with all of those side-sessions got a release in 05. This historical album got a re-issue in the Cd format in 01




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
essential unearthed prog folk gem.

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Fuchsia: Remastered EditionFuchsia: Remastered Edition
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Esoteric 2015
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Fuchsia, Mahogany & Other GemsFuchsia, Mahogany & Other Gems
Media Arte Kr
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$10.98 (used)
II - From Psychedelia...To A Distant PlaceII - From Psychedelia...To A Distant Place
Sound Practices
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Fuchsia: Remastered Edition by FUCHSIA (2015-05-04)Fuchsia: Remastered Edition by FUCHSIA (2015-05-04)
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FUCHSIA discography


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

3.87 | 67 ratings
Fuchsia
1971
3.98 | 16 ratings
Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place
2013

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

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

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

3.94 | 17 ratings
Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Gems
2005

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

FUCHSIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars FUCHSIA were a British Prog-Folk band who released just one self-titled album in 1971 and then promptly disappeared from the scene, in common with many other one-album bands of the era. The album has now come to be regarded as a lost classic and their music has been compared with the Psych-Folk of Comus. If you like the music of Comus, then you're sure to like this album too. The band were a six-piece outfit, featuring a male lead vocalist and guitarist (Tony Durant), a bass guitarist, a drummer, and a mini-choir of three female vocalists providing backing harmonies and playing various instruments, including violins & cellos. Although the original album virtually disappeared without trace in the early 1970's, the band re-emerged in 2013 with another studio album "Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia to a Distant Place" with Tony Durant still there at the helm. This second studio album has also now become something of a rarity. There's also a compilation album available "Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Gems", released in 2005. A CD reissue of the original Fuchsia album in 2018 contained enough bonus tracks to make it a double album. Let's have a listen now and see whether Fuchsia are a rare flowering beauty or whether they're going to wither on the vine.

The album blossoms into life with "Gone with the Mouse", a very proggy-sounding song which sounds like Fairport Convention with bells on. One wonders what a song with such an obscure title could possibly be about. Well, it's a tale of derring-do in a medieval kingdom with gallant knights battling to defend a maiden's honour, in time-honoured tradition. The song is abounding with the sound of acoustic guitars, violins & cellos and lovely vocal harmonies from the 3-part girl choir. This song is as English as strawberries & cream at Wimbledon with the charming English accents of the singers very much in evidence. It's traditional English Folk with a progressive twist, and very good it is too. This album promises to be very special indeed if this opening number is anything to go by. Once more into the breach dear friends with "A Tiny Book", one of the two long songs on the album with a running time of just over 8 minutes. There are cellos and violins galore on this song, giving it something of a classical feel. The Prog-Folk elements are all there though, with fast-paced drumming, dextrous guitar riffs and constant changes of pace. It's compulsive, it's progressive, and above all, it's very impressive. Onwards and upwards now with "Another Nail", another tale of nefarious goings-on in medieval times. There' a long 3-minute instrumental intro in this entertaining fast-paced number. It's a real humdinger of a song, guaranteed to get the feet tapping with its sprightly rhythm. In keeping with the medieval theme of castles & kings and gallant knights, the song opens with these lyrics, "Is that your daughter, Drinking some water, Laid on an altar, Selling a king for his crown?" ....... It's another 7 minutes of pure Prog-Folk joy and delight. The intriguingly-titled "Shoes and Ships" is up next. The cryptic lyrics are a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but who cares when the music is this good!? If you like the conventional Folk-Rock of Fairport Convention, and you'd like to hear it given an unconventional progressive twist, then this is the album for you. We come to "The Nothing Song" now, although this 8-minute wonder has everything! It's a lively and stirring number that proudly wears it's English heart on its sleeve. It's all about a day in the life of a typical Englishman, going out on a Saturday night, and having a long lie-in on Sunday - and what better way to spend a Sunday morning than lying back and listening to this wonderful album. And now for the penultimate song on the album "Me and My Kite", a jolly little tune with whimsical lyrics to lead us onto the seventh and final song, "Just Anyone", to play out the album. It's a brooding and mysterious song with enigmatic lyrics and it's a marvellous ending to a superb album overall.

For any fans of Prog-Folk out there who are looking for something fresh and original in the style of Fairport Convention & Fotheringay stirred into a progressive cocktail, then look no further than this compelling album of English Prog-Folk at it's very best. Fuchsia are blooming marvellous!

 Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 16 ratings

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Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Last year I came across the debut Fuchsia album, from 1971, which had just been reissued and given lots of love by the wonderful Fruits de Mer Records. I fell in love with it, wrote a review, but never expected to hear any more. I mean, this was a band who released just one album more than 40 years ago. Imagine my surprise when I was contacted a few months ago by singer, guitarist, bassist and composer Tony Durant, who wondered if I might like to hear the follow-up? Yes there was a second album, subtitled 'From Psychedelia To A Distant Place', which was released on CD in 2013 and then in vinyl by F de M in 2017. Tony was the only survivor from the early days, and he now lives in Australia so is nearly a neighbour to me, but in many ways, this is very much a sequel.

The feel of Canterbury is still there, strings very much a key part of the overall sound, elements of ISB, loads of acoustic guitar but also enough electric to provide cut through at the right times, but at front and centre is Tony's voice and some wonderful tunes. It took me a long time to work out exactly who Tony was reminding me of, apart from his own work of course, and that is the mighty Ashley Hutchings. Like Ashley he is a master of whatever genre or style he is playing, and whatever song I am listening to is the one I favour most ? which makes it really hard to write a review I can tell you! I don't know how long Tony has been in Sydney, but this is a fully idiosyncratic English album, and if someone told you that this was recorded straight after the first one then it wouldn't take much persuasion. That the songs are also new as opposed to ones being dusted off which were written all those years earlier shows that Tony has lost none of his skills over the years.

At the end I only really have one question, and that is given this was originally came out in 2013 and would have been boosted by the vinyl reissue a few years ago, can we have the third now please? This is class music, which drips with quality and substance, full rich oak as opposed to the plasticity and false nature of so much music in the world today. For lovers of prog folk, who wish for the psychedelic naivety, which is often missing these days, and also for anyone who just wants to relax into something very special indeed.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Here we have an album that has received almost mythic status since its initial release on the Pegasus label back in 1971. The band was the brainchild of Tony Durant, who provided vocals and both acoustic and electric guitars, and he was joined by bassist Michael Day and drummer Michael Gregory. But what really makes this the album it is, that he also brought in the trio of Janet Rogers (violin, backing vocals), Madeleine Bland (cello, piano, harmonium, backing vocals) and Vanessa Hall-Smith (violin, backing vocals). The two trios combine together to form glorious whole of progressive folk rock, and one can only wonder if Jeff Lynne and/or Roy Wood had come across these guys before deciding to take The Move in a very different direction as ELO.

There is a whimsy about this album, an Englishness, which is hard to describe. At times they remind me of ISB, at others it is more Gryphon, while then they mix in psychedelia to create something that is incredibly atmospheric and immediate. It is the type of album I can listen to all day, with Tony's vocals often to the fore, with ethereal backing vocals creating a backdrop for the music to play against. Sometimes it is the bass leading the way, while at others it is the cello, so that although one trio supports the others it is often the other way around. I hadn't come across this album prior to this reissue, but FDM are really showing the way in grabbing classic albums and then making them available with the true thought and care they deserve.

Firstly, they are keen to point out that this is a fully licenced reissue, nothing dodgy here. Also, being on FDM it is available on vinyl, but also being FDM they have extended it to a full double album with additional songs. The full package comprises the original album, which was released on the Pegasus label in the UK and Kingdom in France, plus a second disc of early demos and new recordings of old songs, including a 15 minute demo recorded by the band before they signed to Pegasus that only exists on a slightly-worn acetate. There is a 15 minute DVD with Tony Durant talking about the album and what happened to him and Fuchsia after the initial release, along with a 60" square fold-out poster of the original album cover, which was drawn by Anne Marie Anderson (who also designed Caravan's 'Land Of Grey And Pink'), a 24pp A4 magazine, with Richard Morton Jack's comprehensive 'Flashback' feature and a reproduction of Tony's handwritten lyrics from the time, all in a gatefold sleeve, with new sleeve notes written by Tony, including his description of each track on the bonus album on heavyweight colour vinyl.

There is something incredibly magical about this album, one that I can easily play time and again. Majestic, wonderful, indispensable, essential, this is music from a time gone by brought back to life with care.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Taking their name from Lady Fuchsia Groan of the 1940's novel `Titus Groan', Fuchsia were a British progressive-folk group made up of students who delivered a single cherished little album that has since picked up quite a legendary underground status over the last few decades. Comprised of charming and sprightly folk tunes with lush orchestrated instrumentation and keen pop melodies, it almost sounds like a cross between early Pink Floyd and the Syd Barrett solo albums, Electric Light Orchestra and a pinch of Gentle Giant, Caravan and Fruupp, making for a whimsical, energetic and sweet psych-lite folk gem.

The group is directed by lead singer and guitarist Tony Durant, who fleshes out Fuchsia's acoustic/electric sound with a predominantly female band on violin, cello, viola, harmonium and piano. Opener `Gone With The Mouse' is softly energetic and lively, propelled by forcefully jangling plugged-in guitar strums, sighing plaintive backing vocal longings from the girls and lightly proggy orchestral-like violin interludes that soar gently with confidence.

`A Tiny Book', one of the more ambitious pieces at eight minutes, is a mini-suite of subtle reprising passages that seamlessly move in and out of each-other, darting through everything from frantic electric bursts, wearily wistful ballad ruminations and regal-flecked pomp in the finale that would make Gentle Giant green with envy! Pay close attention to this track - Tony's likable voice here often sounds like the results of a lovechild between the Floyd's Syd Barrett and the nasally Steven Wilson of the early Porcupine Tree works! But moving on, `Another Nail' is bookended with violin-fuelled whimsy that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Caravan albums like `For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night' before crashing into a politely wilder vocal psychedelic runaway rocker with a touch of Pink Floyd/`The Piper at the Gates of Dawn's `Astronomy Domine' to it!

The B-side's `Shoes And Ships' is one of the strongest tunes on the album, a fragile yet elegant folk-popper with frequent orchestral reprises in place of a vocal chorus and a longer instrumental acoustic guitar outro, and it almost sounds like a template for a million indie-pop/folk bands ever since. The playful and loopy `The Nothing Song' practically screams Syd Barrett and his `Madcap Laughs' and `Barrett' albums, and along with some darker little traces locked in, there's a deliciously bent and slightly `off' quality to it all! It's a psychedelic romp that throws in everything from big percussion crashes, rumbling drums, dramatic orchestration, with shambling acoustic guitars alongside manic and mischievous electric guitar soloing.

`Me And My Kite', a favourite amongst fans of the album and group, is a gorgeously twee pop-charmer with a sweet and achingly simple chorus, and the dreamy bluesy guitar bends of closer `Just Anyone' again reminds of the earliest Floyd works.

Sadly, sparse advertising and failed touring opportunities lead to the premature demise of the group soon after, until a compilation of unreleased and related pieces entitled `Fuchsia, Mahogany and Other Gems' emerged in 2005, and more excitingly a revamped modern line-up assembled by Mr Durant, now based in Australia, delivering a well-received proper follow-up `Fuchsia II: From Psychedelia...To a Distant Place' in 2013. But for over forty years now, this charming self-titled work has been Fuchsia's defining musical statement, one that holds an effortlessly melodic crossover quality that would also likely appeal to non-folk fans, and it has retained its infectious and precious charm ever since.

Four stars.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by Dr D

4 stars

This is an album that is of its time, the production is basic and at times frustrating, but when you listen to the songs you start to appreciate the complexities of what the band where trying to achieve. The album starts off with the majestic 'Gone with the Mouse' a song that glides along and then changes tempo and speed in that prog/folk way. Whats interesting about the record is that it captures that early seventies prog/folk scene really well with songs like 'Me and My Kite' and 'Shoes and Ships'. This is an album that is a real gem, its a pity that the band did not go on to make more records, they have something really special here.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Fuchsia's debut album sounds sometimes like their own sound of YES-meets-THE WHO 'Renaissance folk rock' (on 1. "Gone with the Mouse" [4:59] [10/10]), sometimes like early MOODY BLUES (2. "A Tiny Book" [8:03] [9/10]), at others like CURVED AIR (the instrumental 3. "Another Nail" [6:57] [8/10]) and ELO (4. "Shoes and Ships" [6:14] [8/10] and 5. "The Nothing Song" [8:23] [8/10]), THE HOLLIES and HERMAN'S HERMITS ("Me and My Kite" [2:34] [8/10]) and even THE WHO ("The Nothing Song" and "Just Anyone" [3:33] [9/10])). The combination of three male acoustic rockers with a trio of female classical musicians turns brilliant with the surprisingly beautiful vocal contributions of both male and female contingents. As a matter of fact, when both are combined within the same song, that is when this surprising jewel is at its best.

4.5 stars; B+; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a shining example folk-founded rock music.

 Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 16 ratings

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Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Obscured by the obscure, beneath the vault of unlikely one off releases, stoically lies the vault of unlikely sequels to those unique denizens. Among those, few could rival this 2013 effort by FUCHSIA, on which only original leader Tony Durant remains. The 1970s version offered an appealing folksy take on Canterbury, and its followers were few. The CD re-releases probably did more to advance the steps towards reformation than any fan groundswell, as many became aware of the group for the first time. Since most sequels suffer by comparison, and 40+ years had passed, what could we expect? Not a lot, right?

Yet here we have one of the more fulfilling comebacks I can remember. I don't know how Durant has done it but he has managed to incorporate the acoustic whimsy and vivacious strings of that long ago chestnut and modernized it without plasticizing it. The songs are more instantly appealing as befits the modern era, but the themes are more serious, with an unanticipated immediacy. The arrangements are less airy than those of long ago, reflecting a density that permeates our lives with time and responsibility. No more ditties about flying kites! One of the most enjoyable aspects is Durant's insistence in taking his time throughout this release; you either take your time too or you will miss out, and that's a life lesson I think.

The best tracks here are the first 4, all brilliant, tackling all manner of modern subjects, from urban alienation in "Melancholy Road" to the clash of women's basic rights with religious extremism in "Girl from Kandahar" to isolation amidst ultimate connectivity in "Lost Generations", all arranged sympathetically There is even an memoir of sorts in "Fuchsia Song", one that anyone old enough to look back through a smoky lens can appreciate. Still, it's probably "Rainbow Song" that not only attaches both eras but ties a chromatic bow around them. The final piece, "Piper at the Gates", is also noteworthy, including a searing guitar solo as Durant explores individual and combined legacies in the face of change.

This eminently enjoyable and, we can now say, long overdue, release does not so much fill in the gaps between where Mr Durant was and where he is, but instead includes us all as passengers and participants, whether we began our journey in wartime, boom time, the psychedelic era, in the internet age, or anywhere in between. Highly recommended..

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Named after the fictional character of Fuchsia Groan from the Titus Groan novel this short-lived British band was found by guitarist/singer Tony Durant in early-70's, while he was a student at Exeter University, along with bassist Michael Day and drummer Michael Gregory.Attracted by the use of string instruments, Durant recruited a three-piece female string section for the first Fuchsia release, Janet Rogers, Madeleine Bland and Vanessa Hall-Smith.The self-titled debut was recorded at the Sound Techniques Studios in Chelsea, London and released in summer 1971 by Pegasus.The same album was released a year later in France by Kingdom label.

Durant was not keen of complex arrangements or trully adventurous concepts, his aim as admitted was to build popular music orientations around string sections in an orchestral mood and the final result is very close to his likings, like THE BEATLES jamming with ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA with a touch of early RENAISSANCE.The overall atmosphere with the major use of simple-tuned acoustic guitars and female choir parts kind of remind of CARMEN on their less Andaluz-influenced side.But Fuchsia's music is also dominated by instrumental string arrangements in a Classical Music path, supported by a smooth rhythm section and the acoustic guitars of Durant along with his decent vocals.The album would have been trully original back in 1971, but I am not sure it has stood well against the sands of time.It sounds quite dated, easy-listening and far from the true aspects of progressive music, although there is a certain charm coming out of all these grandiose string parts dominating the album.The tracks sound very similar to each other with the same elements heard time after time without a wind of change throughout.

The band did a few concerts back in the days but lack of promotion and a promised but never fullfilled tour by their manager led to the demise of Fuchsia, shortly after their debut was released.

For fans of E.L.O., British Folk Rock or Orchestral Psych/Prog, Fuchsia has a decent value among their collection's item.For the rest be warned that this is a quite accesible release, closer to British Psych than the emerging prog movement...2.5 stars.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Dark, but optimistic atmosphere of these songs surrounds this record wholy. The kind of folk I love, enhanced by something more, providing much needed free mood, air of choice and good will. It is a story about accomplished dream, how just another color inspired (Magenta, Cyan, Fuchsia, Orange, endless Blue groups, Red ones, Black metal types etc, Yellow fevers, whatever). There are orchestral (like, private orchestra consisting of violin) arrangements, but the problem is that they're quite muted, as other instruments are more prominent (guitar). Vocals are fine, sounds quite new (reminding me vocalist of Art Brut group, which as fact is strange). Backing vocals aren't that pleasant, but they're sparse. For folk group of this time (no psychedelic influences to be heard here), compositions are quite long and gives a lot of space to develop the song, to the good of this album as whole.

I also like this lazy English feeling I have from this album.

4(+), nice prog folk, full of usual stuff and something more, but together working extremely good. And again, clear bass lines to be heard here. I think that when you want to hear bass, just listen some prog folk songs and you're done.

 Fuchsia by FUCHSIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.87 | 67 ratings

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Fuchsia
Fuchsia Prog Folk

Review by Jeff Carney

3 stars The male vocals leave a bit to be desired, but this one has some solid moves. Very much electric folk in spots with slamming drums and syncopations.

Good album but be warned that the officially released CD on Night Wing is one of the most poorly remastered progfolk CDs you will ever encounter. It's mastered like a modern heavy metal record with loads of compression, and the EQing is nearly insufferable. I believe that the tapes are probably lost for this album but just running a clean copy of the LP would have done this album much more justice.

There are two bootlegs on the market that actually sound better (one in jewelcase and one in mini lp that are the same mastering), but they are just taken from vinyl and are drenched in digital noise reduction instead of being properly declicked and treated with care. Hence, they also sound like garbage, but amazingly, the official release manages to sound even worse. When I first put it in I was shocked. I wonder if the people who worked on it have lost all hearing above 4k or something? The drag of this is that the original vinyl goes for big $$, and one is left with little choice but to support the artist and rarely listen to this because of digital earbleed. ;-(

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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