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Fruupp Future Legends album cover
3.91 | 249 ratings | 23 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Future Legends (1:32)
2. Decision (6:26)
3. As Day Breaks with Dawn (5:01)
4. Graveyard Epistle (6:15)
5. Lord of the Incubus (6:25)
6. Olde Tyme Future (5:37)
7. Song for a Thought (7:30)
8. Future Legends (0:54)
9. On a Clear Day (7:46) *

Total Time 47:26

* Only on the first 100 LP pressings and on 2009 remaster (as a bonus track)

Line-up / Musicians

- Vincent McCusker / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals, arrangements
- Stephen Houston / keyboards, oboe, vocals, arrangements
- Peter Farrelly / bass, lead vocals
- Martin Foye / drums & percussion

- Michael Rennie / strings conductor

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Farrelly

LP Dawn ‎- DNLS 3053 (1973, UK) Track #9 was withdrawn after the first 100 pressings
LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP1678 (2017, Europe)

CD Dawn ‎- TECP 25472 (1990, Japan)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2104 (2009, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRUUPP Future Legends ratings distribution

(249 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FRUUPP Future Legends reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars From Ireland comes this quartet, that failed to make a permanent mark on prog, mostly because their (fine) music was simply too derivative to gain recognition from the public. The ultra symphonic sound developed as many warm qualities, such as a great sense of melodies, drama and, although not my cup of tea, a certain affinity for fantasy-oriented lyrics, outlined by their artwork sleeve design (done by bassist Farrelly). Somewhere between BJH, Curved Air and to a lesser extent Camel, the melodious prog is impressive enough, until you realize that it is relatively common and not particularly original: it sounds déjā-vu. This last remark is to be taken with caution, for at the time, there were not that many groups out there doing this sort of musical niche, but the three I mentioned above were much better known, hence the dangerous shortcut f Fruupp being copycats. I would not qualify them of such an ugly word (I prefer keeping it for bands like Druid who are "the real thing" in that regard), but their Genesis influences border on the overpowering.

From such a fine (yes even after this first paragraph) album, three tracks stick out of the pack: Decision, which is one of the more energetic of Future Legends with a heavy riff and very symphonic strings (synths for sure). Graveyard Epistle is another winner with the full melodramatics cranked up, and great dynamic range. But the apex of the album is the almost 8-min Song For A Thought, somehow not far from Wishbone Ash's Argus album and ends up in a strings delirium. I must say that the rest of the tracks are a little bland to my ears, but please be assured that there are no stinker, duds or fillers, just "second choice material" which is not completely without charm either. Bassist Farrelly's lead vocals are rather enjoyable but to say that they are impressive would be exaggerating: just fitting for the music. Another highlight would the Blues and symphonic laced Lord Of Incubus

A respectable debut album (they never made a bad album, either), that was probably holding much promise at the time, but somehow, something, somewhere things only click too rarely on this album to make it more than just three stars and non-essential. A rather pompous title that will probably be held against them, though.

Review by lor68
3 stars Well this was the debut by an Irish Proto-progressive and pastoral band of the seventies. The sound is similar to that one of the early GENESIS (period regarding " Trespass"), with a pastoral touch of their own and a great sense of melody, which will be developed by means of the second album, closer to such symphonic progressive. Recommended as one of the most original Proto-progressive bands from Ireland!!
Review by hdfisch
4 stars Edited 09/27/05!

This Irish band is showing all its progressive potential already on its debut and their music is a mixture of multiple different music genres like symphonic rock, Irish folk of course and some blues rock. It's rather difficult to compare them to any other of the great Prog bands of this time since their style was quite unique.

The album starts with Future Legends, a very classical and romantic intro with strings. Decision immediately moves to a different direction with driving guitar riffs and an amazing folkish violin (which is actually not mentioned in the line-up) and nice piano, many rhythm changes, just great 70s Prog I can only tell you. Next song < b>As day breaks with dawn is fascinating as well with great keyboards and guitar play and fantastic vocals by Peter Farrelly. The way they're combining symphonic classical type of music with blues-rock is just unique INHO. It continues in the same vein with Graveyard Epistle which starts very powerful then there is an atmospheric part with vocals followed by a rather oriental sounding keyboard part, just amazing. The music is so complex and combining so many different influences, Prog as it should be in the original definition! Lord Of The Incubus is starting a bit reminiscent to BEGGARS OPERA (a great band as well on their first three albums), then suddenly moves to a rock'n'roll part which fits surprisingly well in the whole composition. The remaining songs are just in the same quality.

I just can say every track on this album is really excellent and this is certainly one of the best debut albums EVER released and actually worth for 4 1/2 stars.

If you want to buy an album by this band go for this one and forget about their other releases!!!

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ireland's main contribution to the world of prog rock (so far anyway) is a curious one. Fruupp always threatened to make a consistently compelling album that would break them into the big leagues, but in the end the promise was wasted, and when the dust settled on their career it became clear that the lads never crafted an album as good as this debut. In fact it's arguable that Fruupp greatest acheivement was to knock out four progressive rock albums within a 17 month period (from October 1973 to February 1975) despite losing keyboardist Stephen Houston along the way!

The words "lightweight" will come to mind when you first listen to this group (in part because the harder rocking parts are a little unconvincing) but if you give it a chance, you will find that Future Legends at least, is worth perservering with. Unflatterring comparisons to a cross between Barclay James Harvest and Wishbone Ash first crossed my mind, but Fruupp's originality eventually asserted itself for me.

The best Fruup compositions ... the gorgeous Song For A Thought, Decision, As Day Breaks With Dawn and Lord Of The Incubus ... all combine bursts of energy with melodic touches (there's a vague Beatlesque feel) and some progressive invention (the piano interlude in Lord Of The Incubus and guitar solo in Decision come to mind), although I don't really hear the "Irish element" in their music cropping up on this album.

It is perhaps unfortunate that this album which has the strongest Fruup compositions (mainly courtesy of guitarist Vince McCusker) should be one in which Peter Farrelly's unconvincing lead vocals are arguably at their weakest. It's also a real pity that Fruupp were obliged to remove the anthemic On A Clear Day from this album (on the grounds that Houston borrowed a melody from Gustav Holst) because it does give it an extra edge, but even without it, Future Legends is distinctly my favourite Fruupp album.

In fact, even though the band cut the odd worthy track after this (Wise As Wisdom, Elizabeth, Knowing You and Why) most people should stop here. Come to think of it there's something damming about the fact that I just can't bring myself to deem this record an essential one. ... 65% on the MPV scale

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars "Fruupp" is a very pleasant Irish band that produced four albums. And little known, which is a bit of a pity. They are considered as a third division player but some of their work is truely excellent.

When I listen to "Decision" I can only be reinforced in my idea. Frenetic guitar, great rhythm, pleasant vocals This song is rather complex. It changes from mood a lot of times : from delicate piano to jazzy to melodic and fully raging at times. A highlight for this album but overall it is a very good song. Same scenario (but less well achieved and varied for "As Day Breaks With Dawn").

"Fruupp" 's sound is not as soft as one could think while reading their bio. They often combine rocky elements with tranquil passages. Like "Graveyard Epistle". A very dynamic section opens the song which features some very harmonious vocals. "Lord Of The Incubus" is another excellent piece of music. Several genres are being involved here : symphonic, straight rock, even classic rock'n'roll. But the listener is transported into this voyage quite nicely. Another highlight.

But we are not yet finished! If you fancy a true symphonic song, here we go with "Olde Tyme Future". A pure jewel. Maybe close to "Camel" but to a "Camel" that still does not exist...("Snow Goose" or "Moonmadness"). It is pure beauty, maybe too much and mellow but very relaxing and melodic. Actually, it reminds me more a band like "Rousseau".

Another highlight of this good album is "Song For A Thought". A so sweet and languish intro

This album should be on your list if you like soft symphonic prog. At times, the band is rocking a little bit but the general mood consists of quiet guitar breaks, pleasant vocals and light keyboards. It is a combination that I appreciate quite a bit. I am hesitant in terms of rating. I had temporarily rated it as a three stars but I've just upgrade it to four. Seven out of ten would be more my opinion. How interesting it would be to be able to use a more accurate rating.

Review by Tom Ozric
5 stars Debut release from the magical band FRUUPP, 'Future Legends', is an amazing example of relatively early symphonic prog of the highest order originating from Ireland . As a passionate lover of prog-rock, I am very much in love with this LP and their next one ; from the amazing, textured gatefold sleeve graced with some of the best artwork any human can muster (courtesy of Bassist Pete Farrelly) through to the incredible compositions and carefully executed performances of each musician. A neo-classical introduction leads us into the first major song, 'Decision', full of churning hard-rock riffs and a rumbling rhythm section. Brief jazz-inflected passages give temporary relief throughout as the searing guitar oriented sections of composer Vince McCusker take control, are backed with incredible Bass playing and tasteful vocals. It really is difficult for one who is so blown out by this band to give a totally critical analysis of this band's albums, as many may not enjoy this music the way I do.... 'As Day Breaks With Dawn' is an abrupt contrast of mellow and energetic passages - the Piano led melodies of the softer sections blending effortlessly with the psychedelic organ driven passages (Keyboardist Stephen Houston, nowadays Religious Pastor, possibly playing a 'Galanti' organ (in some pic I've seen...) - which is similar to French band Ange's 'Viscount' organ......), adding unique, multi-coloured hues to the tune. So good. Highlight of Side 1 is 'Graveyard Epistle', another 6min+ tune alternating between complex, heavy sections, to reflective verses, showcasing the band's emotive tendencies, and gives way to a Turkish- sounding mid-section led by Houston's precision Oboe playing and more warbling organ-work. If the listener isn't in Heaven by now....... Side 2 kicks off with 'Lord Of The Incubus', a frantic, fast-paced track full of lively organs and incredible Steve Howe-like guitaring, rocking as all-hell with traditional R n' R elements, this song should not fail to excite open-minded listeners. 'Old Tyme Future' is simply amazing, consisting of beautiful melodies and contrasts. The lengthy epic, 'Song For A Thought' is played with a true 'Floydian' flavour - laid-back progressions and vocals for the first 5 mins, trailing off with a heavier end section. The record is rounded off with a brief vocal harmony, bringing to a close one absolutely essential piece of Prog-Rock which all are welcome to discover.....5 WHOPPING Stars.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Over optimistic

Fruup are one of those short lived British bands from the 70's who made good but unexceptional music. There is little about their output as a whole to distinguish them from the pack, as they seem to drift along without any real excitement. "Future legends" (a rather overly optimistic title as it turned out!), is probably the best of their four releases, as it sees the band at their most eager to make an impression.

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Fruupp certainly ventured deeply into prog territories, the early Genesis influence being particularly noticeable at times. The band were not afraid to wear such influences on their sleeves, and listening to the album the sounds of bands such as Yes, Gentle Giant, and a number of others can often be picked out. The timing of their arrival in London was fortunate as it coincided with Pye Records decision to venture into the serious rock music which was rapidly gaining popularity. Thus Fruupp were signed to the fledgling Pye subsidiary label Dawn, recording four albums for them.

The album sets out boldly with the brief symphonic title track introducing "Decision", one of the best things the band recorded. The song has a dynamic and energy which is generally missing from their later albums. It is though tracks such as "Graveyard epistle" which are more representative of their work. This track has many of the right ingredients, including constantly changing time signatures and good instrumental work, but it rather drifts along, never really capturing the imagination.

On "Lord of the Incubus", we move to the Wishbone Ash end of the spectrum for a spirited run through a blues rock number. Even here, the band suddenly introduce a completely different style mid-way through the song. The following "Olde tyme future" has a Camel like feel, especially that band's "Snowgoose" period.

The longest track on the album "Song for a thought" effectively closes the album. This opens with a very Genesis ("Nursery Cryme") like instrumental burst before settling back into a reflective vocal passage with distinct Wishbone Ash overtones.

Overall, this is certainly an enjoyable album, which demands appreciation, if only for the absolute commitment to symphonic prog it contains. Musically, it finds the band at their most innovative and indeed best. While perhaps not qualifying for the accolade lost gem, "Future legends" is well worth investigation by fans of symphonic and melodic prog.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fruupp plays some Peter Gabriel era Genesis inspired symphonic prog here on their debut album Future Legends. Itīs very well composed and performed. All songs are good but nothing really stands out.

The sound quality isnīt really good, but for the time itīs ok.

The album starts with the classical intro Future Legends and then continues with Decision which is a good symphonic prog rock song. All songs have quiet and more rocking passages and the singing ranges from melodic to more rock sounding moments. There are even a jazzy vers in the song Decision. So there is nothing wrong with the diversity in the music. Iīm entertained throughout the whole album. The influences are very clear though and at the end of the song: As Day Breaks With Dawn itīs almost a ripp-off of Gentle Giantīs vocal harmonies. It has to be mentioned though that this is the only place they sound like Gentle Giant. Fruuppīs overall sound is more in the vein of Peter Gabriel era Genesis.

The musicians are good without being outstanding.

This is a pretty average symphonic prog rock album from the early seventies and Iīll rate it 3 stars with the hope that Fruupp will get better on later albums.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I want to thank Tom Ozric for convincing me to purchase this recording, as I had debated for some time about getting it. I really enjoyed my time with it last week, and today on my day off I gave it a couple of more spins. It's really cool to hear some excellent prog from Ireland as well. I wondered if they used mellotron on this album but they don't, instead they use real strings as well as string-synths.

"Future Legends" is a minute and a half intro track of mainly violin melodies. "Decision" opens with drums and piano that build to a full sound quickly. Raw sounding guitar takes over. Nothing soft or gentle about this ! Violin comes in before reserved vocals and light drums arrive. Bass and piano before 2 minutes then themes are repeated. After 3 minutes he yells followed by a scorching guitar solo that goes on and on. Amazing section. It calms down 4 1/2 minutes with vocal melodies. Nice. The ripping guitar is back ! Excellent track. "As Day Breaks With Dawn" is pastoral to begin with as piano and cymbals lead the way. A full sound with vocals after a minute. It becomes atmospheric with soft vocals a minute later. The contrast continues. Some great sounding guitar 4 1/2 minutes in as cool sounding vocals come in to end it.

"Graveyard Epistle" is uptempo at first with a bit of a YES vibe. It settles quickly with reserved vocals and a mellow soundscape. The contrast continues.Love the energetic sections. They just seem to jam for a while in the middle section before the contrasts of earlier return. Great tune. "Lord Of The Incubus" opens with more vocal melodies before vocals take over. Piano melodies before some nice guitar after 3 minutes. A YES flavour before 5 minutes with the vocal melodies coming back a minute later. "Olde Tyme Future" features mournful guitar with string-synths and drums. It changes 2 1/2 minutes in to a MOODY BLUES sound briefly as vocals come in. Some nice bass lines and more vocal meldies follow. One of my favourites on here. "Song For A Thought" opens with some aggressive guitar before settling down a minute in. Vocals follow in this drifting passage.Nice bass too. Raw guitar 5 1/2 minutes in with violin leads to an energetic ending. "Future Legends" ends the album with a short multi-vocal piece and acoustic guitar.

Just an excellent album that is worthy of anyone's collection.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars for this nice effort...

Excellent Irish overlooked band who released four albums in a short period during the 70's.They were formed in early 70's in Belfast by vocalist/composer/guitarist Vincent McCusker and signed their first contract with Dawn Records,through which FRUUPP recorded their first album ''Future legends'' in 1973.

Though FRUUPP are often refered as a group with strong folk elements and a GENESIS-like sound,at least for this release these influences are very limited.''Future legends'' is an album based on carefully arranged orchestral arrangements similar to those offered by early KING CRIMSON blended with some hard progressive parts with very complicated musicianship.A few strong melodies might recall GENESIS,but overall the final result comes like a cross between CRESSIDA (intense beautiful vocals by Peter Farrelly,a few pop-orchestrated parts),KING CRIMSON (in the smooth parts covered by the mellotron you'll be amazed by the similarity) and BEGGAR'S OPERA (heavy use of classical piano and superb Hammong organ).Finally there are also some nice bluesy parts with pleasant guitar and piano interplays,as well as some intense violin strings used in the most dark moments of the album...After several listenings,I can say that ''Future legends'' is a work containing the right and the best ingredients of the major 70's UK prog bands,though it sounds more like an late-60's/early-70's album than a work of a band heading to mid-70's.Nevertheless,FRUUPP were a very talented band,which deserve your full attention.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I’m among those of the opinion that Fruup’s music is rather closer to a derivation of folk music than of rock, although certainly Vincent McCusker’s often weighty electric guitar certainly leaves little doubt that this is a rock band after all. This was the band’s first, and to my ears their best studio effort.

The band’s music has been called derivative, most often in the same breath with Yes and Genesis. As an American I’m going to go out on a limb a bit and say that these traits are probably more apparent to those music authorities who grew up steeped in British and Irish rock music and can appreciate the subtle nuances that may be lost on those of other nationalities and traditions. Certainly the vocals veer into Peter Gabriel territory at times, particularly with the opening of “Gravyard Epistle”, “Olde Tyme Future” and parts of “Lord of the Incubus” as far as this album is concerned. I really don’t hear much Yes per se, other than to acknowledge the band employs a similar mix of eclectic and exotic keyboards along with strong lead guitar much like Yes did in their heyday. Personally I’d place their sound closer to the Enid.

But for me the overall mood of a sound that sometimes seems to predate rock by a couple of centuries is quite appealing, especially as the band has a knack for leveraging modern instruments to both respect and expand on that mood. Stephen Houston is certainly an underappreciated talent, at least from an international perspective (I’ve no idea how well known or respected he was/is in his native country).

That said, there are no musical breakthroughs on the album, or really with any of the band’s music. I don’t currently own a copy of ‘Modern Masquerades’ so can’t really comment on that one, but the first three albums all contain quite pleasant and progressive symphonic rock compositions that demonstrate enough talent and variety to keep one’s interest and engagement for the length of each record. Apart from hints of folk and dominant symphonic arrangements, the band also dabbles at times with blues forms, most notably the middle section of “Lord of the Incubus” on this album. There’s also a tad bit of amusing keyboard work that wouldn’t sound too out-of-place on an 80s record toward the end of “Olde Tyme Future”, and a driving rhythm to close out “Song for a Thought” that is also a bit ahead of it’s time.

So nothing exceptional or earth-shattering here from a musical standpoint, but eight compositions that stand the test of time well enough to still be relevant to progressive music fans today. For that the album rates a high three stars for me, although I certainly wouldn’t quibble with anyone who gave it four. Well recommended to symphonic rock aficionados, but also to prog folk fans as they will undoubtedly appreciate the ‘olde-time’ feel of the music and the tasteful use of oboe, synthesized strings, and electric keyboard sound that I believe is supposed to represent a harpsichord or perhaps a spinet.


Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice find! Progressive rock in line with NEKTAR, PROCUL HARUM, WISHBONE ASH, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA and a little BEATLES, TRAFFIC, and HAWKWIND. LIke previous reviewers, I find the first few songs rather dull and more straightforward bluesy rock. But with "As Day Breaks with Dawn" (8/10), "Graveyard Epistle" (9/10), "Lord of the Incubus" (8/10),"Song for a Thought" (9/10), and, especially, "Old Tyme Future" (10/10) FRUUPP definitely hit into some memorable performances and truly progressive (though nothing really ground-breaking) pieces. I really like the lead electric guitar work of Vincent McCusker, but it is the softer, subtler song sections that really impress me--that really draw me in deeply--especially the vocal work.

Nice work that I'm glad is 'out of obscurity' (I had never heard of this band.) 3.5 stars rated up for it's 1973-ness. Good album, excellent addition for those interested in the quality bands and albums out there that many of us never had the chance to get to know.

Review by Warthur
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.

In terms of which edition to get, I recommend the Esoteric remaster - issued by itself in 2009, and also included in the Wise as Wisdom boxed set from 2019 which collects all the band's studio albums. Not only is it a marked improvement from previous CD editions, but it also includes the track On a Clear Day. Far from being your typical bonus track fodder - ie, a song which wasn't good enough to go on the album originally, but was tacked on anyway to make the reissue more palatable - this was originally a song intended for the album, except it riffs on a theme by Holst and the copyright owners objected, so Graveyard Epistle had to be quickly concocted to replace it. (Some test pressings are rumoured to circulate with On a Clear Day still on them). Thus, this remaster finally brings the entire body of Future Legends together for the first time.

Review by baz91
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Perhaps the only Northern Ireland's 70's contribution to prog, Fruup was a fine yet unimportant one. The band members were pretty young in 1973 but judged by the sound, have been well acquainted with hard-rock, classic rock and folk rock. When you put on the album, you actually feel you are bac ... (read more)

Report this review (#2985446) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, January 23, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fruupp's debut album is a good one. From Belfast, Northern Ireland, the band was founded by guitarist Vincent McCusker in early 1971. The band opened for bands such as Genesis, Queen, and King Crimson. This album has an awesome classic prog sound. This band is fairly unknown which I find very surpri ... (read more)

Report this review (#2900068) | Posted by AJ Junior | Friday, March 17, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#2285230) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Tuesday, December 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#982574) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, June 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Irish sensation. Future Legends is the first Fruupp album , and is one of those records that any fan of symphonic prog should have! The Northern Irish band made four albums in the early 70's, recorded in the pauses of their almost incessant live activity, and this is without doubt the best. ... (read more)

Report this review (#398200) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Friday, February 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent PG Genesis era album but more Folk and Heavy sound oriented. Fruupp was a Ireland band that plays this excellent debut album in 1973 and that ages in extreme good manner. If please you the more Folk side of Symphonic Prog I think that Fruupp is another band for you. Few words ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#251881) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am in two or even four minds about this album. I find it difficult to express any meanings about it whatsoever. Not even after fifteen spins over four weeks. The music is a mix of blues, jazz, heavy prog and symphonic prog. Not much celtic folk music here. Neither do they sounds like their ... (read more)

Report this review (#239623) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Their first and undoubtly the best. Fruupp is not in the first line when the progressive rock is mention, but it is nearly exceptional. The band is similar to Genesis (only Genesis didn't sound so hard). The beginning is in the vein of orchestral intros and then it bursts. The Decision is gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#111650) | Posted by Hejkal | Sunday, February 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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