The Fuzz – 1971 – The Fuzz
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One of the best female harmony groups of the early 70s – even if they only ever cut this single album! The Fuzz have an open, earnest style that really takes us back to group soul of the decade before – yet they deliver their work with a bolder sort of sophistication that’s definitely marked by the time – especially in the righteous undercurrents of the music, and the very cool way that many tracks begin with a “prelude” passage that’s almost poetic in nature – kind of a hipper balance to the record, in a style that so many other soul acts would use decades later, but which is pretty ground breaking here. The approach really creates a unified feel to the record.
A1 I Think I Got The Making Of A True Love Affair (Prelude) 2:32
A2 I Think I Got The Making Of A True Love Affair 2:29
A3 I’m So Glad (Prelude) 0:42
A4 I’m So Glad 2:41
A5 All About Love (Prelude) 0:45
A6 All About Love 2:53
A7 It’s All Over (Prelude) 0:44
A8 It’s All Over 3:33
B1 Like An Open Door 2:27
B2 Search Your Mind 3:05
B3 Leave It All Behind Me 3:00
B4 Ooh Baby Baby 5:32
B5 I Love You For All Seasons 2:55
This short-lived trio’s of interest to me in that they called Washington D.C. home (I happen to live in Northern Virginia).
Barbara Gilliam, Val Williams and Sheila Young were originally known as The Passionetts and managed to record a one-off single for the small Path Records label (‘My Plea’ b/w ‘My Fault’ (Path catalog 101.)
1970 saw them picked up by Uni Records and the release of a second 45: ‘Sister Watch Yourself’ b/w ‘Stand By Your Man’ (Uni catalog number 55230). Probably an administrative oversight, the single was credited to ‘The Passionettes’ (note the extra ‘e’).
Billed as ‘The Fuzz’ (so much cooler than the earlier nameplate), 1971 found the trio recording for Roulette Records’ Calla subsidiary. In a rather daring marketing move their self-titled debut was a concept piece. Well, the first half of the album was apparently built around a concept. Written by Young and arranger Joe Tate, the eight ‘A’ side tracks were built around a theme comparing love to the four seasons. Mixing a series of spoken word narratives with some catchy ballads and mid-tempo numbers the results were occasionally quite cheesy (check out the monotone reading of ”I Think I Got the Making of a True Love Affair), but to my ears that simply added to the album’s charm. In contrast, the flip side abandoned the concept approach in favor of discrete songs. Material such as ‘Like An Open Door‘, ‘Leave It All Behind Me‘ and ‘I Love You for All Seasons‘ served as a nice showcase for Young’s songwriting skills and the trio’s lovely harmony work – these gals were easily as good as Honey Cone (whom they actually remind me of). Elsewhere the group enjoyed a series of three R&B hits from the album:
-1971’s ‘I Love You for All Season’ b/w ‘I Love You for All Season (instrumental)’ (Calla catalog number C-174)
-1971’s ‘Like An Open Door’ b/w ‘Leave It All Behind Me’ (Calla catalog number C-177)
-1971’s ‘I’m So Good’ b/w ‘All About Love’ (Calla catalog number C-179)
One final non-LP single (‘Do Just What You Can Do’ b/w ‘Mr. Heartaches and Miss Tears’ (Calla catalog number C-183)) and their recording career seemsto have come to an end.