zaterdag 23 oktober 2010

A Passing Fancy - 1968 - A Passing Fancy

A Passing Fancy
A Passing Fancy

01. I'm Losing Tonight   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:48
02. A Passing Fancy   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:35
03. You're Going Out of My Mind   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:35
04. Sounds Silly   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:25
05. She Phoned   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:10
06. I Believe In Sunshine   (Greg Hambleton) - 2:25
07. Island   (Greg Hambleton) - 2:05
08. Your Trip   (R. Cameron) - 3:05
09. Little Boys for Little Girls   (Jay Telfer) - 3:31
10. Under the Bridge    (Fergus Hambleton) - 2:38
11. Spread Out   (Jay Telfer - April Blackwood) - 2:54
12. People In Me   (Bonniwell - Thrush) - 3:15

Formed in 1967 and originally known as The Dimensions, this outfit was built around the talents of singer/guitarist Jay Tefler and bassist Fergus Hambleton.  Switching their name to the infinitely hipper 'A Passing Fancy', the group achieved their initial successes playing Toronto's club circuit, including a headlining stint at the 1967 Toronto Expo.  The resulting publicity saw them 'discovered' by Columbia Records, which subsequently released a string of four outstanding pop/psych singles:

- 1967's 'I'm Losing You' b/w 'A Passing Fancy' (Columbia catalog number C4-2729)
- 1967's 'You're Going Out of Your Mind' b/w 'Sounds Silly' (Columbia catalog number C4-2755)
- 1967's 'I Believe In Sunshine' b/w 'She Phoned' (Columbia catalog number C4-2767)
- 1968's 'People In Me' b/w 'Spread Out'  (Columbia catalog number C4-2772)

Here's where it gets weird.  In spite of the fact all four singles hit the Canadian charts, Columbia elected not to release an album, and by mid-1968 the band were without a recording contract.  Back to the independents ...

The group signed with the small, Toronto-based Boo Records which promptly released the cleverly titled "A Passing Fancy".  Produced by John Cirvine, the album served to compile the 'A' and 'B' sides from the four earlier singles, along with four new tracks - 'Island', 'Your Trip', ' Little Boys for Little Girls' and 'Under the Bridge'.  As a compilation the album's quite diverse with the band showcasing an almost chameleon-like adaptability.  Largely penned by Tefler and April Blackwood (?), tracks such as the slashing 'I'm Losing Tonight' and 'People In Me' are first-rate garage rock.  The title track, the annoyingly catchy 'I Believe In Sunshine' and 'Island' showcase a top-40 pop feel, while 'You're Going Out of My Mind' and 'Spread Out' find the band immersed in wild psychedelics.  Frequently diversity equates to lack of focus, but in this case it simply makes a great album even better.  In fact, the only real disappointment is the bland and tame ballad 'Sounds Silly'.  Elsewhere Boo tapped 'Island' b/w 'Your Trip' for the group's fifth and final single (Boo catalog number 684).  Unfortunately, as a small regional label Boo was unable to support the album nationally (explaining why it's relatively rare and the asking price), and even though the LP generated strong reviews, by the end of the year the band had called it quits. 

In case anyone's interested, Hambleton went on to enjoy local recognition as a member of the Toronto-based reggae band The Sattalites.

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