A new and likely short series where I’ll feature a number of acts that emerged or came to the fore as the sheen of glam rock began to fade although its influence on music and fashion lingered on.

A loose category that might be termed Post-Glam, these bands might display some bovver boy theatricality (The Heavy Metal Kids), a Roxy/Art School influence (Deaf School) or a glam rock meets music hall feel (Jet), through to acts that could be said to have anticipated punk to some extent such as The Doctors of Madness and early Ultravox!


First up, Fox. A somewhat forgotten band that met with considerable success in the British singles charts in the mid-1970s.

Main songwriter Kenny Young already possessed an enviable pop pedigree having co-written Under the Boardwalk for The Drifters and Captain of Your Ship, a hit for Reparata and the Delrons (later covered by Fox and also by Bette Bright following the demise of Deaf School). He additionally composed The Highway Song for Nancy Sinatra and tracks for Status Quo, The Shirelles and Ben E. King.

On his 1973 solo album Last Stage For Silver World, some very distinctive backing vocals were supplied by Susan Traynor, then singer of the folk rock outfit Wooden Horse, an act formed in Australia that moved to London at the dawn of the 1970s. They released a self-titled album in March 1972 and followed it up a year later before Susan joined the embryonic Fox and adopted the stage name Noosha Fox.

Always looking like she was on her way to a photoshoot for Nova or Vogue or, alternatively, time-travelling back for an audition for an early Marlene Dietrich movie, the fantastic Mrs Fox was a great example of what might be termed the Biba Look, what that shop’s owner Barbara Hulanicki once described as ‘fresh little foals with long legs, bright faces and round dolly eyes… A designer’s dream’.

Noosha Fox & Fox singles

Years later looking at her in her white cape and black hotpants combo as she performs S-S-S-Single Bed, brings to my mind at least one Alison Goldfrapp.

According to a press release from their label GTO, debut single Only You Can was recorded at LA’s Clover Studios with the band naked as they played. Apparently because it helped release any inhibitions that they might have had.

This bio, even by the standards of PR, is remarkably fanciful (or fulla bullshit if you prefer) with the unknown at this point band ‘playing to crowds at Palaces and Palladiums across Asia and Europe.’ They supposedly brought the house down at the Struda Palladium in Sidarta although I’m sceptical that this venue ever existed let alone ever played host to an early incarnation of Fox.

Only You Can came out in the late summer of 1974 and fell under the radar. With a slight shortening of the name, it was re-released in the early days of 1975 and lo and behold, it made the top ten in Britain aided by Noosha creating a big impression on her first Top of the Pops appearance. In my class, most of the boys fancied her and most of the girls thought she looked uber-cool.

Some critics though judged that the Sydney born singer’s coquettish vocal purr was just too idiosyncratic for anything other than one-hit wonder status. This idea proved misguided – and here I should mention that another female with a highly individual singing style, Kate Bush, has mentioned Fox as being a big influence on her early work. Somebody out there in Internetland has even mentioned a resemblance to Clare Grogan’s vocals on See Those Eyes. Listening to tracks like Minor Therapy from the second Fox album Tails of Illusion it’s easy to see why the comparison was made.

Here’s the follow-up to Only You, with the alluring Noosha irresistibly doo-dalang-a-langing her way to another another big British hit in the summer of 1975. Imagine Me, Imagine You joining a very eclectic chart that included Hamilton Bohannon’s Disco Stomp, Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ The Night.


In that PR release mentioned earlier, Noosha claimed: ‘We want our music to be happy and free, that’s all.’

She and her band definitely succeeded on that score.

Trivia: Imagine Me, Imagine You was, like its predecessor, released on British label GTO Records. Issued with the catalogue number GT 21, a few weeks later GT 22 followed on, Stargirl by Tiger Tim, someone that just about everybody in the Glasgow area will know as a local legendary DJ but whose name will likely mean very little to those outside Radio Clyde’s transmission area.

GT 58, Silly Billy, released in April 1976, saw the first outing on vinyl for an artist called Mari Elliot, who later became Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex.

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The Fox Box, a full overview of all things Fox, was released by Cherry Red Records in January 2017. For more information, click here.

 

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