Jun 18, 2012

Fludd - Fludd (1971)

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Brothers Brian and Ed Pilling, previous members of the Wages of the Sin, formed Fludd in 1969 with Jorn Anderson and Greg Godovitz. Peter Czankey was recruited in 1972 and Gord Waszek joined two years later. Though the band's first two singles were for Warner Brothers, they moved to Daffodil for the self-titled 1972 debut and On!, also in 1972. Great Expectations was issued in 1976 for Attic, but the band broke up when Brian Pilling died of cancer in 1978. The greatest hits collection From the Attic '71 to '77 appeared in 1977. Greg Godovitz later formed Goddo.
1. Turned 21
2. Sailing On
3. David Copperfield
4. The Egg
5. Come Back Home
6. A Man Like You
7. Birmingham
8. Mama's Boy
9. Easy Being No One
10. Make It Better
11. You See Me
12. Tuesday Blue

Mick Walsh - guitar
Ed Pilling - vocals and percussion
Brian Pilling - guitar and vocals
John Anderson - drums
Greg Godovitz - bass and vocals



juan manuel muñoz said...

many thanks for this my friend. Cheers

adamus67 said...

The roots of Fludd extend as far back as the mid-1960′s in Toronto where guitarists Brian Pilling and Greg Godovitz met in high school and shared the same passion for the music of The Beatles.

With the mandatory garage bands on their individual resumes, Pilling, Godovitz and Pilling’s drumming brother, Ed would form The Pretty Ones in the late ’60′s. With a short and unexceptional run in the Yorkvill Village and points around Toronto, the members went their separate ways.

The brothers thought a fresh start would be the best approach and followed their English heritage back to England where they formed a new act called Wages Of Sin — with Ed now on lead vocals and second guitarist Mick Hopkins. The group became such a popular pub act throughout Birmingham, England that in 1970 Cat Stevens hired them as his backing band and renamed them Zeus. Stevens’ comeback trail (after being forced to leave the business in 1968 due to tuberculosis) was stylistically at odds with the rock-oriented brothers so they packed their bags and returned to Canada by year’s end.

The spark that ignited under the duo after being exposed to the post-psychedelic British pop sound (c/f Small Faces, Rod Stewart) lit the fire for the creation of Fludd. They called upon former Pretty Ones bandmate Greg Godovitz once again who, in turn, recruited drummer John Andersen and guitarist Mick Walsh.

Fludd became a staple on the Toronto club scene mixing Anglocentric originals with cover tunes and soon attracted the attention of Warner Brothers Records. Recording on their debut album commenced at Pacific Sound, San Mateo, California with producer and fellow Canadian Adam Mitchell (The Paupers).

The single “Turned 21″ was released in late 1971 and rode the Canadian charts for 5 weeks, peaking at #16 nationally. But, the album stalled out and rather than trying to work a follow-up single from the album, Fludd returned to Manta Sound in Toronto with Adam Mitchell to record some fresh ideas in early 1972.

During the interim, Mick Walsh left the band and was replaced by Wages Of Sin guitarist Mick Hopkins. The band carried on by releasing the single “Get Up, Get Out, Move On” which peaked on the CHUM Chart at #18 in April of ’72.

The band was soon dropped by Warner Brothers and Hopkins returned to England to form hard rock act Quartz (they would go on to release half a dozen albums). It became obvious to The Pillings that their guitar-oriented pop and so Fludd turned its watchful eye to England who were always on the cutting edge of musical style and fashion. To that end, they changed their sound drastically with the addition of keyboard player, Peter Csanky.

Meanwhile, Welsh music executive Frank Davies became interested in the group for his own newly expanding Canadian Daffodil label — home of Crowbar, King Biscuit Boy, et al. Fludd’s style worked well with the Small Faces and other Immediate Records acts in their UK catalogue which Davies had licenced around the same time.

Production began at Manta Sound Studio in mid-1972 with producer Lee DeCarlo on the band’s follow-up LP, entitled ‘Cock On!’. Fludd was determined to be noticed and to be as cocky as their pseudo-British heritage. The title was interpreted literally and the band members posed for what would become a very controversial gatefold photograph — naked but for the coats they wore.

Davies had a hardtime selling the concept to his distributor, Capitol Records, causing the photo to be scrapped and the album title to be reduced to the unimaginative ‘…On!’ It’s interesting to note that Godovitz would have the final say years later by writing the song “Cock On” and releasing it with his successful follow-up act Goddo.

adamus67 said...

Daffodil committed to releasing “I Held Out” which failed to break the Top20 in Canada and the label dropped the group. With their spirits shattered from the continuous setbacks, Godovitz jumped ship to front his own power-trio group, Goddo. He was replaced by veteran Toronto bassist Doni Underhill (Leigh Ashford, Fingers). Underhill brought with him bandmate Gord Waszek directly from Leigh Ashford.

Brian Pilling had been diagnosed with leukaemia and with his unpredictable reaction to treatments and day-to-day health, Waszek could take up any slack during live gigs and to help the Pillings co-write in the studio.

Meanwhile, during this period of flux, Andersen left briefly to be subbed-in by Pat Little (Chimo, Luke & The Apostles), before returning anew with a change of name — his birthname Jorn.

Still, Fludd wasn’t out of the game yet as the band was being wooed by an old ally — former Warner Brothers promotions man Tom Williams who, with business partner Alexander Mair, had formed a new label in Toronto called Attic.

Fludd would become the first act signed to Attic and with the three completed songs purchased from Daffodil, proceeded to issue the band’s newest single, “Brother And Me”, in June 1974. The single was launched with a free concert at Toronto City Hall to 50,000 fans. Williams and Mair even hired a plane to drag a banner over the site and the Mariposa Festival site nearby proclaiming “Fludd Wishes You A Happy Summer”.

“Brother And Me” broke the Canadian Top-30, which was considered a success by all parties involved, and so Attic followed that with the single “Dance Gypsy Dance” which failed to chart at all.

adamus67 said...

With Attic focused on getting recognition for themselves and the band, Fludd, meanwhile had returned to the studio, this time at Sound Quebec in Montreal, for the long anticipated follow-up to 1972′s ‘…On!’. The band emerged with a new line-up and a new Adam Mitchell produced album called ‘Great Expectations’ in early 1975.

The more aggressively styled single “What An Animal” helped the band achieve their first Top-10 in Canada. Some of this was due to the controversial album cover featuring a very pregnant and semi-clad woman on the cover.

As Ed Pilling explains it in the Attic Records 20th Anniversary box set: “…the model on the cover is my sister-in-law, pregnant with my niece! People called the cover obscene. Some thought it was a large breast. Eaton’s and Sam’s (The Record Man) wouldn’t carry it. The irony was in the Toronto Sun (where) on one page was a picture of the album cover with the headline ‘Is This Obscene?’ (and) on the next page was an article welcoming Linda Lovelace to town.”

Unfortunately, the band’s new-found infamy could not be bolstered by touring due to the deteriorating health of Brian Pilling. The Pillings agreed to continue the band as a recording project provided Brian was healthy enough. Other members of Fludd needed to make a living and so Waszek, Underhill and Andersen left to reform Fingers.

Ed and Brian Pilling rallied on with bassist Jim Crichton and drummer Ian McCorkle (Lynx) and set up shop at Thunder Sound in Toronto with co-producer Adam Mitchell in 1975. The sessions produced one single for Attic in 1976 caleed “I’m On My Way”.

Despite the failure of the song to chart, Fludd was encouraged by Attic’s continued committment to the on-going determination of the band. Steve Negus replaced McCorkle and another version of Fludd continued to record at Phase One Studio in Scarborough, Ontario in 1976 with Brian Pilling producing. The sessions produced two useable tracks — “Help Me Back” and, the band’s final Attic single, “With You”.

By this point Brian Pilling was unable to continue and the group disbanded. Attic released a fitting tribute to the band with a powerful ‘best of’ package in 1977 called ‘From The Attic: ’71 To ’77′. Brian Pilling finally succumbed to cancer on June 28, 1978 at the age of 29 and is survived by a wife and two children.

Crichton, Negus and Rochon would go on to form Saga in 1977; Waszek went on to join several Toronto bands, including reformed versions of Leigh Ashford and Motherlode, and a steady gig for most of the 1990′s as guitarist for The Eagles tribute band Desparado; Jorn Andersen became a successful sideman/session player with the likes of Murray McLauchlan & Honeymoon Suite among others; Doni Underhill went on to join the very successful West Coast outfit Trooper.

Godovitz had great success in the ’70′s and early ’80′s with Goddo (who also did a stint with Attic Records). As a tribute to his best friend Brian Pilling, Godovitz entered Studio 306 on June 11, 1980 with Goddo, Bob Segarini and several other Toronto musicians to record the Pilling/Godovitz song “Fortune In Men’s Eyes” and a remake of the Fludd song “Homemade Lady”. The songs were released as a benefit single on El Mocambo records and the proceeds donated to a fund for Pillings’ children.
@Alex Thank you very much! If you are here right now I'd buy you a beer... :)

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Thx very much for the Fludd - now that was an easy one to start DLing!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! Any chance of a re-up here?

Thanks a ton!

hanalex said...

Read here please

chico said...

Thanks my friend for re-up this very nice canadian band.very nice pop rock songs.I like your new presentation of the blog.