Los Angeles, January 19, 2018: The groundbreaking band Fanny (above), called “the most masterful all-female band of the classic rock era” (NPR) and “one of the most important female bands in American rock” (David Bowie), has reunited as Fanny Walked the Earth - a name that reflects all that they’ve accomplished in their lives; all they’ve seen, done and lived through - for their first album in decades, out March 2 on Blue Élan Records.
Fanny landed a deal in 1969 with Reprise Records, becoming the first-ever all-female rock band to sign a record deal for a full-length album, and would pave the way for women musicians such as The Runaways, The Bangles and the Go-Go’s for decades to come.
“The women in Fanny are like queens to me,” says Cherie Currie of The Runaways. “They started all of it. They cracked that door and made it possible for us to believe that we could do it too.”
Drawing influence from Motown bands to the Beach Boys to Jimi Hendrix, Fanny released their first five albums between 1970 and 1974 with various iterations of members, working with producers including Richard Perry (Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson), Todd Rundgren and Vini Poncia. They recorded at the Beatles’ Apple Studios, backed Barbra Streisand on her first “rock” album, Stoney End, and toured as the opening act for legends like Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, winning over new fans with their mix of full-throttle, rockin’-funk vocals, unapologetically heavy rock guitars, and hard, punchy beats.
The band was also shattering expectations. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, to say that rock was male-dominated would be a gross understatement; rock was almost completely male. But the girls of Fanny never backed down from the challenge. “I just wanted to have fun, and I wanted to show off, and I wanted to do what I loved doing,” says drummer Brie Darling. “If anyone was ever a little snide, I thought, ‘You just wait.’”
Adds singer-guitarist June Millington, who Pitchfork recently labeled a “rock n’ roll pioneer,” “We were just involved with our band and our mission. We weren’t focused on being women trying to make it in a man’s world; we were focused on the challenge of it and having a lot of fun.”
In 1975, the band had a breakout hit with “Butter Boy” - a song written by bassist Jean Millington about her then-lover, David Bowie - which hit number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
But Fanny broke up soon after “Butter Boy” hit the charts, though they stayed in touch as they went their separate ways, always keeping their music and their experiences close to their hearts.
The reunion came in February 2016 when Jean, June, and Brie came together to participate in a tribute to June hosted by Laudable Productions and the Massachusetts-based Northampton Arts Council.
“It came right back,” says June. “The minute we hit the stage, it was right back to that thing that was fresh and exciting and an adventure.”
It didn’t take long before they decided to get back together in the studio, too. Their new self-titled album is an 11-track, all-original LP that’s shot through with the same raucous courage and fearlessness as their original works. “Lured Away” tells the story of rock n’ roll lives that are still going strong – “I’m coming to, time to fully wake up / I gotta burn, don’t wanna give it up” – while “Storm Crossed” is an homage to Jimi Hendrix. "When You Need Her” features appearances by rock legends Currie, Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s, and Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson of The Bangles.
“I feel like Fanny Walked the Earth has an encoding of what we’ve experienced over the years,” says June. “This is an important stand we’re taking. Who gets to be 69 and still playing? Back then, it was just proving that girls can play like guys. Now, it’s like, ‘Ha!’ Women can break another glass ceiling.”
- Lured Away
- When We Need Her
- Walk The Earth
- Girls On The Road
- It Happened Here
- Not My Monkey
- Cool Girl
- What Are You Waiting For
- Storm Crossed
- Love Farmers