On their debut, Crabby Appleton were the closest any US band came to Badfinger, they were that good, releasing two different albums in their short life span, the pre-cursor to power pop.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Crabby Appleton
ALBUM: Crabby Appleton
LABEL: Elektra Records
SERIAL: EKS 74067
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Mike Fennelly – vocals, guitars * Hank Harvey – bass * Casey Foutz – keyboards * Felix ‘Falco’ Falcon – percussion * Phil Jones – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Go Back * 02 The Other Side * 03 Catherine * 04 Peace By Peace * 05 To All My Friends * 06 Try * 07 Can’t Live My Life * 08 Some Madness * 09 Hunger For Love * 10 How Long Will It Take
Named after a US cartoon character, Crabby Appleton’s roots go back to the late 1960’s and the ‘Sunshine pop’ sound popularized by The Mama’s & The Papas and The Association.
Vocalist and group founder Mike Fennelly was involved in two lesser known, but seminal bands of the movement, Sagittarius and Millennium, both featuring pop master mind Curt Boettcher, famed producer Keith Olsen and Gary Usher. Glory Daze fans will remember Usher from the brilliant Celestium album ‘Sanctuary’ released in 1984.
The music of Sagittarius and Millennium was composed of ornate compositions owing more than a small debt to The Beach Boys with a happy sound that could brighten any mood. Not satisfied playing for other people, Fennelly formed Crabby Appleton, releasing two very different albums in their short life span and setting the stage for the American power pop sound to come.
On their debut, Crabby Appleton were the closest any US band came to Badfinger. They were that good and with their single ‘Go Back’, AM radio delivered the group their first and only hit single. The song was a mixture of The Hollies and Badfinger with a hook that burned into your brain like a laser beam.
The rest of the album continues the trend offering quality pop music that combined both British and American styles. You won’t find anything remotely psychedelic here, just solid songs from the year The Beatles split giving music fans hope that good music could still be made.
1971 would see a second Crabby Appleton album ‘Rotten To The Core’ which came closer to the sound of Humble Pie. As a follow-up it was quite good, but not half as interesting as the bands pure pop debut. Crabby Appleton toured with some of the bigger names of the day including The Doors but with the lack of a catchy single on their second album, Crabby Appleton broke up.
Fortunately most music fans have a long memory and the band achieved legendary status in the following years. Both albums were reissued to CD by the Collectors Choice label (see details above) making each an essential purchase for power pop fans.