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Fogg - 1974 This Is It..

ALBUM: This Is It..
LABEL: Emidisc
YEAR: 1974


LINEUP: Derek Rootham - guitar * Chris McPherson - vocals * David Robson - bass * Robert Porteous - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Captain Moonshine * 02 Don't Get Caught In The Rain * 03 Water In My Wine * 04 Big Star * 05 Livin' By The Gun * 06 Wind It Up * 07 Horrible Hannah * 08 Northern Song * 09 Winter Sun

I knew the moment I saw this album cover with its German connection, mid-70s bad hair and cool but remarkably cheesy logo; Fogg was something I needed to hear. I was right which I'll get to in a minute, but what of their history. For starters Fogg were four lads from Newcastle who played pubs and clubs up and down the UK while picking up support slots with anyone who would have them, including a local band with big league aspirations that would play a big part in its history - Geordie, legendary doom rock heavies Iron Claw and UFO. All well and good, but 'This Is It..' was only issued in West Germany and didn't exactly fly out of record shops, despite three single picks. By 1975 the band were still a going concern, but replaced vocalist Chris McPherson with Dave Ditchburn and apparently released a single which took a heavy rock direction, far removed from the glam pop found on the LP.

The Songs
Musically it's like a low-rent version of Slade due to McPherson's Noddy Holder croak, and opener 'Captain Moonshine' shows these guys could write good pop while retaining much needed pint-soaked pub rock appeal. In fact in my minds-eye I can just see the punters swaying back and forth to sing-a-longs like 'Water In My Wine' and special mention for six-stringer Derek Rootham whose tastefully melodic 'reach for the sky' solos rank right up there with Pilot's Ian Bairnson. The galloping 'Wind It Up' is a sure-fire junk shop classic and while most of side two is a mixed bag, including the jaunty 'Horrible Hannah' which is as bad as its title, the album is a pleasant mildly average listen that will have big appeal for fans of Paper Lace and ravenous collectors of '70s glam obscurities.

In Summary
Following the dissolution of Fogg, Dave Ditchburn replaced future AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson in Geordie but it was short lived and despite Ditchburn already having written and recorded a brace of tracks Johnson returned to Geordie bringing Fogg's Derek Rootham, David Robson to the fold and all of which appeared on the patchy 1978 album 'No Good Woman'.

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#1 | Harvey Mettle on March 10 2011 11:04:55
My copy is the same catalogue number etc but is dated 1971 on the centre?
#2 | gdazegod on March 10 2011 22:40:44
Thanks for that HM, will double check the release year.
#3 | Eric on March 11 2011 03:07:24
Yeah, it's a mis-print, my copy has 1971 as well. I researched this prior to the review posting and 1974 is the release date. Needs to be changed back....
#4 | gdazegod on March 11 2011 04:56:01
OK chaps. 1974 it is.
#5 | Harvey Mettle on March 11 2011 08:03:14
Thanks folks. 1974 makes much more sense I must admit. The sound and clothes just aren't right for '71. It is a very cheap looking label on my copy and it's basically MFP so it doesn't surprise me!
#6 | Eric on March 11 2011 11:48:31
Indeed Harvey, what sealed it for me was a brief blurb in Billboard Magazine announcing Fogg signing to Gary Glitter's management team in November 1974.
#7 | Harvey Mettle on March 12 2011 12:33:53
SLIGHTLY OT - Apparently the "hard rock" single is called "Dancing To The Music", I've started searching for that (without luck yet) While doing so I discovered that Ditchburn had also been the vocalist in Brass Alley, a well known NE band who recorded a song for an EP - which I still haven't found either! Rumours abound that they had an Lp's worth of material and I have two friends who saw them countless timesa in the early 70's and rated them very highly.
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