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Reviewed by Ania Glowacz

The Furys: Anthology 1979-1999

Reviewed by Ania Glowacz

The Furys: Anthology 1979-1999

Named after early ’60s rocker Billy Fury and the classic ’50s Plymouth model, The Furys formed in late 1979, and through the ’80s were a regular fixture on the Auckland’s live circuit, playing legendary venues like The Windsor Castle, Gluepot, Rumba Bar and Mainstreet on a regular basis. ‘Never perfect, but better for it,’ as the sleeve notes observe. This anthology re-release is 21 tracks drawn from studio and live recordings. The core of the band was the personality of guitarist and vocalist Dave McLean and rockabilly guitarist Mike Cooney. McLean’s stage presence and their live ability in a competitive environment put them on the map.

They played classics, ’50s rock’n’roll obscurities, ’60s soul, and a sprinkling of McLean originals – typical of pub bands of the time, forced to play covers to get gigs and an audience. But really this is a musical journey through the ’80s. They recorded a 4-track EP titled ‘Rare Record’. It had McLean’s originals I’ve Gotta Gun, Keep It In and Auckland Fun, plus Wilson Pickett number Danger Zone, all recorded at Harlequin Studios, mostly produced by Ian Morris. Those plus six other studio tracks are backed here with a further 11 live ones, mostly from the Gluepot and a 1981 Auckland Town Hall gig. The recordings have been digitally remastered by Tim Julian at his Colourfield Studio in Tauranga. The comprehensive booklet included charts a fascinating story of ambition, reality (both positive and negative, but erring on the former), and The Furys’ place in our music history, especially the live Auckland scene. Legend.

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