The strange cover of the only album by the band FURR. Image by Vinyls Among Other Things
Reminding one of the sort of off-brand cologne that advertises itself as “If you like Calvin, you’ll love KEVIN!” very little is known about FURR, the curious creation of Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz the dynamic “bubblegum” songwriting and producing duo who brought us Ohio Express’ “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” and Ram Jam’s “Black Betty.” And yet you may be familiar with the cover art from the band’s eponymously titled first (and last) album from 1977 in which the four members of FURR are all dolled up like low-budget knock-off versions of KISS.
The back cover of FURR’s only album.
Now that folks, is what you call originality. KISS, my ass, this is dangerously close to Sid and Marty Krofft territory…
Here’s what we do know about FURR—they do a pretty sweet cover of a 1966 hit by Louisville, KY band The Rugbys called “You, I” and the rest of the songs on the album (which sound like funkier versions of every song by Grand Funk Railroad) were written by the former bubblegum band hawkers themselves Kasenetz and Katz, as well as a person noted only as “G. Gouldman” otherwise known as the golden-penned songwriter Graham Gouldman of UK artrock band 10cc. The “band” (studio musicians Jeff Woods, George Bruce, Robert Sylvester and John Gunner) disappeared without so much as a trace after the release of the record—unless you count its appearances in various discount bins in record shops since the late 70s.
Aside from the alluringly strange cover of FURR’s mysterious no-hit album, the only other accomplishment that I can tie to FURR worth noting is that of bassist George Bruce who played and recorded albums with Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti in the early 70s (Bruce would continue to write and record music through 2008). I’ve included two tracks from the album “Wow, Yeah” and the rambling “Goin’ Down The Road” (which for the record do not sound terribly glammy) for you to ponder below. If you like what you hear you can listen to the track “Sorcery” here. If you’re a collector of obscure vinyl I did manage to track down a sealed copy down on eBay if you feel the need to add this oddity to your collection.
‘Wow, Yeah’ by FURR, 1977.
‘Goin’ Down the Road’ by FURR, 1977.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
KISS: Their X-rated early days