1974 Fancy – Wild Thing
Mike Hurst began singing and playing guitar in the mid-fifties. His talent impressed Eddie Cochran, who encouraged him to pursue a career in music. After failing to find a record label that would sign him, Mike abandoned music and worked in the insurance industry instead.
Mike’s mother encouraged him to go on an audition for a pop/folk group in 1962. He nailed the audition and joined Dusty Springfield and her brother Tom as the third member of the Springfields. The group’s 1962 single Silver Threads and Golden Needles became the first British single to reach the US Top twenty (just a few months before Telstar became the first British single to reach the top of the Hot 100).
After a few years of working with a few future British superstars, Mike discovered Cat Stevens. He signed Cat to a recording contract and produced his first five singles, including Cat’s breakthrough record, Matthew And Son. Mike also produced music for The Move, Manfred Mann, and The Spencer Davis Group.
Mike formed his own production company in 1973 and recruited several studio musicians and formed the band Fancy. The studio musicians included Ray Fenwick from The Spencer Davis Group, Mo Foster, Henry Spinetti on drums, and Alan Hawkshaw on keyboards. Mike recruited Penthouse Pet Helen Caunt to sing (and breathe) on Wild Thing, a cover of the song originally done by The Troggs. The single failed in the UK, but peaked at #14 on the US Hot 100 chart in 1974.
Ray and Mo were the only members of the group interested in continuing to record music as Fancy, and the other members all left. Australian Annie Cavanagh became the group’s new lead singer, and drummer Les Binks filled out the new lineup.
The group’s second single, Touch Me, again did little in the UK, but reached #19 on the Hot 100 later in 1974.
A third single from the album failed to reach the charts, but Feel Good has been sampled by over 100 different rap songs. You can listen to 3-Minute Rule by the BeastieBoys to hear the sampling, but the lyrics are a tad too explicit to link in here.
The group’s second album and resulting singles made little impact, and the group disbanded.
Mike continued producing and writing music. He appeared to have learned something from the success of Fancy: he became the head of Lamborghini Records, which made a star out of singer/model Samantha Fox beginning in 1983 with a few singles produced by Ray.
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