Fabulous Poodles

The Fabulous Poodles were an English pop-rock band that released the 1977–78 UK Pye albums Fabulous Poodles and Unsuitable. Their 1979 Epic compilation Mirror Stars spawned a minor US hit with the title track. John Entwistle produced the first album and onetime Spencer Davis Group bassist (and SparksDeaf School soundman) Muff Winwood produced Unsuitable and the Poodles’ third album, Think Pink.

The Fabulous Poodles matched debonair 1930s attire with sounds drawn from Kinksian music hall, ’50s rock, and Western swing. Singer–guitarist Tony de Meur co-wrote their material with wordsmith John Parsons, whose topics include haircuts, b-movie stars, toy civilizations, bionic men, and sentient lovelorn microphones.

Members: Tony de Meur (vocals, guitar), Bobby Valentino (violin), John Bentley (bass, 1974-75), Bob Suffolk (keyboards, 1974-75), Gordon Coxon (drums, 1974-75), Bryn B. Burrows (drums, 1975-80), Richie C. Robertson (bass, 1975-80), Chris Skornia (keyboards, 1979-80)


Fabulous Poodles

The Fabulous Poodles released their self-titled debut album in September 1977 on UK Pye.

1. “The Ending” (de Meur, Parsons, Valentino, Robertson, Burrows)
2. “Doctor” (Bentley, Suffolk)
3. “Work Shy” (de Meur, Parsons)
4. “Bike Blood” (de Meur, Parsons)
5. “Rum Baba Boogie” (de Meur, Parsons)
6. “When the Summer’s Thru” (de Meur)
7. “Rosie Pink” (de Meur, Parsons)
8. “Roll Your Own” (Mel McDaniel)
9. “Pinball Pin Up” (de Meur, Parsons)
10. “Mr. Mike” (de Meur, Parsons)
11. “Cherchez la Femme” (de Meur, Parsons)

Tony de Meur – guitar, lead vocals, harmonica
Bobby Valentino – violin, backing vocals, mandolin
Richie C. Robertson – bass, backing vocals
Bryn Burrows – drums, backing vocals

John Entwistle – 8-string bass (tracks 2, 10, 11)
Bob Suffolk – piano (tracks 6, 9)

12 Aug 1977
A: When The Summer’s Thru’
B: Bike Blood


Unsuitable

The Fabulous Poodles released their second album, Unsuitable, in 1978 on UK Pye.

1. “Mirror Star” (de Meur, Parsons)
2. “Topless GoGo” (de Meur, Parsons)
3. “Chicago Boxcar (Boston Back)” (de Meur, Parsons)
4. “Oh Cheryl” (de Meur, Parsons)
5. “Toytown People” (de Meur, Parsons)
6. “Convent Girls” (de Meur, Parsons)
7. “B Movies” (de Meur, Parsons, Valentino, Burrows, Robertson)
8. “Tit Photographer Blues” (de Meur, Parsons)
9. “Third Rate Romance” (Smith)
10. “Mugs Game” (de Meur, Parsons, Robertson)
11. “Suicide Bridge” (de Meur, Parsons)

6 Oct 1978
A: Mirror Star
B: ‘B’ Movies

18 May 1979
A: Workshy
B: Toytown People

In 1979, “Mirror Star” became the title-track of the Fabulous Poodles’ North American debut on US Epic. Mirror Stars contains five additional Unsuitable tracks (“Chicago Boxcar,” “Oh Cheryl,” “Toytown People,” “B Movies,” “Tit Photographer Blues”) and four songs from the first album (“Work Shy, ” “Roll Your Own,” “Mr. Mike,” “Cherchez la Femme”). Mirror Stars appeared on black and pink vinyl.


Think Pink

The Fabulous Poodles released their third studio album, Think Pink, in 1979 on US Epic.

1. “Man With Money” (P. Everly, D. Everly)
2. “Bionic Man” (de Meur, Parsons)
3. “Any Port In a Storm” (de Meur, Burrows)
4. “(Hollywood) Dragnet” (de Meur)
5. “Bike Blood” (de Meur, Parsons)
6. “Cossack Cowboy” (de Meur, Parsons)
7. “Anna Rexia” (de Meur)
8. “You Wouldn’t Listen” (de Meur)
9. “Suicide Bridge” (de Meur, Parsons)
10. “Pink City Twist” (de Meur, Valentino, Burrows, Robertson)
11. “Vampire Rock” (de Meur, Parsons)

In January 1980, Think Pink appeared in the UK on Blueprint. This version retains the US tracklist, including the two songs already available on the UK Pye albums.

29 Feb 1980
A: Bionic Man (Edited Version)
B: Pink City Twist

17 Oct 1980
A: Stompin’ With The Cat
B: Don’t You Lie To Me


Burrows later resurfaced in Welsh electro-modernists Freur. Valentino has played on recordings by a range of artists that includes Private Lives, Red Box, The Style Council, Bronski Beat, and The Men They Couldn’t Hang, in addition to finding a second niche as a Clark Gable lookalike.


Discography:

  • Fabulous Poodles (1977)
  • Unsuitable (1978)
  • Think Pink (1979)

Compilations:

  • Mirror Stars (1979 — US compilation of tracks from first two albums)

Sources:

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