Fox was a British-based pop band popular in the mid-1970s. Led by American songwriter and record producer Kenny Young, the band was perhaps best known for its charismatic Australian lead singer Susan Traynor, who performed under the name Noosha Fox.
The band was founded by Young, who had composed the song "Under the Boardwalk" for The Drifters in 1964. Young had worked off and on with the Australian singer Susan Traynor for a number of years in the United States. She appeared on Young's album, Last Stage For Silverworld, where she was listed as 'Amanda'. Both Traynor and Young then relocated to England in 1968, after Young had written Reparata and the Delrons' "Captain of Your Ship", which had been a UK hit.
Young then discovered Northern Irish singer Clodagh Rodgers on a television show, who had recently released the single, "Play The Drama till The End". The partnership produced hit singles over a three-year period, beginning with "Come Back and Shake Me". With this, Rodgers became something of a blueprint for the group, as she recorded demos of some of the songs which would eventually surface on the first Fox album in 1975, as well as earlier Young tunes.
Meanwhile, Traynor was in a folk group called Wooden Horse, which released two albums before breaking up. After his success with Rogers, Young founded Fox with Irish singer Herbie Armstrong, recruiting Traynor as lead singer. She adopted the stage name 'Noosha', a scrambled version of her own name, and a glamorous image inspired by Marlene Dietrich, wearing elegant dresses to contrast with the scruffy look of the rest of the group.
The band's self-titled debut album was released on GTO Records in 1975 to critical acclaim. The lead single, "Only You Can", was a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, the follow-up "Imagine Me Imagine You" also reached the Top 20 and "He's Got Magic" was a hit in some European countries. Also the track "Love Ship" was played extensively on Radio Caroline, and was subsequently adopted as one of their theme tunes in the 1970s. Shortly after the release of their first album, Fox made a cameo appearance in the film Side by Side.
However, Noosha was relegated to backing vocals for half the songs on the late 1975 follow-up album, Tails of Illusion, with the other songs sung by Young. The album enjoyed neither the critical nor the sales success of its predecessor; without Noosha's distinctive voice, casual listeners did not associate the songs with the band that had recorded "Only You Can". Roger Taylor of Queen added backing vocals to the song "Survival".
The band returned to the charts in April 1976 when "S-S-S-Single Bed" was a Top 5 UK hit and topped the Australian chart. (Bananarama did their own version of this song in 2009 on their album Viva.) Again, the band failed to capitalise upon its momentum, and the accompanying album Blue Hotel (1977), yielded only one further single, even though Noosha was reinstated as lead singer on all its tracks.
Noosha Fox left the band after Blue Hotel. Armstrong and Young continued to work together in the band Yellow Dog, whilst Armstrong went on to work with Van Morrison, and Solley later joined Whitesnake. Noosha launched a solo career, and her first single, "Georgina Bailey", written and produced by Young, briefly entered the Top 40 in the UK (reaching number 31) in 1977. However, its title and subject matter (about a girl whose uncle turns out to be gay) were reminiscent of Rod Stewart's then-current single "The Killing of Georgie", and the single's relatively weak chart placement meant that her planned solo album, already partly recorded, was shelved.
In 1979, Noosha Fox tried again to start her solo career with a single, "The Heat Is On", on Chrysalis Records. A cover version by ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog was a big European hit four years later. Noosha recorded several singles in the early 1980s for the Earlobe label but none were successful, and she evidently retired from the music industry, although she did not return to Australia.
Fox reformed briefly in 1980, releasing the new wave-influenced "Electro People", written as the theme music for the Kenny Everett Show. The band considered a reunion in the early 1990s, but the tracks recorded at this time were unreleased until 2004, when they appeared as bonus tracks on the Tails of Illusion CD.
After the band
It was reported in 2007 on BBC Radio 4's The Music Group that Noosha Fox was recording a solo album of electropop, and that she has her own website.
In April 2011, British physician and journalist Ben Goldacre announced on Twitter that Noosha Fox is his mother. He tweeted this while watching a repeat of a 1976 episode of Top of the Pops which included Fox's performance of "S-s-s-single Bed". He also tweeted that his mother is currently working on new material.
Herbie Armstrong recently tried to find solo success, appearing on the 2011 series of Britain's Got Talent. He made it through to the live semi-finals, but did not make it through to the final. In his semi-final, he appeared singing a version of Barry Manilow's hit, "Mandy".
- Noosha Fox (born Susan Traynor) – vocals
- Kenny Young – guitar, vocals
- Herbie Armstrong – guitar, vocals
- Jim Gannon – lead guitar, vocals
- Pete Solley – keyboards, vocals
- Mike Lavender – accordion, electric piano
- Gary Taylor – bass, vocals
- Jim Frank – drums, percussion, vocals
|1975||Fox||12"LP||GTO||GTLP 001||#7 UK|
|1975||Tails of Illusion||12"LP||GTO||GTLP 006|
|1975||Pop Power – The Fantastic Fox||12"LP||POLYDOR||2459 302||compilation|
|1976||S-S-S-Single Bed (European version)||12"LP||GTO||GTLP 011||compilation|
|1976||S-S-S-Single Bed (Australian version)||12"LP||GTO||2321 111||compilation|
|1977||Blue Hotel||12"LP||GTO||GTLP 020|
|1996||Only You Can||CD||WISE BUY||WB 866 702||compilation, including unreleased material|
|1997||The Very Best Of Fox||CD||THE HIT LABEL||AHLCD 51||compilation|
|2002||Fox (+ 4 bonus tracks)||CD||CHERRY RED||CDMRED 222|
|2004||Tails Of Illusion (+ 2 bonus tracks)||CD||CHERRY RED||CDMRED 263|
|2006||Blue Hotel (+ 1 bonus track)||CD||CHERRY RED||CDMRED 272|
|2014||Images '74-'84 - Deluxe Edition||2CD||CHERRY RED||CDBRED 605||35 tracks including all 7 singles A and B sides|
|1974||Only You Can / Out Of My Body||7"single||GTO||GT 8||3||16||53||2||-|
|1975||Imagine Me, Imagine You / If I Point At The Moon||7"single||GTO||GT 21||15||-||53||7||-|
|He's Got Magic / Love Ship||7"single||GTO||GT 37||-||-||-||-||-|
|He's Got Magic / The Juggler||7"single||GTO||PSC 418||-||-||-||-||-|
|Strange Ships / Little Brown Box||7"single||GTO||GT 41||-||-||-||-||-|
|He's Got Magic / Strange Ships||7"single||GTO||2099 151||-||-||-||-||-|
|1976||S-S-S-Single Bed / Silk Milk||7"single||GTO||GT 57||4||1||-||-||10|
|Love Letters: Love Letters ~ The Juggler / Only You Can ~ Spirit||7"EP||GTO||2206 101||-||-||-||-||-|
|1977||My Old Man's Away / Are You Sure?||7"single||GTO||GT 94||-||-||-||-||-|
|1981||Electro People / If You Don't Want My Peaches||7"single||BBC||RESL 115||-||-||-||-||-|
|1977||Georgina Bailey / Pretty Boy||7"single||GTO||GT 106||#31 UK|
|1979||The Heat Is On / Some Enchanted Evening||7"single||CHRYSALIS||CHS 2337|
|1979||Skin Tight / Miss You||7"single||CHRYSALIS||CHS 2383|
|1981||More Than Molecules / Odd Peculiar Strange||7"single||EARLOBE||ELB S 101|
|1981||Hot As Sun / The Cheapest Night||7"single||EARLOBE||ELB S 105|
- at the Internet Movie Database