Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fringe Benefit - S/T - `77 - Capricorn Records

hey all :
sorry its been so long since i have thrown you kids a bone. been super busy. i think i can make it up to you with this new offering.
wow is all i can say. i found this lp about a week ago , never heard of them before nor i have i ever seen this LP to my recollection.
the band is called fringe benefit & the singer / guitar player is named john jones.
there are two covers on this , leonard cohen`s "suzanne" & the elvis`classic "all shook up" , the former being brilliant & while the latter is just ok , imho.
but the rest of the lp is all original with every song a gem. just fantastic stuff..
i wanna say its more power pop than anything but there are not a ton of guitars. they remind of " ian lloyd`s "stories" project from the 70`s , you know ; brother louie !...... :)

so if you dig that , you`ll love this !
as far as i am concerned i found a lost classic , please let me know what YOU think about this one... !


  • Fringe Benefit - `77 - Capricorn Records - 75 MB - 320 kbps
  • includes front cover high rez scan

  • 1 - all in vain
  • 2 - darling
  • 3 - was god an astronaut
  • 4 - wanna be with you
  • 5 - suzanne
  • 6 - patterns
  • 7 - all shook up
  • 8 - when she`s next free
  • 9 - the ballad of phylis prewitt
  • 10 - let a light shine

download -- here --


Anonymous said...

Where you been my friend???

akashaman said...

here & there & everywhere : you ?


Anonymous said...

Hi akashaman

I am happy to see a new disc.



akashaman said...

anyone else diggin on this ?
lost classic or waste of wax ?


Anonymous said...

The cover puts me off downloading it. That and the song titles! Thanks for trying something different, but I'll pass!
There is *one* rarity on Capricorn, that I used to have - "Blue Jug". Heavily influenced by The Band. Maybe it's not as good as I remember it?

akashaman said...

i am so sorry that you still judge books by thier cover -- this will certainly stop you from discovering another.

oh look , i am a poet.


jim kosmicki said...

the cover is a typical 70's rock band cover -- and having listened to the album several times now, it's pretty good. it would have been interesting to see where this band would have gone. There's a playfulness in the lyrics and music that is so much better than the pretension of so much of 70's rock.

this sort of unknown pleasure is exactly what music blogging is supposed to be for -- thank you.

akashaman said...

hey jim :

ya its a real grower ; it really takes me back to those days even tho i never really heard this back then.
these guys really had some class..
sounds really well after a few beers
thanks for sharing your thoughts. ...:)


Anonymous said...

Fringe Benefit were a british band formed around the song writing talents, of Jonathan Jones.
They released one catchy yet familiar sounding single "All in Vain" in the UK 1976? which stiffed after someone pointed out how similar the chords were to "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. True, but damned catchy nonetheless.
Somehow they signed to Capricorn Records in the US but the album was never released in UK (punk rock had just passed through the bowels of the brit music industry and, not surprisingly, no one would touch Fringe Benefit)
I know all this because Steve Laurie, the drummer on this record is my older brother.
He will be very amused to find it being discussed on a blog.
I'm very happy to download this as I've not heard for nearly 30 years.

Anonymous said...

except the link doesn't appear to work...damn!
rob again

akashaman said...

hey rob !
i checked the link & it seems OK , u still got nothing ? you just have to wait for it to countdown for a few seconds , then the download button will darken & u can click to download !
let me know if you still have trouble ..
wow , it sure is a small world , yes please tell steven we love his music & see if you can get him to post something here !?
thanks so much for the info , as we had nothing on these guys !


akashaman said...

rob : PS , whats john jones up to these days ?
would love to get a hold of him as well !


Anonymous said...

thanks, I'll try the link again later...
I'll check with Big Bro if he knows the what and whereabouts of Mr Jones...
rob (in Australia BTW)

Anonymous said...

Hey - I like the cover. Pretty cool version of 'Suzanne' too.

Residentevil2 said...

Had this on vinyl way back when and liked it and having rediscovered here I thank you for once again giving me the opportunity to again hear it. Got some lost gems here for sure. Nice blog like what you have done.
With the style of music you have here hopefully you have this group and their albums I have been searching for for quite awhile. Had their albums but have been lost over a decade ago:
FANCY -"Wild Thing" & "Turns You On"
SUGARLOAF - Hey Operator?(with song Don't Call Us"

Thanks appreciate your time and effort in putting this blog together.

Rainbow Demon said...

Thanks for sharing, Bro...

I was wondering if you could help, a few posts back someone made mention of a band named 'Sky'. I have been looking for an LP by them for about 30 years now, to replace one I had way back when, and I have found zilch on the internet about them.

The title of the LP was "Sailor's Delight" (1971) and I would like to respectfully request any info you could provide.

Thanks for all you do.

akashaman said...

hey rainbow :

i have the debut SKY lp , but not thier 2nd & last LP. doug fieger of the knack was in this band. the debut is really good & i could get to it soon if you are interested. i`ll keep my eyes peeled for the "sailors delight" LP for ya tho !


akashaman said...

Residentevil2 , sorry i dont have any of those 4 LP`s ...:(


jofa_non said...

Oh me god - I've been looking for a copy of this for years. John Jones is my dad and would love to see this page - I'll send him a link.

akashaman said...

hey jofa !

i would luv to hear from john for sure , this LP really is greatness & now one of my faves !
please tell him to drop me a line sometime or comment here ! i would luv to chat some w/ him or just tell him thanks so much for the music !
small world eh ??

please get back to me ....


jofa_non said...

Hey akashaman,

It's good to hear that there's still people enjoying his stuff. Dad's still a busy songwriter and gigs regularly around the South of England. Since '77 he's released a whole host of records and CDs. My brothers and I also follow in his musical footsteps.

I have a distant memory of him and the band recording chunks of that album in our front room. The lounge was connected up to a mobile studio that blocked up the road for a week! I must have been only four or five at the time but I remember Steve L and Dave Gray. They were probably all smoking herb - how else would you write 'Was God an astronaut'? My brother and I recently covered 'Let a light shine' for Dad's birthday. I've got it as a mp3 somewhere...


akashaman said...

hey , thats really kewl ~
its amazing that you found this online , ha.
i would sure love to hear anything he did after this & your version of "let a light shine" , & ya was god an astronaut is OUT THERE , eh ?
thats prob my fave , next to patterns & all in vain :
they really hit on some magic with this recording !


Anonymous said...

Hello Good Akashaman

I am the older, balder and significantly more ruggedly handsome version of The Bass Player who magnetically etched the original counter-melodies into the lower register of these imperfect recordings as a mere baby.

In short, Chris Haines, Bass & bvs. at your service . . .

I am delighted that this gem of my formative years is at last achieving the recognition it deserves.

Notwithstanding the passings of time and the consequent ebbings-away of familiar familiarities, I would nonetheless vouchsafe an indication that Sir John Jones, Earl 'Dave' Gray & Dame Steven Laurie might be equally chuffed.

If not indeed more so.

We done the demo of AIV in my mum's front room in the house my dad built for us in Corfe Castle.

We went to Willesden to record the album for Lee Gopthal (ex Trojan Records)& Clive Crawley's 'Blue Eyes Productions' company at Morgan Studios.

The album was eventually released in N.America alone through Capricorn.

All the singles were leased to various record companies for release in many territories worldwide.
(One or another went Top Ten in Switzerland, South Africa & Wisconsin USA!)

'All In Vain' was released by Polydor in UK. A-listed on BBC Radio One, and 'PowerPlay' on Radio Luxemburg, it made the national chart at no. 41 in the hot July of 1976. We were warned of impending Top Of The Pops TV treatment. And myself still barely out of the Babygro...

... then came massive personal crashings beyond any seventies-band-of-geniuses' control...

... The British Market Research Bureau pulled all Polydor singles from their chart on summary charge of suspected 'payola' in their kangaroo court - not open to the public - nor to appeal.

Had this not happened, the substantial and burgeoning sales would have jetted Sir John Jones' Fringe Benefit to Number One, and history would be magnificent . . .

All In Vain?

Watch this space.

Thanks to all who like what we did.

Love, light, respect.

Chris Haines.

jofa_non said...

Wow - It's great to hear some more about this album Mr H. I guess the recording session that I remember as a kid must have been for something else. My brother and I have often discussed the fantastic bass lines on this album (esp. those cheeky high-register licks in the build sections of Was God..)

JJ (Jnr)

akashaman said...

hey Jr !

ya , mr. haines should knighted for his wonderful comments , in fact from here on out i am calling him SIR Chris ...:)
its comments like his that keep this blog alive , i just wish they had a second LP i could search for , but i am quite content with thier debut offering.
one of the rare gems i have found in my quest. i raise a glass to the band & spin on ...


Anonymous said...

My security system made o fool of me, and my comments were vanished somewhere.I 'll do it again..

I can hear a lot of memories that the group tries to compose into something worthy to listen to.

That's not bad at all. They are playin'and their identity gets lost into trying to be "Fringe",but yet again ,maybe it is just that.

As for the similarities of "All In Vain" and "Maggie May", poor Rodie's singing is a pro thing and the choking sounds that were emerging in the song,every time that he was trying to keep the note and raise the volume ,in the same time,show that it was good for teeny girls,as an alternative to Macca's syrupy but good vocals.

On the contrary the vocals in the Fringe song are in tune with the arrangement and that's a crucial detail that raises the song to another level.
In simple words, the group knew the vocal capabilities of the singer and made it perfect for him.

But it's my opinion only,and the members of the group that are still around, are kindly requested to submit their comments on it.


Jesse said...

this is a great site. some of my friends and i have really been wanting to find a place to get older obscure stuff, and this is great. thanks!

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rocketman said...

Thanks for the download.

I live in South Africa and have vague memories of "All In Vain" from my teenage years.

I have found one reference to the release of a 7" under the RPM label. "All In Vain" on the A side and "Judas My Brother" on the flip side.


I have not been able to find any chart information for the song over here. Music censorship was quite bad in that era so perhaps it was suppressed because of the Judas reference on the 7".

Walter said...

Looks interesting, as does your suggestion that this is powerpop without guitars. I'll give it a shot.

sherri said...

Link is dead ): Sounded so interesting reading about this release and was so curious to hear it. Is it possible to make it available again?? Thanks for everything else. You really expanded my music knoweledge!

akashaman said...

uploading now ; chek back in a few if its not active yet.
just listened to this wax today , i cannot tell how much i love this LP!
in my top ten desert island disc for sure !

spin on


Anonymous said...

Hi there.

I'm currently a friend / fan of John Jones' current band 'QED', which I understand he formed after Fringe Benefit...?
Anyway, John does have his own website up and running at 'www.joejonesqed.co.uk'.
Excellent site by the way!


Anonymous said...

Akashaman - as promised, the cover of Let a light shine by JJ's boys. Just in time for Christmas ...


JJ jnr xx

Anonymous said...

maybe a busted link. try joning up:


Lightning said...

Hi there,

I know a little about this band.
They come from Great Britain, from the county of Dorset.
I saw them perform live there, before they went to US to record their LP.
They released two singles here in GB too, one on Polydor and the other on RCA.
What more do you want to know?


akashaman said...

lightning :
you are so lucky to have seen these guys: this is one of my fave LP`s of all time : wow ...
do u remember how good they were ?
was john cool when you met him ?
he hasnt written me back yet , lol.

you are a very fortunate soul , how do u like the transfer i did ?
diggin the LP ?
did u buy it back in the day ?

thats all i got !

thanks a ton for comment


Lightning said...

Hi akashaman,
Thanx for the response.
I saw Fringe Benefit perform live at Corfe Castle. This is a village in the county of Dorset, here in Great Britain. It was just as they were about to release their first single - All In Vain. Of course, I went straight to the record store and ordered my copy, which I still have. I waited for news and scanned all the music papers, till I saw they had released an LP on Capricorn. So I bought the LP which was available here as an import.
I thought that this was crazy as they were a local band to me in Dorset!
Live, they were great, although it was at a Bonfire Night/Firework Night party at the small village so very low key. Bonfire Night in Great Britain is on November 5th and I remember the weather that night was not great!! I think this was in 1976.
The set was fantastic and I was amazed how great a small local band could be, I only went by chance but was sure pleased I did. Over the years I have searched for and found more singles by them, on Capricorn US/Canada and RCA here, plus one on Arista I think. The RCA one is EXTREMELY rare, I have never seen another copy. John Jones used to be in another band before Fringe Benefit, Unicorn I think they were called, I have their single too.
You guessed it, I am a fan!!!!
Anyway, the website mentioned on your blog for John doesn't work... such a shame, I'd love to know what any of them are up to now!!!

Lightning strikes.........

Lightning said...


Just realised that I've written some stuff there that is just not correct:
1. The single was released in the Summer before I saw them.
2. John Jones's first band was Albatross, (not Unicorn!)... but I do have their single!
3. His current website DOES work....

Lightning strikes.......

Anonymous said...

Glad to have stumbled upon this.

I played lead guitar in John's band "QED" sometime after Fringe Benefit. Excellent fun. John is one of the good guys and a great musician.

As others have said, he's still gigging. I saw QED live a while back and they are still rocking.

I may have this album somewhere but I don't recognise the cover, so perhaps it's a different release, or it may be a Hotshots album. Not sure. It's signed by the band IIRC. Must dig it out and check. :-)

Mark A

Anonymous said...

Ha! Found it. It's basically a re-release of the same album on the Sabre record label for John's band Hotshots. Pretty much the same track listing, with a different cover, and mine is signed by the band.

Chris et al are credited in small letters but the new band are credited in big letters.

I've just spotted the reference to "Judas My Brother" being the B-side to AIV. That brought back memories 'cos we were still doing that one in QED along with some of John's newer stuff.

Mark A

Robble said...

I'm still hoping someone out there can upload 'Judas My Brother' which I remember liking a great deal. it must be 30 years since I've heard it..

Lightning said...

It's true......!
The album by The Hotshots, released in Great Britain in 1979 on Sabre Records SABS 002 has all the same tracks as the Fringe Benefit album, apart from one (When she's next free), which is replaced with 'Snoopy vs the Red Dragon. This track was a hit for The Hotshots, which also featured John Jones, but some time before Fringe Benefit were even an idea!
So, the Fringe Benefit LP did get a British release after all!

Lightning Raider.....

akashaman said...

wow ; so whos got a copy of this said LP ?



john jones said...

Hey akashaman
Been meaning to contact you for some time to thank all you guys for the interest shown in Fringe Benefit.I am John Jones, the lead singer in that infamous 70s band and I'd like to say a big hello to all of you and show my genuine appreciation for your kind comments.
Well the years have quickly passed and I've followed a number of different musical paths in my career, mostly as lead singer, guitarist, keyboard, harmonica player, song writer with hard rock band QED, as you may know.
Recently, I have returned to a more melodic and laid back style with a solo CD called 'Chinese Whispers'.My solo ID is Joe Jones. The CD features 15 songs all written and recorded by me at a nearby studio in Poole,Dorset, England.You might like to add it to your collection. If so, give me a mailing address and I'll send you a couple of copies. Maybe you could get me some radio plays in Texas, if you would like to.
My web address is joejonesqed.co.uk and my e-mail address is j.bonjonesy183@ntlworld.com.
Hoping to hear from you soon
kindest regards
John Jones.

Jay said...

This is GREAT - Thanks So Much!

Anonymous said...

I bought this album when it came out for the cover of ALL SHOOK UP, and it became a regular pleasure of mine. I've never even seen MENTION of it since, much less found it posted online. Kudos for keeping an underrated classic available to the true music fan.

akashaman said...

still in love with this LP~ , wow , all shook up is my least fave track on this , lol. [ no offense john ! ]
glad u found the lp here bro ~
oh , & john DID send me a couple cds & i have to say , it is incredible ! i mean really really good ...tons of acoustic guitar & the vocals are as good as ever. really heartfelt stuff. a couple tracks tear me up , every time , its thaat damn good. i would post it here , but i dont think that would be kewl.
i was supposed to send him one of my cds , but i never did , as i ran out & need to print more.
yes , its been a fuckin year & i feel like shit. i am gonna get more copies soon & try & get him a copy. its the least i could do for this great man !
if he sees this & says its kewl , i will post the cd !

rok on all


Jonno said...

Hey - great to see the discussions still going on here! Just to say that John has a new site at joejonesqed.co.uk and a facebook fanpage for QED at facebook.com/qedrockband. We've added some interesting links, including one back here! Cheers all!

Dave said...

I bought a copy of this about seven years ago from a dollar bin at the local used record shop. I liked it well enough, but I sold it back a few years later. Does anyone know if the band ever made another record? I often wonder what direction they may have taken later. I don't remember them having a particular "sound." Most of the songs were fairly different from each other.

Lightning said...

After the LP, the band only released singles. Some from the LP itself and then a couple more, not from the LP. Both these were UK only releases as far as I know. One on the Arista label and the other on RCA.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have the single All In Vain,somewhere, which if my memory serves me correctly, was issued on the polydor label and I got my copy from a radio station in Sheffield (radio hallam)
Didn't chart, but i did enjoy playing it alot! Tried to download album, but it says: "File Not Found" :(

akashaman said...

posted new link for ya man --- enjoy this LP is KILLER !!!!

Psyffer23 said...

How could I not give this a try after all the cool comments? Just checking out your back pages this morning. Lots of cool stuff as usual. Thanks.

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