FM: ‘ONLY FOOLIN” EP (Riff City Records)

Those loveable Brit rockers FM have released a little mini LP that will tie fans over nicely until their next album, ‘Rockville’, arrives in the new year.

Words: Mark Taylor.

fm only foolin

Now normally with these kinda releases you get one good track, a few numbers that are good for nothing and some badly produced live numbers recorded on someone’s dictaphone. However that is certainly not the case with this superb release which has been pristinely produced by FM themselves. The music thumps and bounces it’s way out of your speakers.

There’s also a few talking points on here. The EP kicks off with a couple of new tunes. ‘Only Foolin’ is a punchy little number that has got live favourite written all over it while ‘Rainbow’s End’ rocks just like Bryan Adams did on ‘Reckless’. Then we come to the most controversial track that FM have ever recorded, ‘Shot In The Dark’, the song popularized by Ozzy Osbourne.

Now before you think that FM have done a straight forward cover of this classic, then think again!

You see, ‘Shot In The Dark’ is a song that was originally written way back in 1982, four years before Ozzy did it on the ‘Ultimate Sin’ album. The story goes like this…

Long before FM were formed, singer Steve Overland had the band Wildlife which also featured his brother Chris, drummer Simon Kirke from Bad Company and bassist Phil Soussan and they recorded two albums. The track was recorded in demo form in a slower AOR pace by Wildlife.

However when Phil Soussan left the band to join the more lucrative Ozzy Osbourne band he was asked by the Ozzy camp if he had anything to offer and wallah! Ozzy liked it and re-wrote a few of the lyrics and took on 50% of the writing credits, unbeknown to Overland, whose writing credit was wiped out.

To this day, as far as I’m aware, Overland has never received a penny for this, but don’t quote me on that or else a certain lady might be ordering my decapitation or sending me something unsavoury in the post.

Although a demo of this track has been available to hear on YouTube, now we finally get to hear the polished version and FM have done a cracking job on this giving ‘Shot In The Dark’ a new identity. It will be interesting to see if FM include this in their set list when they tour next March.

The rest of this EP is made up of five live tracks which were very well recorded at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire last year on the ‘Indiscreet25’ evening. The eagled eyed among us will notice that these are from the encores which means the ‘Indiscreet’ section may well set the light of day in a special release. Bring it on.

Review of FM at Shepherds Bush Empire, 2011. Video interview with Pete Jupp, September 2011

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