Click on the song titles above for lyrics and songwriting credits
Fancy, Like its predecessor, Touch ’em With Love, is largely made up of cover versions, but where Bobbie’s previous excursions into blue eyed soul had not always been successful, on Fancy she sounds assured, at home even, on tracks like He Made A Woman Out of Me and Find ’em, Fool ’em Forget ’em co-written by producer Rick Hall. Recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Hall’s production is a notable step up from Touch em’ With Love bringing a complexity and sophistication missing on that LP and Bobbie’s singing is correspondingly more confident and polished. The other covers are mostly well chosen including Delta Man (Leon Russell) James Taylor’s Something in the Way He Moves and Rainmaker by Harry Nilsson, all lyrically build on the albums country soul theme – only the two Bacharach and David songs I’ll Never Fall In Love Again and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head stick out and break the carefully cultivated mood.
Best of all is the title track: Fancy is one of Bobbie’s best story songs, a musical cross between country, blues and pop that could define modern Americana. The song went on to become her most successful single since Ode To Billy Joe and earn’t her a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal’. Born ‘poor white trash’, the beautiful Fancy is groomed as a hooker by her sickly impoverished mother; she ends up with an ‘elegant Georgia mansion’ and ‘a New York townhouse flat’ – no shame and no regrets. Of the song Bobbie herself said “Fancy is my strongest statement for women’s lib, if you really listen to it. I agree wholeheartedly with that movement and all the serious issues that [it stands] for — equality, equal pay, day care centers, and abortion rights,” she explained to After Dark magazine in 1974. Reba McEntire covered Fancy for her Rumor Has It album in 1991 and had a number 8 country hit with the song.
The albums cover art also saw a shift away from previous releases which had generally featured standard publicity photos to a more character based imagery- this time Bobbie is Fancy. It’s thought the cover painting was done by Bobbie herself based on a photo shoot of her in costume; a successful concept that would also be used on her next album Patchwork.
Due to Bobbie’s surprise U.K. No 1 hit the previous year with her cover of the Bacharach & David song I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Capitol decided to include the track on Fancy despite the fact that the track had already appeared on Bobbie’s previous LP, 1969’s Touch Em’ With Love. EMI, (who owned Capitol and distributed them in the U.K) went a step further and renamed The Fancy album I’ll Never Fall In Love Again with alternative artwork and running order, including two additional songs to the U.S. release, the Self-penned Billy the Kid, (which would also appear on the following year’s Patchwork LP) and In the Ghetto, the 1969 Elvis Presley single.
U.K. LP running order:
I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
Something In The Way He Moves
Billy The Kid
Wedding Bell Blues
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head
In The Ghetto
Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em And Forget ‘Em
He Made A Woman Out Of Me
If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody