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The Ballad Of Fred The Pixie (1969) - Five's Company

    Featuring »

Eddie Broadbridge (St. John), Bob Brunning, Colin Jordan

    Tracklisting »
Side 1:
Darling I've Got Something To Tell You
  Running Time: 2:52
Prayer Before Birth
  Running Time: 3:20
I'm A Big Boy Now
  Running Time: 3:01
The Ballad Of Fred The Pixie
  Running Time: 3:14
The School Boy
  Running Time: 2:42
If This Is Love
  Running Time: 4:47
Side 2:
Break My Heart
  Running Time: 3:07
Have You Seen?
  Running Time: 3:04
I'm Still Hoping
  Running Time: 4:46
Now I'm 64
  Running Time: 3:16
Happy To Be Here
  Running Time: 3:12
Time To Pop Off
  Running Time: 2:54
    Released »


    Format »

Import Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Eddie Broadbridge (St. John) (Songwriter), Eddie Broadbridge (St. John) (Songwriter), Eddie Broadbridge (St. John) (Arranged), Eddie Broadbridge (St. John) (Arranged)

    Record Label »
Saga/Allied Records

    Catalogue Number »

STFID 2151 (Stereo LP)

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

It is perhaps surprising that so few groups really utilize the medium of an L.P., with its advantage of lengthy playing time, to produce twelve tracks that form a musical whole rather than a collection of unconnected ideas. However Fives Company have done just that. Although each track can stand alone, the songs togetner tell the story of an individual's life. This "individual" deliberately has no definite identity; sometimes the songs are written in the first person, sometimes from the point of view of an observer and sometimes in the form of a general comment on one stage of life common to all.

The songs on this album therefore have a wide appeal, ranging from soulful ballads to driving gospel type ravers. Within this range may also be found a truly charming children's song, entitled "The Ballad of Fred the Pixie", a gentle "follow-up" to the Beatles' "When I'm 64", entitled - of course - "Now I'm 64"; a song based on a William Blake poem, "The Schoolboy", and an interesting performance in 6/8 time called "Happy To Be Here". There is a strong sense of fun which pervades all of the songs; listen particularly to the words of "Darling, I've Got Something To Tell You", "I'm a Big Boy Now" and the tongue-in-cheek "Time To Pop Off".

Now a little about the group. Fives Company came into existence some four years ago when its members met at a London College. The leader of the group is Eddie St. John, who wrote and arranged all the songs on the album. Eddie also plays organ and piano, and sings lead on all the tracks, and he was responsible for the total concept of the album. He is ably assisted vocally on most tracks by Colin Jordan, who in addition plays guitar on all tracks. Bass guitar is played by Bob Brunning, who also may be heard vocally on a few performances. These three musicians are helped out on the L.P. by some of their friends, who contribute occasional extra voices and rhythm instruments. Just listen to the fade out of "Time To Pop Off", and you'll hear the beautiful tones of a...well, just wait and see!

Here, then, is an album of sophisticated pop music - music which, whilst retaining its essential drive and simplicity, manages to say just a little more than usual. To be too serious about the content of this L.P. would be missing the point: the songs are powerful, driving and essentially entertaining - the fact that they tell a meaningful story is incidental!

So put the L.P. on your record player, and enjoy yourself!

(P) 1969


A product of
Allied Records Limited
326 Kensal Road

All rights of the manufacturer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorised public performance, broadcasting and copying of this record prohibited.


Stereo records may also be played on Mono equipment with a compatible cartridge. Your dealer will advise you.

33 1/3 RPM

Made/Printed in England

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

Yep - I bought this too
Review written by Wayne from Oz, August 28th, 2006

I bought this album second hand from a shop in Streatham High Street in 1970. I think I paid five bob.

I've long since lost the orginal record, but I never forgot some of the songs, especially 'I'm still hoping' that has a great blues feel. Anyway, half a world later, here in Australia, and half a lifetime later, I've refound it, and whilst it isn't something I play everyday, or even every month, the words stay with me, like a familiar friend.

Check it out, it's not Dylan, but it has a degree of profundity that sticks in your memory.

Great lost pop, highly recommended
Review written by John Fitzgerald, January 21st, 2005

I understand from Bob Brunning's Penguin Q & A that he wishes to forget this album but I'd have to disagree as though it's simple-ness may seem silly, "The ballad of Fred the pixie" has a childlike charm in it's songs that everyone can relate to though many may not wish to admit it! Although I'm not big on "concept albums" really, this album has an interesting (though predictable) journey through the life of an average Joe from the musical theater feel on the opening "Darling I've got something to tell you" (where the father finds out from the mother the baby is on the way) to the closing "death" in the slapping gospel type stomp "Time to pop off". "Prayer before birth" may seem a little depressing but I guess the idea was to come through as the worrying thought of joining the world adventure in to the unknown with it's moderate verses and shouting choruses, it's a good grower and is now a firm favorite of mine though it wasn't originally and this is followed by the apt peppy bounce of "I'm a big boy now". The title track successfully takes a page from the book of the approach towards lullabying children's records. "The school boy" is a breezy sing a long while "If this is love" is a well put together, fairly moving lament about teenage love and has been a favorite of mine from when I first heard this album. "Break my heart" is an R & B style cryer, "Have you seen" is an upbeat, cheery ditty which brings the love birds back together though the slow blues of "I'm still hoping" is the end of the marriage. "Now I'm 64" predictably is an answer to the Beatles' "When I'm 64" not only in words but in music as well. Then, there is the irresistible waltz of "Happy to be here" looking back at life as an old man in a positive light. Shame I couldn't give this album 4 and a half stars as I really think it's an overlooked pop gem though I do realize with it's semi professional feel I can't really say 5 stars but you've been told now, if you can find it, I'd recommend it, a real stand out highlight in Brunning's recorded works to date, and a "pop" one to boot.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Jeff Kenney & Marty Adelson.