Frijid Pink – “The House of the Rising Sun”


Who is Frijid Pink?

Frijid Pink is an American psychedelic/blues rock, formed in 1967. Their first two singles on Parrot label went unnoticed, but their third single, a cover of the Animals’ “House Of The Rising Sun” – broke into the Top 10 in 1970. Their self-titled debut was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard 200 chart that same year; their second album Defrosted was also released later. However, following singles such as “Sing A Song For Freedom” and “Heartbreak Hotel” were minor hits. They released Earth Omen in 1972, and after a long hiatus, Frijid Pink returned to the studio to record their final album All Pink Inside before disbanding in 1975. The group re-formed in the 21st century, continuing performing and recording.

The Detroit rockers Frijid Pink

Frijid Pink is an American rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1967. The original line-up of the group comprised of singer Kelly Green (the stage name of Thomas Beaudry), guitarist Gary Ray Thompson, keyboardist Larry Zelanka, bass guitarist Tom Harris and drummer Richard Stevers

The group played various forms of rock music including acid rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock and progressive rock.

First and only major hit with “The House of the Rising Sun”

The group spent their first two years touring and performing around Detroit and Southeast Michigan area before inking a contract with Parrot label in 1969. Their first two singles (also released that same year) “Tell Me Why” and “Drivin’ Blues” failed to generate much notice. However, their third single — a distorted, guitar-driven rendition of the Animals’ “The House of the Rising Sun” — broke into the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10, peaking at #7.

The single sold over a million copies, guaranteeing it a “gold” disc status. “The House of the Rising Sun” was an even bigger hit on the British chart at #4, and on the Canadian chart at #3.

The hit single was included on the group’s self-titled debut album, which also became a big smash. Released in 1970, Frijid Pink LP reaching #11 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Frijid Pink became so wildly popular especially in their hometown Detroit that a newcomer British rock band by the name of Led Zeppelin opened for them, at the city’s Grande Ballroom. Frijid Pink often shared top billing with other local acts such as the Amboy Dukes, MC5, and the Stooges.

The group’s LP Defrosted was also released in 1970, and went to #149 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Most of the album’s tracks were written by Beaudry and Thomspon.

However, following singles such as “Sing a Song for Freedom” (#55, Hot 100) and their cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” (#72, Hot 100) didn’t quite match the success of their first single. Beaudry and Thompson left, and new members David Alexander and (later) new singer Jon Wearing joined the fold. This new roster recorded and released Earth Omen on Lion label in 1972.

Frijd Pink’s disbandment

After that album, the group didn’t re-enter the studio until 1975 when another wave of new members (vocalist Jo Baker and bassist Larry Poplizio) joined Frijid Pink to record their last released studio album All Pink Inside (on Fantasy label in 1975). Soon after the album was issued, Frijid Pink disbanded.

Frijid Pink’s re-activity in the 21st century

In 2002, the band re-formed (but no old members were present) and recorded one more album Inner Heat, which still remains unreleased. Three years later the group formed once again, retaining most of its original members — Stevers, Harris and Beaudry, with new guitarist Steve Dansby (of Cactus) and keyboardist Larin Michaels.

However, this lineup dissolved by late 2006. Stevers started to launch auditions for new Frijid Pink members. The recent lineup did local gigs and eventually returned to the studio, in an attempt to record another album. In 2011 that album was eventually released in the US as an import, featuring re-recorded versions of the band’s old tracks as well as new music. Frijid Pink has continued doing studio work, while its lineup has been continually fluctuating.

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