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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Liar - 1978 Set The World On Fire
Liar - 1978 Set The World On Fire

ALBUM: Set The World On Fire
LABEL: Bearsville
SERIAL: BEA 55 524
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Dave Burton - vocals * Steve Mann - guitar * Paul Travis - guitar * Dave Taylor - bass * Clive Brooks - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Set The World On Fire * 02 Town Of Evil People * 03 I'm Calling * 04 Midnight Promises * 05 Five Knuckle Shuffle * 06 High Life * 07 Frustration * 08 Who Cares

British band Liar are certainly worth a mention here at GDAZE. Borne out of the mid 70's British rock scene, the band by virtue of their sound, were bundled into that rarified group of crossover symphonic rock/melodic rock acts. When compared to other contemporaries, early Grand Prix, Praying Mantis and a less blues oriented Foghat is probably an apt summary. The band arrived on the British scene in 1977 with their debut album 'Straight From The Hip'. At that stage, only Burton, Travis, Taylor and Brooks were in the line-up. Second guitarist Steve Mann joined after the recording of the debut. All of the members had previous histories with other British acts prior to Liar. Released on Decca, the band went out on the road in support of Slade during 1977. But by the following year, Liar had signed to US label Bearsville Records, the home of Todd Rundgren and British blues rockers Foghat.

The Songs
Round two of the Liar story sees them release an underrated but quite beautiful album for 1978. Kept in the context of that timeframe, 'Set The World On Fire' sits quite comfortably among your Styx and Peter Frampton albums! The lead-off title track 'Set The World On Fire' has a guitar tone that Foghat's 'Lonesome' Dave Peverett would claim as his own. The track navigates between gentle acoustic passages and that hard riffing style that made Foghat a household name in the USA during this timeframe. Despite the dubious songtitle, 'Town Of Evil People' is a beautiful flowing song which is high on symphonic qualities and less on hard rock. Getting back to their hard rock roots is the simplistic but effective 'I'm Calling' - Dave Burton's vocals are a standout here. 'Midnight Promises' is another haunting ballad that breathes melody through every pore, some nice guitar solos combined with a soaring synth makes this a good listen. As per the title, 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' is the musical equivalent of fighting talk. Loads of organ work shine through on the semi-pomp of 'High Life', while the laid back 'Frustration' is more symphonic goodness on display. The final track 'Who Cares' is a free-for-all, complete with slide guitar antics, and a weird instrumental mid-section combined with some orchestral arrangements that comes straight from left-field!

In Summary
'Set The World On Fire' is a pleasant reminder of music generated from the 1978 era, and a reminder of why I am still stuck there - rather than the here and now. The album didn't set the world on fire unfortunately - despite the good intentions. Liar went on to make a third album, but by this stage they had run out of a record deal and the material is still locked away in a vault somewhere. Of the members, only Steve Mann went on to further activity, appearing with Lionheart and M.S.G in later years. Still, for what it's worth, this album is heartily recommended to fans of symphonic rock, or whether your musical tastes shift between E.L.O at one end of the divide, Foghat in the middle, or Grand Prix and Praying Mantis at the other end.

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#1 | Eric on February 10 2008 17:34:15
Nice review. Very good album. 'Straight From The Hip' was released on CD in Japan a few years ago, but this record has yet to see the light of day in digital.
#2 | jefflynnefan on February 11 2008 02:38:23
I'm going to have to check this album out. It's sounds like it's right up my alley! Was one of the members in Earthquake?
#3 | gdazegod on February 11 2008 03:37:38
Umm.. I don't think so. Earthquake (this is the San Francisco outfit wer're talking about here.. signed to Beserkley Records?) were still in their prime during this timeframe, but based over the other side of the Atlantic.
#4 | Eric on May 21 2011 12:59:30
Paul Travis put out one album under the band name Travis called 'Shine On Me' released in 1972. Typical early in the decade stuff- hard rock mixed with CSN influences, not bad really but very rare and expensive for an original copy. He also released a later solo album on AandM 'Return of the Native' which I've never heard-or seen...
#5 | gdazegod on May 29 2011 13:28:01
I see that Escape Music is putting the two Liar albums out as a 2 on 1 CD reissue. This should be good, but I hope it's not a vinyl transfer like the appalling done TANTRUM reissue. Details for release not known as yet.
#6 | rkbluez on March 27 2012 23:16:57
Good album still waiting on Escape but things aren't looking good as it's off their schedule.

Did it from vinyl for now...but would love to see a great remaster job come out officially.
#7 | MNWild87 on April 17 2013 02:33:51
Really good album. really enjoy the title track
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