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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Kirka - 1987 The Spell
Kirka - 1987 The Spell

ALBUM: The Spell
LABEL: Flamingo Records
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2007, Bluebird Records (Finland), 88697079042


LINEUP: Kirill 'Kirka' Babitzin - vocals * Juha Björninen, Jarmo Nikku - guitar * Kassu Halonen - keyboards, synthesizers, bass, drum programming, backing vocals * Jari Laasanen synthesizer programming * Harri Merilahti - bass * Kristian Jernström, Kim Lönnholm, Esa Kaartamo - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 You Put The Spell On Me * 02 I Don't Wanna Fight * 03 One Day * 04 Under The Pressure Of Your Love * 05 Fly Away * 06 No Return * 07 Don't Steal My Heart * 08 I'm Sailing Away


Kirill Babitzin is the name and the man behind Finnish rocker Kirka. For many years, Kirka was a local institution in Finnish music circles, extending right back into the heart of the 60's pop boom. Through the 70's and 80's Kirka rode a wave of popularity in his homeland, which included successful stints in the Eurovision Song Contests. Kirka also moulded his music and image according to the style of the day, and by the mid 80's, had gravitated to a mild form of hard rock (anyone else would say AOR.. lol). It started out with his 1986 album 'R.O.C.K' and culminated with this excellent set 'The Spell' which appeared a year later on the small Flamingo label.

The Songs
Both of these albums were Kirka's first foray into the English speaking domain. A pity he didn't come out of the closet earlier, as these are great melodic rock tunes. In some parts the guitars tend to dominate, as in 'One Day' which has a Rainbow/Alcatrazz feel to it. The same applies to the Europe flavored rock of 'Don't Steal My Heart' and the inoffensive mild rock of 'I'm Sailing Away'. However, Kirka's strength are in the mid-tempo domain. 'Under The Pressure Of Your Love' is gorgeous stuff in a similar vein to John Miles, whereas the lead-off track 'You Put The Spell On Me' rollicks along with John Parr like similarity. However, the winning moment without doubt is the semi-ballad 'I Don't Wanna Fight'. It comes complete with an acoustic backwash and huge choruses.

In Summary
Despite the excellence of this album - with its reputation enhanced many years later, the album didn't fare that well. Perhaps it was too much of a culture shock for most of the Finnish public who grew up thinking Kirka was Finland's equivalent of Sir Cliff Richard! After his English language experiment, Kirka reverted back to Finnish speaking albums, and losing his long hair rockstar image - releasing a swag of them during the 90's, some of which were his most popular. Unfortunately as we have since found out, Kirill Babitzin passed away in early 2007, a man who departed long before he was supposed to.

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#1 | Nevio on December 29 2007 11:06:11
fortunately Bmg Sony Finland has recently re-released ( other cover) this very good album.
#2 | george_the_jack on July 01 2008 14:14:32
R.I.P. Kirka....You'll always live in our hearts. 'You Put The Spell On Me'' is a classic 80s heavy rock hit that we all loved! Generally, a good record.
#3 | swazi on August 16 2012 20:55:30
A really nice little disc, although I did get a little tired of it after too many spins. I will pull it out again, though.
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