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Firefall - 1980 Clouds Across The Sun



ARTIST: Firefall
ALBUM: Clouds Across The Sun
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: SD 16024
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2004, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-6001 (2 on 1 with 'Undertow')

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Rick Roberts - vocals, acoustic guitars * Jock Bartley - vocals, guitars * Larry Burnett - guitars, vocals * David Muse - keyboards * George Hawkins - bass * Tris Imboden - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Be In Love Tonight * 02 Staying Wih It * 03 Old Wing Mouth * 04 No Class * 05 Clouds Across The Sun * 06 I Don't Want To Hear It * 07 Quite Like You * 08 Love Ain't What It Seems * 09 Dreamers * 10 Don't It Feel Empty

WEBLINKS: www.firefall.com


Background
The period 1976-1979 was a good and productive time for Colorado based Firefall. The band, a logical extension of such acts like The Eagles and America, turned out a number of well-performed albums. Their brand of sweet melodic country infused rock was a variation on a theme admittedly, the popularity riding on the back of their multi-part harmonies and interesting musicianship. Their material was ideal for radio at the time. After striking success with the excellent 'Elan' album in 1978, and 'Undertow' the year after, Firefall had to find the formula to repeat the success of their hit singles 'Strange Way (To Tell Me You Love Me)' and 'You Are The Woman'. The country rock scene was quite strong at the time, though to be successful, bands had to have something unique. In Firefall's case it was their sweet vocal harmonies combined with their radio friendly persona.


The Songs
If you were a record collector starting out on your back-catalogue journey of Firefall albums, then I would probably suggest to you that 'Clouds Across The Sun' is not the place to start. Its quite a bit rockier than previous efforts. That's not to say its bad. Far from it. Just not the definitive Firefall sound that's all. From the aggressive rocker first found on opener 'Be In Love Tonight' to the commercial tones of 'Staying With It', the album works its way into it quite nicely through the beginnings of Side One. The laid back Jimmy Webb written piece 'Old Wing Mouth' is a beautiful slice of heartfelt music. The atmospheric piano interlacing with some exquisite vocal work. Next up is the stark 'No Class', this one taking on a hard rocking stance mostly, though the vocals, organ and flute cut through the mix admirably. The title track 'Clouds Across The Sun' could be a Santana track for all we know, circa their 'Inner Secrets' period. Side Two starts out with 'I Don't Wanna Hear It', which contains strains of Steve Miller Band's 'Swing Town'. But from there, the album sort of fades away into non-descript songs that fail to capture the imagination or attention - unfortunately.


In Summary
This album has been teamed up with 'Undertow', and is available as a 2 on 1 CD release courtesy on those wonderful folk at Wounded Bird Records. For a taste of what country rock/pop crossover was truly all about, an experimentation with Firefall's discography is well in order. Not sure this is the album that will do it for you. The debut and 'Elan' though are worthy for a listen. There are a handful of other Firefall reviews on this site.


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Tags: Firefall 
 
Comments
#1 | AOR Lee on August 21 2012 17:15:10
The title track on here is exquisite, and several other goodies as well. Worth tracking down
 
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