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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Irrwisch - 1982 Living In A Fools Paradise
Irrwisch - 1982 Living In A Fools Paradise

ARTIST: Irrwisch
ALBUM: Living In A Fools Paradise
LABEL: EMI Switzerland
SERIAL: C064-76239
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Steff Burgi - vocals, keyboards * Chris Burgi - guitars * Peter Krattiger - guitars * Erich Riesen - bass * Sappy Kissling - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Escape Now * 02 Living In A Fools Paradise * 03 Lonesome Nights Of Rock N Roll * 04 Broken Mirror * 05 Far Away * 06 Another Morning * 07 Love Is Like A Storm


Switzerland has provided a couple of intriguing bands over the years. One which has flown under most people's radar is one of the oldest surviving bands of all - Irrwisch. Formed as far back as 1976, it would be presumptuous of me to say that the band are 30 year veterans, but in reality they arent, as they have had a few years off in-between as well. It was a few years later that things started taking off for these Swiss vets. Based around the duo of Steffan Burgi and Chris Burgi (no relation by the way), Irrwisch were in fact a seven-piece band during this period, with an additional flute and trumpet player. In their own words, the band were an unusual blend of Gentle Giant and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Having picked up a contract with EMI Switzerland, the band had stunned locals by doing so, when other more well known bands were on the roster. Now down to a five-piece with the departure of the aforementioned flute and trumpet player, the band had commercialized their sound to somewhere between German outfits Lake, Eloy and Supertramp. Sent to Munich to record their 1981 début 'In Search Of', Irrwisch were produced by Swiss engineer Armand Volker. The recipe was much the same for the second album which is reviewed here - 'Living In A Fools Paradise'.

The Songs
Both albums were characterized by containing only seven tracks each. Short and snappy? Not necessarily, and thankfully not as long and drawn out as many prog related releases from the day. I love the spicy keyboards frequented on the opener 'Escape Now' and I'm sure many readers of GDM will appreciate them too. The title track 'Living In A Fools Paradise' is as instinctive a ballad as I've heard, symphonic in nature, with a beaut chorus. 'Lonesome Nights Of Rock N Roll' might sound kinda reckless and rabid, but again, the symphonic qualities shine on through, with a magnificent lead guitar solo poking through a bed of swirling synths. 'Broken Mirror' is kinda hi-tech and quirky in the same fashion as bands such as Roxan and Rain Dancer, again that spicy synth sound stands out a mile. Irrwisch move into prog territory with the wurlitzer flavour of 'Far Away', it meanders and weaves nicely, and is kept melodic all the way. It's the longest of the seven tracks, at six and a half minutes. 'Another Morning' is the next longest at a touch over six minutes, and it too displays prog tendencies though slightly more pompous and symphonic in the vein of Dutchies Kayak. Closing out the album is 'Love Is Like A Storm', not too dissimilar to the previous track, a touch more subdued however.

In Summary
Despite the album breaking into the Swiss charts (I actually wonder how difficult that was in such a small market?), the band weren't heard of since 1988, taking a six year break, only to return with a compilation album 'Countdown' which featured a selection of tracks from the first two albums. Their next full album was 'The Fish Came To The Surface' released in 1989. Despite a frustrating on/off situation regarding their active status, the band remain a going concern, their latest album released in 2007 was called 'Wizard For A Day'. Expect a few more reviews of this band in the near future.

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#1 | Eric on December 01 2009 12:56:35
Superb band.
#2 | englandashes on December 13 2009 19:59:54
Great band, picked up their 1991 release, Forbidden Fruits, released on Rays Music. My favourite tune, one that I heard on the compliation Countdown, being the excellent tune 'No More That I Can Say', track down this song at all costs., you will not be disappointed.
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