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Firefall - 1982 Break Of Dawn



ARTIST: Firefall
ALBUM: Break Of Dawn
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 80017-1
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2003, Wounded Bird, WOU-6001 (2 on 1 with 'Mirror Of The World')

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jock Bartley - vocals, guitars, vocoder * John Sambataro - vocals, guitars, electric piano * Chuck Kirkpatrick - vocals, guitars, electric piano

Guests: Joe Galdo, Tris Imboden - drums * Richie Goldman, Kim Stone - bass * Alain Salvati - keyboards * Joe Lala - percussion

Special Appearances: Stephen Stills - vocals, guitars, piano * Rick Roberts - vocals * David Sanborn - sax * David Muse - keyboards, harmonica, flute, vocoder

TRACK LISTING: 01 Break Of Dawn * 02 Body And Soul * 03 Falling In Love * 04 Always * 05 In The Dead Of Night * 06 It's Not Too Late * 07 Take Me Back * 08 Fall For You * 09 Suddenly * 10 Don't Tell Me Why

WEBLINKS: www.firefall.com


Background
By this stage of their history, Colorado band Firefall were on the cusp of being a completely different band; certainly beyond recognition at the time of their inception. Having scored minor success with previous albums such as their debut and the excellent set 'Elan', the band steadily clawed their way up the ladder of success. Their brand of multi-part harmonies borne from the ashes of sixties outfits such as Crosby Stills Nash and Young plus country faves Poco, would see a new generation of bands that would spring forth during the seventies plying the same path. Of course the most successful exponent of the genre were The Eagles and America, with the likes of Firefall and the Pure Prairie League chasing the pack. By 1982, Firefall were a former shadow of themselves, their iconic leader Rick Roberts having departed several years earlier. With the amount of studio musicians on display here, it is apparent that precedings take on more of a studio project this time around, perhaps the songwriting spontaneity having been lost as a result. Despite that, the band have moved their sound into a West Coast/AOR crossover, and are less country rock than before. They have tried to carry through on the familiar harmonies and musical structure previously heard on songs such as 'Strange Way (To Tell Me You Love Me)' and 'You Are The Woman', but the end result (with so many cooks in the kitchen) falls just short in my opinion.


The Songs
The tile track starts off, and if one has ever heard Poco's 'Legacy' album, then you'll have an inkling as to what's going on here. Country rock with a melodic sheen. Sounds like current-day Nashville huh? We meander through a couple of play-by-numbers tracks before settling into a lovely ballad called 'Always'. Great for radio, and a reminder as to how Firefall can truly sound on their day. Again, a few more play-by-numbers tunes, including the rather cruisy and laid back 'Take Me Back'. Thankfully, the best is left till last: the pairing of 'Suddenly' and 'Don't Tell Me Why' showing what the band would sound like if totally committed to an AOR approach. The radio friendly pair ending the album on an upward curve.


In Summary
Overall, a well produced effort, though the songs lack for something.. the interest level not quite testing my resolve this time around though admittedly, I am a big fan of the band. To this day, Firefall are still an ongoing concern, with several CD releases into the nineties, and the odd reappearance for old times sake. However, for a better representation of the band at their best, grab a compilation CD of their earlier works, or pick up some of their late seventies releases instead.


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Comments
#1 | kim_hp on April 20 2012 22:55:31
I don't know if "Always" was a hit or not, but if it wasn't, it should have been. A real monster of a song, with a chorus made in AOR heaven. Overall another great AOR effort from these guys.
 
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