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Quasar - 1982 Fire In The Sky



ARTIST: Quasar
ALBUM: Fire In The Sky
LABEL: Quasar (Q Records)
SERIAL: QUA-1
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1990, Q Records, QUA-1 CD

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Paul Vigrass - vocals * Cyrus Khajavi - guitars * Keith Turner - bass * David Cairns - drums * Dillon Tonkin - synthesizers

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fanfare * 02 Seeing Stars * 03 Mission 14 * 04 UFO (UFO, Flying, Fire In The Sky, Moon)


Background
If you guessed that we're dealing with a progressive space rock outfit here then you're right on the mark, after all the name 'Quasar' spells that out in no uncertain terms. This was an English band formed by Turner in the late 70's and I have to admit when I first listened to the entire album I'd have guessed it was recorded in that period, hence my surprise at the 1982 year of release. Others have stated the fact this is similar to Saga and in all fairness they aren't wrong. The same type of mysterious mystical sci fi themes are all over the place, complete with astral synths dominating not to mention some exceedingly long tracks, one running over thirteen minutes. It took seven years for a follow up which suggests this didn't exactly set the moon on fire!


The Songs
There's an alarmingly thin production which dates it somewhat, but it hardly dampens the experience. 'Fanfare' is a brief thirty second opener with a typical maelstrom of keyboards dancing quickly through the speakers before an abrupt finish. Although it hasn't been confirmed there appears to be a loose concept to the album about that of a UFO sighting, whether or not by the young lad on the cover is unclear. 'Seeing Stars' introduces an endless parade of lazer and space effects, with some very classical synth notes that border on pomp overload. 'Mission 14' takes some sitting through, at thirteen minutes it's the epic defined, with lush soundscapes and dreamy patterns with never ending keyboard effects and the twist here is the song is seen from the point of view of our friends from outer space! There are a few lively outbursts of pomp hysteria, but this is really an exercise for Tonkin to display his vast skills. 'U.F.O.' is as close to Saga as it gets, much less powerful, but with all the UFO cover-up type lyrics it's in the same league. One thing Quasar must be commended on is the great atmosphere they provide with their alien escapades, and the swirling keyboards of 'Flying' could be mistaken for the theme of 'Arthur C. Clarkes Mysterious World'. Anybody looking for guitar based prog rock here will come away empty, it's not a feature at all.


In Summary
The band disappeared for a few years, reappearing in 1985 with a solitary single before 1989's 'The Loreli' was recorded with female vocalist Tracey Hitchings, with only Turner surviving from 'Fire In The Sky'. That proved to be the parting shot for Quasar and by no means is 'Fire In The Sky' considered a rarity or must have by the prog community. As far as space rock goes it's essential for devotees, but the overall lack of variety tends to drag this down when attempting to separate one song from the other. Maybe one to listen to while stargazing, but aside from this destined for obscurity and I'd bet this would be harder to spot on vinyl than an actual UFO.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on February 20 2008 00:16:39
I liked this much better tha 'The Loreli' which was way to pop oriented in comparison and almost a different band as you pointed out. Plus I never cared for Tracy Hitchings voice. This was reissued on CD briefly.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 16 2011 21:49:34
I love this album and the original cover sadly not shown here.I have read somewhere that this is similar to the CD of Enid In The Region Of The Summer Stars that was released before the original LP was issued on CD if that makes any sense.I fear I will be dissapointed.For me the alarmingly thin production makes it sound even more outer-worldly.May it never be remastered.in love
#3 | gdazegod on April 01 2013 01:47:08
Is the singer the bloke from Vigrass and Osbourne?
 
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