Fireworks

Strangeways - 'Strangeways' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/87/1f/2c/1697_StrangewaysStrangeways_1322075964.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2011    
 
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Re-issue of Strangeways' debut album.

I’m sure just about everyone who reads this magazine and web site must already be familiar with the most revered of Strangeways albums, ‘Native Sons’ and ‘Walk In The Fire’, but before these iconic releases the Glasgow band put out this self-titled debut way back in 1986. To be honest, vocals apart it’s not that far behind the other two, with excellent songs by guitarist Ian J Stewart and a strong production from none other than Journey’s Kevin Elson, and considering vocalist Tony Liddle was drafted in at the eleventh hour to replace the departed Stevie Doherty, his work here isn’t bad at all.

If anything this album was the most hard edged of the three, with punchy guitar parts from Ian Stewart and rock solid drums and bass from Jim Drummond and Ian’s brother, David respectively. Whilst perhaps lacking in a bit of the subtlety and arrangement savvy of its more illustrious cousins, ‘Strangeways’ is still an enjoyable listen with direct songs like ‘The Kid Needs Love’, ‘Breaking Down The Barriers’ and ‘Heartbreak Zone’ featuring Alan Thomson’s keyboards much further down in the mix than Stewart’s sometimes raucous guitar parts. Similarly ‘Now It’s Gone’ and ‘Hold Tight’ might be the kind of songs that Stewart was referring to with his “excessively formulaic” dismissal in the sleeve essay, but they’re also the paciest, most hard rocking songs the band have ever done. Other great songs include the catchy ‘Hold Back Your Love’, the energetic ‘Power Play’ and the quite inventive ‘More Than Promises’, but the undoubted cream of the crop was the first single ‘Close To The Edge’, which has a killer chorus and some brilliantly placed backing vocals.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Excellently remastered with a suitably powerful sound, and some interesting insights in Dave Ling’s sleeve essay from Ian Stewart, Jim Drummond and even Tony Liddle (correct spelling by the way, he was wrongly listed as ‘Liddell’ on the original release), the other essential feature is the addition of no less than five bonus tracks. Of most worth are the rocker ‘All The Wrong Reasons’ and the ballad ‘Hold On’, both of which were high quality demos produced by Elson and are pretty good songs. The other three I presume are older, and include different arrangements of probably the two best-known songs, ‘Close To The Edge’ and ‘Breaking Down The Barriers’, and another unreleased upbeat song called ‘Streets On Fire’, which is no clunker either. Things may not have been going perfectly for the band but take my word for it, this album is much better than Ian Stewart gives it credit for. If the band had split up immediately after it they would now be being lauded as one of those underrated one album bands, but of course that didn’t happen...

Phil Ashcroft

 

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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