Fireworks

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Focus - 'Golden Oldies' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/64/eb/51/Focus-Golden-Oldies-88-1419453654.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 24, 2014    
 
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If you've not yet encountered Focus then this is as good a place to start.

I don't know whether it was the catalyst for this album (it would have been a major marketing opportunity missed if it weren't) but it can't have hurt the band's profile to have their track 'Hocus Pocus' feature in the latest in the 'RoboCop' series of movies.

Rather than bringing out a standard compilation, the current iteration of the band (founder Thijs van Leer, Pierre van der Linden, Bobby Jacobs and Menno Gootjes) has chosen to get into the studio and record new versions of the selected tracks; personally, I'd have trodden the Steve Hackett path and called the album something like 'Revisited' rather than 'Golden Oldies' as perceptually that sends out a less than encouraging vibe (i.e. dated), which is a shame because it's a rather pleasing collection. Mind you, it depends on your definition of an 'oldie' because 'Aya-Yuppie-Hippie-Yee' is as recent as 2006; not that long ago for a band who released their debut album in 1970.

I have to confess that I was somewhat ambivalent about reviewing this album but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise and maybe served its purpose by reminding me of the band's wonderful heritage and made me drag out their back catalogue for a listen.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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They have been pretty faithful to the original versions, which is a wise move as the longstanding fans really don't like the classics being messed with, however what they have done is refresh the sound, update the production and inject a little more vibrancy.

The track selection will be fairly obvious to an existing fan; you get the "hits" 'Sylvia' and the aforementioned '...Pocus', both of which are rightly hailed as classics. Guitarist Gootjes shines across the entire album and shows he's a worthy successor to the revered Jan Akkerman; his solo on 'Tommy' being particularly good as is his lead work on the closing number, 'Brother'.

By the same token, van Leer's Hammond Organ work is fantastic; he must be one of the best exponents of that instrument, right up there with Jon Lord. Similarly, along with Ian Anderson he made the flute work in a Rock context. Talking of Anderson, 'House Of The King' has a vibe redolent of Jethro Tull as it bounces along on a jaunty refrain.

If you've not yet encountered Focus then this is as good a place to start as any as it lends modern production values to some splendid musical creations.

Gary Marshall

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  • 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
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  • 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.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,

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