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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  • 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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