Bonfire - 'Fireworks' (landmark album review) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 22, 2017    
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This is as close to perfection as an album could ever be.

This is a Rocktopia™ landmark review (album review no. 5000, pls. click HERE for more information)

Of course, if I am going to do a special review of any album then it's going to be this little beauty – after all, we only went and named our magazine after this very album!

I still remember that day back in 1987, having been down in London for a job interview after finishing my university course. Back in the eighties, if you were a Rock fan and found yourself in London, then Shades record store was the place to visit, and I duly made my way there. While browsing through the import section this song came over the speakers, and I stopped – transfixed. This music was simply brilliant; an awesome opening riff, massive drums, hugely melodic vocals and a killer chorus. I made straight for the front desk. "Who is this?" I inquired. "The new Bonfire album," came the reply. I hand over my money and take this masterpiece LP home (the less said about the Herricane Alice album bought on the same visit, the better!).

That opening track was 'Ready 4 Reaction', the guitarist Hans Ziller, the vocalist Claus Lessmann, and those massive sounding drums were played by guest Ken Mary, a year before the wonderful House Of Lords debut and while he was with Fifth Angel – another favourite act of mine. And one can't talk about the massive sound without mentioning producer extraordinaire Michael Wagener, the man behind some of the biggest sounding Rock albums of the eighties.

But back to the songs. As their debut album 'Don't Touch The Light' showed, the guys were no slouches in the song-writing department, but for this, their sophomore effort, the label put them with some established song-writers to raise the bar just that little bit higher. So in stepped Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) and Jack Ponti (Surgin') to sprinkle their magic on the big single 'Sweet Obsession' (which Turner would cover years later on a solo release), although their other co-write, the amazingly huge and catchy 'Sleeping All Alone', was for me the better song. Marc Ribler appears as co-writer on another mammoth track, 'American Nights', which has got one of the most incredible bridges I've ever heard.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Not to be outdone by these bigger names, the band give us the frantic gallop of 'Champion' and the mid-paced genius of 'Never Mind' and 'Fantasy', each and every track a text-book example of how to construct the perfect melodic Hard Rock winner. And then there's 'Don't Get Me Wrong', with its multi-layered chorus that is just utterly and fantastically amazing!

And the ballad...oh, the ballad... 'Give It A Try' has remained a staple in the Bonfire live set to this day, and with very good reason – ballads simply don't come much better than this, Lessmann's emotionally drenched vocals crooning over Ziller's almost weeping acoustic guitar. Pleas for love have never been more heart-breaking.

Ten LP tracks (not counting the bonus CD track 'Cold Days') ... and nine absolute blinders. But of course, there's always one failed attempt that blots the copy-book, and here it's the tedious 'Rock Me Now', which doesn't belong on the same continent, never mind the same album. Apparently the band wrote twenty-five songs for this album and recorded eleven, and I honestly cannot believe there were fourteen songs worse than this abomination. For the live recording of 'Fireworks' at Firefest back in 2010, I kindly asked they left this track off their set, which due to time constraints they did anyway. Believe me, that was a good thing!

Irrespective, for anyone that would ever want me to give an example of what Melodic Hard Rock is all about, and why I love it so much, then this is the album I point them to. That one song aside, this is as close to perfection as an album could ever be.

Bruce Mee

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Latest Message: 2 weeks, 1 day ago
  • 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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