Fireworks

Wetton Downes Icon - 'Heat Of The Rising Sun' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7e/a4/a1/2280_wettondownesiconheatoftherisingsun_1339266350.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 09, 2012    
 
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An acceptable release, but do two Rock titans want to settle for that?

Come on lads, think of your reputations! John Wetton and Geoff Downes, big ticket rockers both, with CV's taking in King Crimson, Yes and Asia, have now released three grown-up, thick-sounding melodic albums as Icon, to general head nodding if not frothy furore.

And so to 2012: a slickly-presented digipack of two live CDs recorded in Japan on a 2009 tour. It should be a celebration, a real reminder of their songwriting prowess, particularly as it contains Asia, Buggles, Icon and Crimson songs – wonderful compositions all. But it isn't. This is only just “not bad”. The band is good, containing excellent guitar work from Dave Kilminster and they can clearly take these songs to the Hall of Fame they deserve. So it’s a mystery why they leave them kicking a stone around the entrance hall.

The opener ‘Countdown to Zero’ is just too quiet and polite. It works for the mid-paced ‘The Die Is Cast’, but great tracks like ‘Elstree’ and ‘Voice of America’ suffer so badly there is no salvaging their pride. Joining them are acoustic versions; some which are interesting takes on classics (‘Video Killed The Radio Star’, ‘Meet Me At Midnight’) whilst others feel like budget versions tossed together because cash is tight (a rather lounge version of ‘Tempus Fugit’ is particularly risible). Unfortunately there are other issues...

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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John Wetton’s vocals. He has lived the life of four people and he is advanced in years, so allowances should be made. The press release calls his voice ‘jaw dropping’ and it is! Painful to listen to on occasion, actually as he tries to reach notes he now couldn't get to even with a step ladder; a nice acoustic ‘Book Of Saturday’ is hobbled by vocal forcing, whilst ‘Don't Go Out Tonight’ teeters on the abyss of failure. We shouldn’t be listening to this hoping that he gets through it – music through fear is what you buy Slayer for, not Icon. This problem is compounded by some dreadful backing harmonies, particularly in ‘Voice of America’ which add to the budget feel.

And yet this release still manages to show us what a pair of talents Wetton and Downes are, particularly the one-two punch of the piano-led ‘I've Come To Take You Home’ which clears the air for a stupendous solo and big bass and the lightly rocking ‘Twice The Man I Was’, the openers on CD 2. Elsewhere Kilminster makes a good vocal fist of ‘Angel’ and Wetton manages to sell ‘The Night Watch’ very well. ‘Rubicon’ is stately and almost magisterial. And you'd expect ‘Starless’ to close proceedings in classic style but they go for it and build beautifully through the middle section to a stupendous synth solo.

And so, in spite of little heft, less vocal excellence and an acoustic version of ‘Heat Of The Moment’ (clearly not a crowd pleaser), this is an acceptable release. But do two Rock titans want to settle for that? Celebration of their careers? The balloons are flaccid, the jelly hasn't set and the clown is attempting to get off with your mum.

Steve Swift

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Latest Message: 3 weeks 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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