CD Reviews

Brian Howe - 'Circus Bar' Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
0.0 (0)
7426   0   1   0   0   0



First new solo album for thirteen years by former Bad Company vocalist Brian Howe.

It's been thirteen years since we heard anything from Brian Howe - in the form of new music at least. First appearing on most people's radar way back in the early eighties singing on Ted Nugent's 'Penetrator' record, Brian's big break came when he joined the re-formed Bad Company, replacing Paul Rodgers, on their comeback album 'Fame And Fortune'. Some hardcore fans balked at the new keyboard heavy pop music direction, but one thing you couldn't question was the quality of Brian's voice. For the next decade, Howe and producer/co-writer Terry Thomas wrote the bulk of the material for 'Dangerous Age', 'Here Comes Trouble' and the platinum selling 'Holy Water', with each album spawning hit singles in the States. Howe eventually left the band somewhat acrimoniously with a Bad Company live album 'What You Hear Is What You Get' issued in his wake, before they ultimately recruited Robert Hart for two records until Paul Rodgers returned.

Brian made a solo album, 'Tangled In Blue', written after a messy divorce and as a result was a well crafted, but moody, mature and intensely different album to what fans like myself knew him for. The album disappeared quickly, got a re-release under the name 'Touch' with a bonus track on, but again, soon disappeared. And that was it - Brian toured a lot playing shows in the States, singing Bad Company songs from his own era and Paul Rodgers' era, but the chance of new music looked slim.

Finally, thirteen years since 'Tangled In Blue', Brian is back, in a big way! You'll get the full story about the album in my thoroughly entertaining chat with him elsewhere in the magazine, but his new record is sure to please his fans. Exploding out with the infectious and apt 'I'm Back', time seems to have stood still for Brian. His voice sounds exactly as it did in his Bad Company hey day, and the material is upbeat, superbly produced, sonorous and boasting all the hallmarks of quality we have come to expect from a Frontiers release. 'There's This Girl' is another great example of the quality of the material on offer, complete with a melody and sound not unlike how you imagine the Howe-era Bad Company might sound today.

Apart from the high quality of songwriting and Brian's unique voice, there are also two re-recordings of Bad Company standards on offer. The hit 'How About That' gets an updated arrangement and a cool feel to it, but one of the show stealers is the amazing reworking of 'Holy Water'. Turned into an atmospheric ballad, the results are stunning. I was initially unhappy when I saw two tracks were "old" songs, but Brian has done an amazing job of making real differences to them both, so you feel like you're getting something new.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

There's some classic rock on there too in the form of 'If You Want Trouble' with a killer vocal. There's some great playing on the album, with guest appearances from Pat Travers and Wayne Nelson. There's plenty of guitars to the front, bouncing rhythms, catchy hooks, a glossy production. Howe has done a terrific job of making a modern, accessible album which still appeals to his original fans. His voice sounds brilliant, and if you liked his work with Bad Company, check this out. It may have taken thirteen years to get here, but it was worth it!

James Gaden

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  July 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 4 hours, 49 minutes ago
  • rockcompany : hi, ordered a bunch of magazines yesterday but still have not received a download. Also the order is not showing in my account?
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • 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.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site