Fireworks

Fair Warning - 'Best And More' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ac/01/66/2223_fairwarningbestandmore_1338485060.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 31, 2012    
 
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A great value for money collection.

It’s probably fair to say that whilst their profile here in the UK has never really risen beyond that of cult status within the hardcore melodic rock community, Germany’s Fair Warning are one of but a handful of genuine success stories from the early 90’s.

Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of Zeno, the band was originally put together back in ’91 by former Zeno bassist Ule W. Ritgen and erstwhile V2 vocalist Tommy Heart (who had been drafted into Zeno at the end), their brand of passion drenched muscle and melody quickly making a lasting impression both at home and in Japan. And despite that sound being completely at odds with the dour grunge movement then gaining a stranglehold on popular tastes around the globe, their eponymous debut sold by the truckload in both territories (even going platinum in Japan) upon its release in ’92.

After releasing their fourth studio album (the imaginatively named ‘4’) in millennium year the band took an extended break, only to return refreshed some six years later with the excellent ‘Brother’s Keeper’ set. Released to coincide with their 20th anniversary, ‘Best And More’ is a double CD collection containing a massive 32 tracks culled from their impressive back catalogue. All six studio albums are well represented, there are tracks from all their live releases, and they’ve even thrown in a couple of single B-sides and the previously unreleased ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (yes, that one!) for good measure.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Accentuating the subtle changes that their boisterous brand of upbeat melodic rock has undergone over the years, yet at the same time emphasising the uniqueness of the brand, studio cuts like ‘When Love Fails’, ‘The Heart Of Summer’, ‘Here Comes The Heartache’ and ‘Angels Of Heaven’ (to name but four selected at random) are a quintessential beginners guide to the band. Listening again to live tracks such as the rousing ‘Burning Heart’ or ‘The Call Of The Heart’ provides ample proof of just how potent an on stage force they’ve been throughout their two decade tenure. And for the curious, the orchestral version of ‘Light In The Dark’ (originally from the ‘Angels Of Heaven’ single) or the slow burning ‘Children’s Eyes’ (a demo lifted from the ‘In The Ghetto’ EP) offer a rarely seen glimpse of the songwriters art as a work in progress.

A great value for money collection for longstanding fans (or an absolutely essential introduction if for some reason you’re not), whether ‘Best And More’ will raise the Fair Warning profile here in the UK remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure however, if emotive hard rock cut from the same cloth as Bonfire’s classic ‘Fire Works’ opus is your thing, you won’t find many better exponents than Fair Warning!

Dave Cockett

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