After The Fire - Der Kommissar The CBS Recordings

Monday 14th March 2005
After The Fire - Der Kommissar The CBS Recordings
After The Fire - Der Kommissar The CBS Recordings

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12580-1827
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Let's begin with a quibble! This is the third compilation album to be released of ATF stuff named after the band's biggest hit "Der Kommissar" and it's getting a little confusing. Let me explain that this latest album is a double CD packed with their entire CBS catalogue and plenty of B sides, live tracks and rarities thrown in. After the recent CD release of 'Signs Of Change', it's fun to wander through these songs in chronological order and relive some moments. First up is 'Laser Love' which features classic material like the title cut and the hit single "One Rule For You" and firm fan favourites like "Life In the City", "Take Me Higher" and "Check It Out". Listening more than 25 years later, it's hard to appreciate their synth driven style was unique and radical. Their second CBS album, '80f', was produced by Mack and introduced the punchy drumming of Pete King into the equation but failed to produce any hits. Tracks like "Starflight" and "Billy Billy" were firm favourites live. The third album saw them once more recording in Germany with Mack and saw great strides in the band's sounds and songwriting. Again no hits but tracks like "Sailing Ship", "Dancing In The Shadows" and "Rich Boys" caught the imagination. I was never sure about the grittier "Stuck In Paris" and "Bright Lights" but overall the album has stood up well over the passing years. The band's parting single, "Der Kommissar", was a cover of a Falco hit and ironically after years searching for a hit made the top five in America a few months after the band split up. The bonus tracks include an excellent live version of "Billy Billy" featuring John Russell's extended guitar solo. I have to confess that ATF were one of my favourite bands so like many fans it's great to have this stuff finally on CD. The booklet gives plenty of details including all the lyrics and a brief history of the band. For fans it's been a long wait and now that they have reformed albeit with a new line up, maybe some more people will discover this remarkable band.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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