Search - After the Fire :: Signs of Change

Signs of Change
After the Fire
Signs of Change
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

2005 reissue, & first time on CD, of the UK new wave act's 1978 album includes four previously unreleased bonus tracks, 'Samaritan Woman', 'Dreamaway', 'Hallelujah', & 'Back to the Light' (Demo). AFT.


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CD Details

All Artists: After the Fire
Title: Signs of Change
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Avalon
Release Date: 1/11/2005
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
Style: New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766481097471


Album Description
2005 reissue, & first time on CD, of the UK new wave act's 1978 album includes four previously unreleased bonus tracks, 'Samaritan Woman', 'Dreamaway', 'Hallelujah', & 'Back to the Light' (Demo). AFT.

CD Reviews

New wavers doing prog rock!
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 12/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I, for years, ignored After the Fire, after all, the band inflicted us with their English language hit version of Falco's "Der Kommisar". The other reason is I'm not into New Wave. I grew up in the 1980s and I was exposed to my fair share of New Wave, MTV pushed a lot of that. It wasn't my kind of music. I was rather shocked to find ATF in an entry of the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock, and it stated they were once a prog rock band, and this 1978 debut, Signs of Change was that album. I knew right away not to bother finding the LP, it's quite rare, but I have now acquired a CD reissue, which also includes four cuts, recorded in 1974 and 1976. Signs of Change was released by the band themselves on their own Rapid Records label. The band wanted the album out before the Christmas of 1977, but for some reason didn't get released until April 1978. This was 1978, when prog rock was starting to get into serious trouble, the rock press was seriously turning their backs on this kind of music (punk was now the music the press and many music fans were now embracing), and many great bands started releasing what many regard as their weakest albums of their careers (Yes' Tormato, ELP's Love Beach, Gentle Giant's Giant for a Day, etc.). Strangely the British press was more kind to Signs of Change, and even John Peel played some of their material on BBC Radio 1.

If you're a fan of the New Wave ATF, be prepared for a shock with Signs of Change. Keyboardist Peter Banks (not to be confused with the ex-Yes guitarist, that's why the ATF Peter Banks changed his name to "Memory" Banks) really lays it on thick with Hammond organ and Mini Moog in true prog fashion (in the Yes/ELP/Genesis/Greenslade variety). He really steals the show here, but then you also have bassist Nick Battle, guitarist Andy Piercy, and drummer Ivor Twidell, most members handling vocal duties. The band was Methodist, so the music has a strong Christian theme, of the born-again variety. Most of the lyrics seem to have the theme of "my life had no meaning, until I found religion". While most of this album sticks to a Yes/Genesis/ELP/Greenslade vein, "Jigs" finds the band exploring English folk music, complete with fiddling, and fife-like sounds played on Banks' Moog. And the first part of "Pilgrim" finds the band strangely much more in Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span territory, even Andy Piercy sounds like Martin Carthy (who was an on and off-again member of Steeleye Span), but then suddenly the music gets much more complex, the Moog kicks in and it's back to prog territory. Don't expect dark or sinister music (you'll never mistake these guys for Univers Zero, that's for sure), they wanted to create a more uplifting album for the Christian market. But it's still miles better than your typical CCM artist you can think of. If you're a prog rock fan, and not into New Wave, Signs of Change is the only album you need from ATF. On the other hand, if you like New Wave, then go for their following albums.

Unfortunately the band knew in 1978 they could no longer continue on playing prog rock, so once they got signed to CBS, they turned to New Wave, which served them quite well, after all, it was during this phase they gave us "Der Kommissar". But it's this debut recording that I recommend to prog rock fans, I am amazed a band not associated with prog rock would start their career doing full-blown prog!"