Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
This Beach Boys Related Power Pop Landmark Makes Its Long-awaited CD Debut Here. A South African Quartet Who'd Been Domestic Stars for Years, the Flames Moved to London in 1968, Where They were Spotted by Beach Boy Carl Wi... more »
This Beach Boys Related Power Pop Landmark Makes Its Long-awaited CD Debut Here. A South African Quartet Who'd Been Domestic Stars for Years, the Flames Moved to London in 1968, Where They were Spotted by Beach Boy Carl Wilson. Having Moved to California in 1969, They Recorded this Superbly-crafted Collection under his Supervision. Released to Acclaim but Low Sales in 1970, it features Future Beach Boys Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin, and is Nothing Short of an Overlooked Classic.
Not the reissue we hoped for
David Samuelson | Battle Ground, IN USA | 10/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong -- this is a terrific album. Produced by Carl Wilson during his creative peak, it's essential for anyone who treasures the Beach Boys' "Holland" period when Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar were in the band.
But the issue is sound quality. This isn't a digital transfer from Steve Desper's shimmering master tape, but a heavily compressed needle-drop from vinyl -- and the vinyl didn't sound that good to begin with. The Beach Boys organization, which holds the rights to this album and a never-issued follow-up, apparently thwarted earlier proposals for a legitimate release."
The best Pop-Rock album ever recorded
Fabfan | Brandon, MS USA | 09/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I'm starting with the bottom line: other than the Beatles, this is the best pop-rock recording ever made. I know it's a bold statement considering such legends as Badfinger, Big Star, Emitt Rhodes, The Raspberries, et al, but it's true. Those heavy weights all cranked out some masterpieces, but this disc is just a bit better.
When the Flame LP was first released in the fall of 1970 the immediate point of comparison was with the Beatles, which was rightly deserved. The Flame, however, didn't simply sound "Beatlesque" in the same way as Emitt Rhodes or Badfinger, but they transcend the genre by managing to exhibit the same sense of musical creativity and excitement that the Fab Four did. It was the Beatles ability to write great songs, and their sense of musical adventure and exploration, that set them apart from other pretenders to the throne. It's what sets the Flame apart as well. The songs themselves are consistently melodic, (with only "Hey Lord" being sub-par) and the arrangements evolve and progress in exciting and unexpected directions.
You'll know the Flame were on to something special from the opening bars of "See The Light", which begins with an incredibly infectious chorus that is punctuated by a George Harrisonesque guitar figure, underpinned by a wonderfully fluid McCartneyesque bass, and closes with a splendid "I Feel Fine" inspired guitar-riff coda. This track alone is worth the cost of the CD.
For me the highlight is what was originally side two of the LP (tracks 6-11 on the CD). Many of the songs are almost "mini-suites" (a la The Beatles "You Never Give Me Your Money"). The side kicks off with the rollicking guitar duel of "Get Your Mind Up" and evolves into a guitar exchange similar to "The End" on Abbey Road. Other highlights include "I'm So Happy", with it's harpsichord opening, and chiming guitar solo which is reminiscent of George Harrison's double-stop guitar figure from "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"; the gentle "Dove", with it's lovely, classical guitar duet and strings; and "Another Day Like Heaven" which features a breathtakingly beautiful organ solo, and Leslie guitar. Incredible.
Don't be mistaken, though: the Flame do not simply ape the Beatles, instead they draw richly from the genre and present us with something entirely their own. There is more creativity on this one CD than most bands manage to produce in a lifetime.
If you enjoy melodic music full of wonderful surprises, and interesting arrangements, buy this CD. It will be the best musical investment you make for a LONG time.
The way music was meant to be
J. L. Cook | Johnstown, NY USA | 03/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got this CD today. WOW!!! What a sin that this group didn't get more recognition. As a whole, this album may just be better than anything released in the last 30 years. It's solid as a rock all the way through.
"Beatlesque" is an apt description; the album certainly makes you instantly think "Beatles". It's an awesome job by The Flame, Carl Wilson, and Steve Desper.
Listening to the album just makes me shake my head. Both in amazement for how great it is, and in sadness that nothing being recorded today even comes close.
Many thanks to the previous reviewers here who convinced me to take a chance on this CD."