Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Uli Jon Roth|
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
2002 reissue of the Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth's 1981 release. Includes 3 bonus tracks 'Aqua Vitae - Water of Life', 'Lethe - River of Oblivion' & 'Zephyrus - Je Reviens'. Remastered plus previously unseen photos, li... more »
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2002 reissue of the Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth's 1981 release. Includes 3 bonus tracks 'Aqua Vitae - Water of Life', 'Lethe - River of Oblivion' & 'Zephyrus - Je Reviens'. Remastered plus previously unseen photos, liner notes, original artwork and new booklet.
Ulrich Roth At The Height Of His Powers
317 East 32nd | Toledo, OH USA | 10/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fire Wind has been released at least three times on CD over the years. I own a double-disc set of Earthquake and Fire Wind, but two weeks ago a friend and I got into a discussion about Roth, and afterward my friend played this particular reissue.
I was disappointed to find that, once again, the opening track, "Cast Away Your Chains" has had half of two different verses edited out as compared to the original Brain vinyl release. As far as I can tell, there are no other edits anywhere else on the disc. Perhaps the edited version now in circulation was intended for potential release as a single back in '80.
If you're already a fan of Electric Sun and looking for a good CD version of Fire Wind, I can assure you the mastering on this CD is excellent, and you will not be disappointed. If perhaps you're not familiar with the material but you've heard good things about Uli Roth's incredible guitar playing, and you're purchasing this out of curiosity, you certainly won't find anything to complain about from an instrumental standpoint. Just beware: Ulrich Roth's singing voice is, shall we say, an acquired taste. Roth once said in an interview, "A lot of people have had a go at my voice, not liking it in the least" (Kerrang)... but people generally don't buy Electric Sun or Uli Jon records for the singing anyway. Additionally, my friend and I agreed that this music just wouldn't sound "right" if a "trained" rock vocalist had participated. Roth's voice isn't unbearable, but in this day and age, be prepared to have your friends ask you to play a different CD...
U. Roth's considerable technical prowess and melodic inventiveness have been well-documented over the years. What Fire Wind displays above all other releases with which he's been associated is his complete mastery of the wah pedal tweak. There has never been another rock guitarist who has used the effect more subtly or effectively. Roth is constantly using the device to shape tones during his solos, multi-tracked unison lines, etc. He's only moving the pedal in small increments, but it's never arbitrary, and always with the intention of making the guitar sing, speak, cry in just the right way to further the emotional content of the melody.
As the previous reviewer has indicated, each solo is a gem in its own right, but you could spend a year just marveling at the nuances in the densely layered backing tracks. The amount of thought and dedication put into these recordings is staggering. From a technical standpoint, this release is quite a testament to the producer(s), engineers, tape-ops, right on down to the guy who fetched the tea and biscuits. Everything is miked just right and the clarity of the production is remarkable, given the complexity of the tracks. One can't help but wonder what the reaction of the crew was on the first day vocal tracks were cut. Definitely "moustache on the Mona Lisa" time...
Fire Wind features some of the best hard rock guitar ever recorded. It's also one othe most "intelligent" hard rock records available. Lyrically, it can get a little cosmic in places, and "Chaplin & I" could almost be considered camp, although I'm certain that was not the intention. In places, bassist Ule Ritgen really shines in his role. But it really is all about the compositions and the guitar playing. Soaring. Majestic. Inspired. Flawlessly performed. One would be hard-pressed to find an instance where the substitution of even one or two notes would result in an improvement.
Yngwie Malmsteen copped 100 percent of his wardrobe, stage antics and haircut from Ritchie Blackmore, and about 85 percent of his playing style from Ulrich Roth. But he can't hold a candle to Roth in the "emotion" department. Buy this disc and hear for yourself."
Uli Jon Roth: A Forgotten Guitar Legend!
Chappa | Olympus Mons, Mars | 06/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second release "Firewind" from Uli Roth's Electric Sun power trio continues in the direction of the previous one with a mixture of neo-classical inspired compositions and Hendrix/Curtis Mayfield sounding chordal rhythms and it's all amazing. The recording/mixing process was done in the period between March to October of 1980 with Uli himself in charge of the production. The line-up involved changed with one new member: Sidhatta Gautama on drums/percussion in addition to Roth on guitar/vocals and Ule Ritgen on bass.
"Cast Away Your Chains" is a wonderful album opener with strong rhythm guitar playing but the best parts of course are the two melodic yet quite technical lead guitar overdubs. The ending is also notable thanks to that new chord that is added. I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that Uli is a vocalist with a rather limited range but to me his vocals complement the music nicely and that's the most important thing. I think you'll get used to them with repeated listens. "Indian Dawn" is a collection of powerful riffing with Uli singing about the plight of American Indians. The highlight comes at the end with that amazing solo from Uli using the wah wah pedal plus a unique Hendrix-inspired rhythm pattern underneath. Uli shows here that he truly is one of the masters of the wah wah pedal!
If you are a fan of those Curtis Mayfield inspired soulful ballads that Hendrix did such as "Bold As Love" and "Little Wing", then you'll love track number three "I'll Be Loving You Always". This one is for you! Right from the beginning you can hear that melodic "Axis: Bold As Love" style of rhythm playing that comes complete with Univibe usage. Of course the best part is saved for last with Uli playing yet another highly melodic solo that before it fades, the whole chord structure underneath is moved to a higher key. Very similar in feel to Hendrix's "Bold As Love". Simply an amazing finale!
The title cut offers a change of pace with a considerable much faster tempo. This is something that the metal band Iron Maiden could have done! A brilliant neo-classical solo is featured in the middle. The lyrics seem to be inspired by biblical stories. Now it's time for an experimental one-minute avant-garde composition titled "Prelude In Space Minor" which is similar to Hendrix's "...And The Gods Made Love" off the "Electric Ladyland" LP. After it's over "Just Another Rainbow" starts with a charged intro that slightly resembles another Hendrix song: "House Burning Down". For me this is the low point of the album with the most notable section being the quieter instrumental bridge in the middle where Uli plays some nice chords and lead guitar phrasings. The lyrics are interesting though, since they make a reference to two famous painters: Michelangelo and Rembrandt. However, "Children Of The Sea" is a gem! The guitars have an atmospheric sound that fits perfectly with its contemplative lyrics. Uli explained that the inspiration for this song came about as he was looking at a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
"Chaplin And I" was written after a dream that Uli had where he met Charlie Chaplin in person! The emphasis is put on the acoustic guitars with a catchy hook during the verses. It is a solid composition with some short psychedelic sections where you can hear what sounds like people cheering with a funky rhythm guitar underneath. Kind of weird but a lot of dreams are weird anyway so that part fits!
The concluding piece "Hiroshima" is an epic composition with a length of 10:32. The lyrics talk about the dropping of the atomic bomb by the Enola Gay plane and the catastrophic consequences it brought to the place on that August the 6th of 1945. Musically, it consists of four main different sections. The sound of the plane's engine is heard in the beginning. The first is the vocal part with a cool riff during the verses. Then it quiets down for an atmospheric section with some oriental inspired phrasings. Afterwards it becomes chaotic with a lot of dive bomb effects from Uli's guitar! Pay attention to the chromatic rhythm guitar pattern here too, it could have fitted perfectly on a trash metal song! The final part contains an emotional melodic solo that eventually fades out. Definitely, it is Roth's most ambitious composition of the album and one of his best! A high key exit for sure!
Well, that's it. The song descriptions I made should give you an adequate idea on what to expect from each. If you decide to buy the album, read the booklet before playing it! You'll find much more detailed info about each track and the recording process behind the LP!
The three bonus tracks are taken from the "Aquila Suite" album that was released in 1991. They are piano compositions that were written by Uli himself and, according to the liner notes those fast, precise arpeggios were achieved using a computer instead of playing them by hand. All three are well worth hearing!
If you are a fan of exotic guitar playing and people like Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, and Michael Schenker, then this is for you. It should also appeal to fans of Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush as well!
Thanks for taking the time to read!