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Quasar - Fire In The Sky CD (album) cover





3.31 | 33 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
3 stars After a gap that is probably the best part of 20 years, Keith Turner and I recently got back in touch again. To celebrate he sent me Quasar's two studio albums, and a live set capturing the band in 2011. So, starting with the very first, I have been playing 'Fire In The Sky' which came out in 1981 so it is now more than 30 years old! The prog scene in the UK really needs to be put into context here, as basically it didn't exist at the time. With the advent of punk, 'prog' was seen as a bad thing by the music press who then decided that it didn't exist. Of course that didn't stop bands from forming and playing, it just meant that it was virtually impossible to get any publicity.

Quasar were formed in 1979 by Keith Turner and Mike Kenwright, but soon the line-up changed quite dramatically so by the time of the release of their debut album only two years later just Keith was left. Cyrus Khajavi came in on guitar and keyboards, Paul Vigrass was vocalist, Peter Ware on keyboards, Peter Shade on vibes and keyboards, Steen Doosing on drums while Keith Turner handled the bass, Moog Taurus and twelve string guitar and provided all the songs.

One wonders what would have happened if these guys had stayed together long enough to properly tour this album as even now it is a joy to listen to. Yes, it does sound dated, but not as much as one might imagine. If I were to take one single album as a starting point then it would probably be 'And Then There Were Three', particularly with some of the keyboard sounds, but in many ways this is an important piece of work as it is one of a small number that was coming out of the underground in those days that would influence those yet to come. Twelfth Night had released a few tapes, and Pallas came out with 'Arrive Alive' in 1981 but IQ, Pendragon, Marillion et al had yet to release an album.

One of the real joys of 'Fire In The Sky' is the confidence of singer Paul Vigrass who really shines throughout. The production is a little thin in places but I found that it actually works really well and adds to the 'other worldy' aspect of the album as a whole. Coming to this album 'fresh', as I hadn't previously heard it, I found it quite surprising as I hadn't realized that the band had a male lead singer in the early days. But the dynamics in the band work incredibly well and given that this was an independent release more than 30 years ago is something that should be recognized. If you go to the band's website you can play all of the songs, so why not go and discover some prog history?

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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