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THE FYREWORKS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Fyreworks biography
"In the early seventies, at the age of sixteen, I had a residency playing guitar in a dance band. One night a stranger introduced me to two albums by Van der Graaf Generator and Gentle Giant. The next day, I threw in my gig, grew my hair and formed a band, writing and playing what was termed as progressive music. Although none of this material ever made vinyl, all these years later I was still able to recall a couple of chord sequences and thought if I could find like minded people to help me write the songs, I would at last be able to record the album I always wanted to." --Danny Chang, founder of FYREWORKS

After being involved with bands such as Quintessence, Pink Faries and Patto, Danny Chang, moved into mainstream rock with the critically received Just Good Friends. When the band broke up, Danny carved out a nice career composing for television and film, but he needed something more in terms of his creativity. So, in early 1995 Danny retreated to the countryside of Wales and laid the foundation for his band FYREWORKS.

Along with Danny on guitar and backing vocals, FYREWORKS consisted of Rob Reed on keyboards & slide guitar, Doug Sinclair on bass, Andy Edwards on lead vocals and guitar & Tim Robinson on drums. Drawing upon influences from Van Der Graff Generator, Gentle Giant and Jethro Tull (due both to guest Lee Goodall's flute work), FYREWORKS recorded their debut album in 1997 to critical acclaim. Danny Chang says he wanted to limit the keyboards to "vintage" types, particularly Hammond, Mellotron, Moog and piano, which really gives the album a '70's sound.

FYREWORKS was a "one and done" band. Rob Reed, who already had his band Cyan, has gone on to achieve neo prog success with his band Magenta, which also has Tim Robinson on drums. Danny has been active and played a vital role in the ProgAid project (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=86836654), which was formed in the aftermath of the destruction left behind after the earthquake and tsunami in December of 2004

As for FYREWORKS, never say never in music, but it seems the 'fyre' has long since been extinguished.

The Fyreworks official website

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2.99 | 22 ratings
The Fyreworks
1997

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THE FYREWORKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Rob Reed is definitely one of the most prolific figures of the second Progressive Rock wave and The Fyreworks is another proof for this fact, a one-shot project he formed in mid-90's, recruiting fellow [Artist6341] bandmate Andy Edwards on guitars/vocals, Danny Chang on guitars, Doug Sinclair on bass and future [Artist17079] drummer Tim Robinson.The band's sole eponymous effort was recorded at The Farmhouse and DCM Studios between March 1995 and December 1996 and released at the end of the year on F2 Music label.

According to Reed, the main goal of the project was to capture the feeling of the 70's Prog legends and present a work filled with the fundamentals of vintage Progressive Rock, as Cyan was sounding more like Pendragon than any of the bands of the 70's.The result was quite satisfying in my opinion, as Reed & Co. managed to combine the clear production of the modern era with the strong analog sounds of the 70's.The album is filled with references to the music of GENTLE GIANT, GENESIS, JETHRO TULL or YES, pretty unoriginal music, but the arrangements are mostly beautiful, elaborate and adventurous.Actually the album has little connections with Cyan's music and recalls the future work of Reed with Magenta, this is polished and retro-sounding Symphonic Rock with nice interplays, some intricate melodic passages and plenty of breaks.The music is heavily driven by the analog sounds of Reed's keyboards, including organ, Mellotron, synths and piano, the flexible work of the Edwards/Chang duo on guitars with elegant GENESIS vibes and complex GENTLE GIANT-like grooves and the powerful flutes of guest musician Lee Goodall, not far from JETHRO TULL'S IAN ANDERSON.In a few occasions The Fyreworks' music even contains some great violin work in the vein of KANSAS, delivered by Billy Thompson.

This is a very good tribute by The Fyreworks to the majestic Prog scene of the 70's, covering almost the whole spectrum of the biggest acts ever to play this music.Not very original, but certainly fascinating and demanding music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars So here we are, fyring our fyreworks to the fyreplace, or fyrefighters, but unfortunately, we're not laughing. Or at least I am not, because this isn't the kind of Neo Prog I like, nor that I can rate exceptionally. However, there's strong story motif, story of these songs is really interesting. It's like these stories by Jules Verne that I read when I was young. One certain album jumps in my mind, when thinking about "The Fyreworks", it's "Leonardo's Dream", also concept-like album. However, sound is somehow not strong enough. Maybe, in future, I'll feel confident enough to give more, but for now, it will remain (and not be changed) on

3(+) and I don't like adding another 3-stars rating, but either there's nothing so interesting, or it's well hidden, or it will reveal itself after more listens. Maybe it's hidden pirate treasure, who knows.

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've been searching for this album for a long time but because it's an unkonwn band and not really recent anymore so I couldn't succeed in getting it. Fortunately my PA friend and colleague Tarcisio Maura helped me out with this one and I will be able to review it after all. I was interested because of the involvement of mr Robert Reed in this neo project, a one time experience the project appeared to be. And also the eclectic influences it seemed to have couldn't discourage me. I just want to hear and review it.

Noticeable in the first track are the dominant flute and also the presence of Ezra's Andy Edwards which is not so strange since Robert Reed also played in Ezra. Anyway Master Humphries Clock is immediately the best track of the album to me because of it's versatility and energetic approach. Great vocals by Andy by the way. 4,25*.

The War Years is a short, less captivating track. More ballad-like. Not bad but not great either. 3*.

Stowaway is a bit better again with the return of the flute. I like this feature of Fyreworks. 3,5*

Balloon is again a not too significant, average track. I can hear the presence of a violin on this one besides a virtuoso flute passage. Melodywise it's not outstanding though. 3,25*

The Consequence of Indecision is a short piano-instrumental. Nice little track. 3*.

The epical Broken Skies is the other highlight of this rather short album. I had hoped for something slightly better but it's about everything you might expect from an epic. Good variation, interesting instrumental passages with contributions of violin and saxophone amongst others. Just in the melodic department I've heard better and this happens to be important to me. Still 4* seems fair to me.

Last track is comparable to the second, pity that it's one with the hidden track foolishness. So instead of 7 minutes you get 4 minutes of music which is a bit of a shame really on a 49 minute album. The only fun thing about it is that the last minute features ..... fireworks ! 3* for this track.

So all in all not a bad effort by mr Reed. Still I prefer Cyan and also Magenta. Maybe Ezra is on the same scale as this The Fyreworks. It nearly had a shot at the 4 star rating but just didn't make it. So three stars it will be though severely rounded down (3,4) !

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars In 1996, hitherto unknown guitarist Danny Chang assembled a group of musician-friends with the desired purpose of creating an album featuring the obstinate use of vintage instruments associated with the glory years, in a modern vein in view of the burgeoning prog renaissance. On board for this project, the accomplished Robert Reed (Cyan , Magenta) on luscious keyboards, David Sinclair( Hackett) on galloping bass, the steady beat provided by Tim Robinson (the Daily Planet), Ezra's Andy Edwards handling the mike duties as well as adding some axe parts and a merry troupe of guests on violin, cello, sax, flute, oboe etc...Though certainly not earth shattering ear-candy, this is nevertheless very pleasant prog with liberal doses of Celtic touches, splendid melodies and imaginative playing with each track flowing into another. No wonder that our dear Sean "Le Misanthrope" Trane dislikes it, it's too boring !!!!God bless him anyway. This one shot project is stylistically more intrepid than Cyan, less commercially accessible than Magenta and less flamboyant than Jadis or IQ. But it has a little aura that exudes charm and hence admiration. 3.5 explosions

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rob Reed (Magenta, Cyan) is not really one who denies his influences, specially when recording. So if Magenta is his outlet to show how Yes, Renaissance and Genesis were key elements to form his music, then Fyreworks is surely his Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Van der Graaf Generator side. Oh, please, don't get me wrong, his not aping them. In fact, he is a great songwriter and does mix well his influences in a way it only reminds you of those bands. And he does that very well, and mind you, it's not easy to emulate the intricated, complex and marvelous music of the aforementioned bands without sounding crap. He really captures the spirit of things, which is quite amazing. There are some real gems on this CD. While I still think Magenta is his greatest achivement (at least up to the Seven CD), The Fyreworks, as well as Cyan, shows that mr. Reed may be the single most important prog songwriter to appear in public eye in recent years. If you like prog music of the 70's or just good prog music in general, you'll like this CD very much. 3 and a half stars at least is my actual rating. It's more than just good.

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by dalt99

3 stars Neo-Progressive rock with a slight seventies vibe to it. Similar to Spock's Beard, IQ, Gentle Giant, VDGG, Pendragon, Jethro Tull and Marillion. Recommended to modern Neo-prog fans who like a hint of a '70s sound within. A few real gems on this CD.

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by Tonny Larz

4 stars Robert Reed (from Cyan) plays: the Keyboards /Guitars/vocals. Danny Chang plays the:Guitars /Percussion/Vocals. Those are the main guys...in this new approach called: Fyreworks!! Its a...ahem.. sort of mellow ....excuse of..say... CYAN. Surprise..surprise....how wrong can it be!?? All that said...this is a wonderfull piece of prog music!!! The themes are very laid down...the music relaxed. Vocals blended with keyboard sounds......arrangements so beautiful!! Now i know that (most of)my fellow collaborators hate ( soft prog) so callled Neo prog! But hey guys......dont you wanna stand up in your chair...and yell hooray!!!? When you hear something beautiful????? And this is exactly what it is:Beautiful prog music!!! This is prog music....flute/guitar/keyboards/bass and drum. Wonderfull..........lets get it together.....thank you an good night!! This is not only glimpse in the eye...its fyreworks in the mind!!

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 The Fyreworks by FYREWORKS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.99 | 22 ratings

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The Fyreworks
The Fyreworks Neo-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars I know of about one dozen neo proghead that told me this one was really special , so I listened to it twice and found your average typical neo that still does nothing for me. The yet-again, so-typical sounding neo-prog has struck again. Absolutely nothing worth writing home about, the album spin on to its end, effortlessly by also eventlessly, and either: you do not even noticed it has ended or you have fallen asleep. Worse in my case: all of the above is the suitable anwser.

But if this is recommended by almost every neo progheads I know, then it must be a good one in that genre. Definitely not original, IMHO.

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