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Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom

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Fire Merchants biography
Formed by guitarist John Goodsall (BABYLON, BRAND X, SANDOZ) and drummer Chester Thompson (ZAPPA, WEATHER REPORT, GENESIS) who recruited bassist/percussionist Doug Lunn for a first album, FIRE MERCHANTS combine the Goodsall/Thompson fire power with a metallic edge. The guys make a lot of noise, do some fantastic playing and have exciting grooves. Imagine a more aggressive and electric version of BRAND X and you'll have an idea of what they sound like.

They have released two rock fusion albums todate, a self-titled LP in 1986 (whose CD version contains an extra track) and a CD in 1996. The first (self-titled) consists of electric guitar improvisations with intense riffs and rhythms where Goodsall deftly shows off his pyrotechnics while Lunn and Thomson put down workman-like performances, getting the occasional spotlight along the way. This is an excellent album for those who enjoy electric guitar in a fairly heavy jazz-rock context. Their second album, "Lanlords of Atlantis", is still fusion but leans even more on the prog-metal side. It is solid enough for fans of Goodsall's axe-work, in fact for the most diehard proggy axe-heads. This is MAHAVISHNU's "Birds of Fire" meets DREAM THEATER. It smokes!

If the idea of "fusion meets metal" turns you on, then you're in for a sizzler with those FIRE MERCHANTS.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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FIRE MERCHANTS Videos (YouTube and more)

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Fire MerchantsFire Merchants
Medusa 2013
$10.98 (used)
United States Dist 2015
Audio CD$14.14
$14.13 (used)
Landlords of AtlantisLandlords of Atlantis
Renaissance -- D.E.I. -- 1994
Audio CD$65.45
$22.28 (used)
Landlords of Atlantis By Fire Merchants (1994-06-22)Landlords of Atlantis By Fire Merchants (1994-06-22)
Audio CD$105.42
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Fire Merchants - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $25.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Fire Merchants 1993 - Brand X's John Goodsall NEW SEALED CD Medusa 772354 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Fire Merchants Landlords of Atlantis 1994 NEW SEALED CD Renaissance RCD1007 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 5 days
NEW Fire Merchants (Vinyl) USD $26.49 Buy It Now 5 days
Fire Merchants Fire Merchants vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $35.62 Buy It Now 8 days
Fire Merchants - Fire Merchants [New Vinyl LP] USD $16.06 Buy It Now 9 days
Fire Merchants - Fire Merchants [New Vinyl LP] USD $13.91 Buy It Now 9 days
FIRE MERCHANTS - "Self Titled" CD LONG BOX ONLY (NO CD) - 1989 ORIG US - SHRINK USD $14.88 Buy It Now 9 days
FIRE MERCHANTS s/t CD JAPAN 1ST PRESS PCCY-00068 1989 11 tracks s1267 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 11 days
FIRE MERCHANTS - Landlords Of Atlantis - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $99.95 Buy It Now 14 days
FIRE MERCHANTS: Fire Merchants LP (title toc, v. sl cw, corner bends/creases) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 20 days
Landlords of Atlantis * by Fire Merchants (CD, May-2015, Gonzo Distribution... USD $11.36 Buy It Now 22 days
Fire Merchants Self Titled CASSETTE New & Sealed 1989 Medusa Records USD $6.79 Buy It Now 23 days
Fire Merchants - Fire Merchants Import (Vinyl Used Like New) USD $11.90 Buy It Now 24 days
Fire Merchants by Fire Merchants (Vinyl, Mar-2013) USD $17.04 Buy It Now 25 days
FIRE MERCHANTS "Landlords of Atlantis" RARE 1994 Fusion CD Brand X Mahavishnu USD $49.99 Buy It Now 26 days
FIRE MERCHANTS PCCY-00068 CD JAPAN 1990 USD $44.64 Buy It Now 29 days

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FIRE MERCHANTS discography

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FIRE MERCHANTS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 9 ratings
Fire Merchants
3.49 | 11 ratings
Landlords of Atlantis

FIRE MERCHANTS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FIRE MERCHANTS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FIRE MERCHANTS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FIRE MERCHANTS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fire Merchants by FIRE MERCHANTS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.37 | 9 ratings

Fire Merchants
Fire Merchants Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What a great name for a band! And these guys do bring the heat(haha). This is a power trio with John Goodsall(BRAND X) on guitar and synth-guitar, Chester Thompson(Frank Zappa, WEATHER REPORT & GENESIS) on drums and Doug Lunn on bass. Franz Pusch produced and engineered this album and he also adds synths and samples. The music is quite heavy and noisy with a Jazz flavour at times and it's all instrumental. It was also released in 1989 a bleak time for our type of music.

"Saladin" is a great opener as they don't pull any punches here to start but then it settles into a powerful groove with the guitar soloing over top. It's fairly repetitive but I really like this opening number. "Hamsterdam" is another funny song title. This one is fairly heavy as well and I like when the guitar comes in at 30 seconds with some interesting expressions that will come and go. A good track. "Conflagration" is one I'm not that into mainly due to that swinging jazz melody that will come and go. I do appreciate the contrasting section that starts before 1 1/2 minutes with the guitar solo that lasts for some time. A nice bass solo follows after 2 1/2 minutes then that swinging melody returns. "Tunnel Vision" is a jazzy tune that does little for me especially the guitar led melody that comes and goes. Some killer bass though at times. An interesting section beginning before 1 1/2 minutes where all three guys impress me big time. So good! And it lasts until after 3 minutes when that guitar melody returns that I'm not fond of.

"Last Rhino" is the first and last(not counting the bonus track) song that is quite mellow. It does turn fuller before 1 1/2 minutes but contrasts will continue. "Divisions" reminds me of an earlier track. I do like the guitar before 2 minutes as it's strummed a couple of times then back to just soloing away as the drums and bass support. Contrasts continue. "Ignition" is the first song to feature some atmosphere then the guitar kicks in sounding different tone-wise. A heavy bass/ drum groove starts before a minute then the guitar solos. Catchy stuff. "Cancel The Album" is more like it as we get some challenging music that borders on experimental but the song is only a minute long sadly. "Nevele" starts out powerfully and we get synths here as well. The guitar joins in quickly but then it settles as we get some excellent sounding bass before 2 1/2 minutes then back to the guitar led melody. "Z 104" features some in your face bass early on as the drums pound. Catchy stuff with some killer guitar over top.

I do like this album but some of the jazzier sections do little for me. I feel like I should like this more but it's just not connecting with me for some reason.

 Landlords of Atlantis  by FIRE MERCHANTS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.49 | 11 ratings

Landlords of Atlantis
Fire Merchants Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dick Heath
Special Collaborator Jazz-Rock Specialist

3 stars 3.8stars

A number of details about this band and album are wrong here. The album was released in 1992. A date clear in my mind, since I was asked by the president of Renaissance Records in San Diego, what I thought of the album for a possible European release. And quite clearly with two thirds of the band for both recordings being American, and John Goodsall exiling himself on the West Coast, this is an American band. Indeed neither of Firemerchants' albums got UK release. And for recording purposes Goodsall renamed the Firemerchants, Brand X West (e.g. for one of those King Crimson tribute albums), when BX's remaining members were arguing the toss over ownership of the name - Percy Jones had Brand X East in NYC, which effectively became Tunnels (and Goodsall is known to guest).

I've also called this an early example of metal jazz fusion (Shaun Baxter's Jazz Metal being released about the same time), and what I heard on several tracks had me going further coining the term 'grunge jazz rock' (1992 was around the height of grunge). Landlords of Atlantis stuck me as a jazz rock album that had quite a bit new and dynamic about it. But it needed a sympathetic producer to provide vigorous advice on its contents. The title track is wonderful for the first 2minutes 30seconds (or there abouts), but Goodsall has the bit between his teeeth and noodles on for double that length of time: a classic example of less is more. I'm told the record company thought this track was self-indulgent - there is an explanation but I daren't repeat it here. The best complete tracks are 9 28 91, Sybil (my favourite on which Goodsall on guitar and Midi travels seamlessly through several forms of heavy rock), Flamekeeper, (And Again) Hamsterdam (a rerun from the first album) and Thing 15. The remaining tracks are far from bad but the ones I like are so much better and have been played on a regular basis since 1992 - the title track with it s sampled US marine corp trailing song, English church bells, always gets play for 2.30!

A good jazz rock album of powerful playing but inconsistent - and way better than the first album.

 Fire Merchants by FIRE MERCHANTS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.37 | 9 ratings

Fire Merchants
Fire Merchants Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by jjjlllvr

4 stars This is a great album from Fire Merchants,swinging,but your content is very hard rock way and explore fusion and jazz-rock too,made for great musicians that did work with Brand X,Zappa and are showing your skills on this album.But have melody too.I agree about your tunes been a little bit more accessible but this don't take your worth.Listen it but more deeply. Lungs.
 Landlords of Atlantis  by FIRE MERCHANTS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.49 | 11 ratings

Landlords of Atlantis
Fire Merchants Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by MSB

4 stars This album is a forgotten gem: With a brilliant opening track.You can listen to it alot and it gets better every time. It's all instrumental and goes through all the colours of music.The tracks have depth - room to breathe . Great climaxes & some great shred - unique & original. Amazing tones from John !!
 Fire Merchants by FIRE MERCHANTS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.37 | 9 ratings

Fire Merchants
Fire Merchants Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by rogerhouston2000

3 stars This, their 1st release, is of interest only in it's forshadowing of 1994's "Landlords Of Atlantis" which is a truely spectacular and important document of this great but overlooked band. Whereas "Lordlords" ripples with excitement and energy from top to bottom, this CD is curiously flat. There are some novel compositions here(Hamsterdam/Nevele/Z104/etc) but ths performances don't live up to the promise that this band(with a different drummer, Toss Panos) later fulfilled. Do yourself a favor and track down the real deal...
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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