Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


After The Fire

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

After The Fire Der Kommissar album cover
2.95 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Der Kommissar (4:07)
2. Who's Gonna Love You? (4:05)
3. Frozen River (3:36)
4. Joy (3:17)
5. Dancing In The Shadows (3:02)
6. Billy Billy (4:40)
7. 1980-f (2:32)
8. Rich Boys (3:02)
9. Starflight (4:13)
10. Laser Love (3:28)
11. Love Will Always Make You Cry (3:30)
12. One Rule For You (3:24)
13. Sailing Ship (3:57)

Total time - 46:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Banks / keyboards, backing vocals
- Andy Piercy / bass guitar, lead vocals
- John Russell / guitar, backing vocals
- Ivor Twidell / drums
- Nick Brotherwood / Drums
- Pete King / Drums

Releases information

CBS 25227 (LP)

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy AFTER THE FIRE Der Kommissar Music

AFTER THE FIRE Der Kommissar ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (75%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (25%)

AFTER THE FIRE Der Kommissar reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars From prog to punk

"Der Kommissar" has all the appearance of a bona fide studio release, but it is in fact a compilation drawing tracks from three ATF albums, "Laser love", "80-F" and "Batteries not included". Because it contains what are considered to be the best tracks from these three albums, it sold well, becoming the band's most successful album. There are two slightly different versions of the album, depending which side of the Atlantic you are on (in North America it was simply called "ATF"), and there is also a much larger CD box set with a similar title. Unfortunately, the collection does not include anything from the band's first album, which constituted their only genuine link with prog.

This album takes its title from the final single released by the band, a cover of a song by Falco which was a hit for both bands. While all of the songs except the title track appeared on the three albums mentioned, some of the versions here are re-recordings or alternative versions from the same sessions. Given that the recording of the first album (of the three mentioned above) alone involved 5 different producers, and that the second was remade after rejection by the record label, this leaves some scope for variations.

Thus, what we have here is a collection of 13 new wave and punk pop style tracks which at the time were credibly contemporary, indeed since they predate much of the similar type of music released in the 1980's, they could be regarded as progressive with a definite small p.

In an obvious but understandable marketing ploy, the non-album single "Der Kommissar" is placed right up front on the album. The song reflects the new wave of the late 70's early 80's purveyed by bands such as Talking Heads, and the melodic punk of other bands like the Boomtown Rats. Thereafter, the tracks from the three albums are mixed together to form a more satisfactory set. Only three tracks from "Laser love" are included, but they do include the appealing instrumental "Joy" and another hit song" One rule for you". "80-F" on the other hand donates no fewer than 5 songs.

To be clear, this album appears on this site due to the band recording one album which contained prog tenets. There is no direct relationship between the two albums in musical terms though. Those seeking prog need not detain themselves here.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Although Der Kommissar is technically a compilation album, it was marked to US consumers as After the Fire's stateside debut album. The lead single, a cover of Falco's "Der Kommissar," hit #5 in the US. The follow-up, "Dancing in the Shadows," stalled at #85. The album itself made a respectable #25 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. But the band had broken up and that was that.

As has been discussed at length, After the Fire began as a Christian prog-rock band, but when that didn't work out, headed for AOR territory in the late 1970s. In their native UK, they had three hit singles, the most successful hitting #40, and three LPs which peaked in the second division of the top 100.

Falco's German-language "Der Kommissar" was a worldwide smash, hitting #1 in Japan and five European countries. It was successful in many other territories, including Australia (#7) and Canada (#11). In the US it was a minor pop hit, although it received a fair amount of airplay on modern-rock stations and hit #10 on Billboard's disco club-play chart. At some point, it appears, the race was on to put together an English-language version. After the Fire's Andy Piercy wrote new lyrics and the band recorded it, beating Laura Branigan to the punch, so to speak.

Beyond the hit single, Der Kommissar is surprisingly good. The other twelve songs are written by the band (nearly all are credited to bassist-guitarist Piercy and keyboardist Peter "Memory" Banks) and most have an early new-wave, skinny-tie sound. Although the group was based in London, there's no hint of the impending Second British Invasion of Culture Club, Eurythmics, Human League, and so on. In fact, After the Fire sounds just as American as British, reminding me of power-pop groups like Cheap Trick, the Romantics, and the Knack, as well as the (Australian) Men at Work.

Along with the title track, the strongest tunes here are "Dancing in the Shadows," "Billy Billy," and "Love Will Always Make You Cry," while "Sailing Ship," "Laser Love," and the two instrumental cuts ("1980-F" and "Joy") are b-side material. There are no clunkers here, although CBS had three UK albums from which to select material to compliment "Der Kommissar."

If you aren't fond of 1980s pop-rock music, don't turn around; stay far away from Der Kommissar. But if you are, and have already heard everything on the beaten path, give it a try.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of AFTER THE FIRE "Der Kommissar"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.