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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The fire rages again in this two CD collection from this premier band of Brit new wave. All three of their CBS albums are on these CDs: Laser Love, 80-F, and No Batteries Required. Most of these songs never reached America, despite ATF's touring with ELO, Van Halen and Queen. The only LP record released in the states was called ATF: After the Fire, and featured the beautiful spectrum design by Roslav Szaybo that in Britain adorned the cover of No Batteries Required. The song line-ups, however, were not the same. The record was retitled "Der Kommissar" to tie in with ATF's hit version of Falco's song. ATF released the first English language version of this song, which proved so popular that at one time seven different versions played on the radio.

The CD releases are even more confusing. The original American record of ATF: After the Fire is nearly perfect, but it hasn't been released on CD. There is a single CD from Collectables with nearly the same song line-up retitled "Der Kommissar," but some of the songs have been replaced with disco or juke box versions (in my opinion, the album version of 'Dancing in the Shadows' is a lot better than the version here). This CD has the same Szaybo cover art and includes as extra songs a dub version of 'Der Kommissar' and the single 'Joy."

Another CD is available from from Rewind called ATF: After the Fire: Der Kommissar which features the spy silhouette graphics that originally appeared on the 12" Specially Extended Remixed record single of 'Der Kommissar' (the disco version) along with 'Nobody Else But You.' The Rewind CD collects 13 tracks from ATF's three CBS albums.

Thus, this double CD set is the best deal, as it includes all three of these albums, along with ten bonus tracks. You also get lyrics and brief liner notes. Under the CDs is a photo showing ten sleeves from the singles, including the spy silhouette cover and the inventive sleeve for the laser love single. The record was transparent orange vinyl, and the sleeve cut out so as to show the laser slicing through the band. That typifies the inventiveness of this great band (now reformed in a new line-up as ATF 2). Thanks to this relaunch on CD, those of us in the colonies who somehow missed the Brit new wave invasion can now catch the fire.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2005
Dancing in the Shadows was wrecked on the previous compilation. This two disc set is the real deal (a couple songs on the first album were shortened to fit everything on two discs).

The first album is not as good as the other two - they got better as time went on. The last album is great! (The outtake "bonus tracks" are welcome but most are not that good.)

If all you've heard is the American releases you are missing more than half of the great songs they put out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2005
It's been a frustration to me that for 20 years the only CDs of ATF stuff that have been available were the not very good American compilations with some of the later remakes on them. Now the whole story! All the CBS material plus a few B sides and live tracks thrown in for good measure. I was always a fan of Laser Love so having that album in full brings back some memories for me. The band were at their peak when I was a university student so a lot of this material brings back memories of travelling around the UK and going to gigs.

Listening to this and thinking about what the music scene was like back then, there is no doubt that ATF had a unique synth driven sound and knew how to rock when it suited them. As for favourites? Apart from singles like One Rule For You, Der Kommissar and Rich Boys, I love Billy Billy, Take Me Higher and Who's Gonna Love You?.

For Americans who only know the band because of the hit single Der Kommissar, you have to check this out and get the full story. And if you threw a bottle at them when they toured with Van Halen, here's a chance for you to see what you missed! talking of Van Halen, is it a coincidence that Eddie Van Halen composed the synth driven Jump after having After The Fire open for them? I don't think so. But don't let me sway you, listen to this excellent track packed double CD set and discover one of the most remarkable British rock bands of the late seventies/early eighties.

Only one quibble...why another compilation called Der Kommissar? don't be confused! Buy this double disc collection not the single disc namesakes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2005
An amazing compilation bearing in mind that Edsel had access to the Sony/CBS masters. They did, however, listen to the fans & Pete Banks when putting the package together.

To clear up the "Dancing in the Shadows" question, the US release was not recorded by the band (neither was the US "One Rule"), only the Andy Piercy to follow up "Der Kommissar". For this reason it was decided to only release the original tracks.

New recordings from the reformed ATF this year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2005
These are all the original recordings from this 80's icon. It says 33 songs, when the CD came it was 43 songs over 2 discs! The sound is great, took me straight back to the mid 80's. There were a lot of complaints about re-makes on the various greatest hits collections that were out there, this should clear up all of that!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
Back in the day ATF were quite a pop band. Slightly above average but not
with the superstars..In 1979 or 1980 an aquaintance of mine who owned a
record store in England, UK. decided to co-promote ATF, along with yours
truly for the good of all, but especially for his children.[All ATF nuts]

The concert was held at a small venue, a theatre in fact and it seemed
to go well. ATF invited everyone to get closer to the action on stage.
The concert lasted about an hour..and then we all went home. I was a
student at one of the Universities in town, and never received a penny
for my co-promotion efforts. Hence the term "starving students."

However it was wonderful fun and ATF were just fine. In tune, slick and
user friendly. I later booked Jonathan Richman for the same theatre,but
bowed out of the promotion game shortly afterwards. I guess getting a
degree would be more important. For whatever reason I decided to spend
the best part of $30 for memories on this ATF CD. Was I crazy??

In some ways YES! The sound quality is definetly outdated. Lots of synths
and echo, reverb to back it up. Pure analog mastering of course...it
takes you back in time. Which of just is fabulous, as they said back
in the Hoo Ha British days of progressive music. ATF will have top
shelf in my estimation. How about sneaking a preview here on Amazon??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 21, 2009
I remember buying "Laser Love" on vinyl back in 1979...it was great to have music by a 'christian' band that also had the new wave/ synth rock sound that I was into at the time. Everything about that first record screamed "hit" - alas, it was not to be. The next album "80-F" I bought on cassette and that travelled with me in my car on headphones and became one of the most listenable and enjoyable releases in my collection. Yet, however commercial success eluded them. By the early eighties I'm living in the U.S. checking out hit radio and MTV when all of a sudden "Der Kommisar" invades the airwaves...and After the Fire has a bona-fide world wide hit.
Of course, prior to this they had released "Batteries Not Included" which in retrospect is an extremely fine album indeed.
In this CD collection you get all this and much more - all three CBS albums plus assorted b-sides and live tracks. The music might sound a little dated ( or just call it 'retro') nevertheless, the tracks still crackle with life and there has never been any band since that has rocked with such a unique style and relevant message. I bought this new at a great deal and have thoroughly enjoyed reliving part of my youth. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2013
Although far better known for their cover of Das Kommissar than any other work, 80's new wave band ATF was a very solid, if short lived, producer of synth driven rock. This is the best compilation of their work available on CD, a format where they have sometimes been tough to find, especially in the US. My pirated cassette of their best known album, ATF has long ago gone the way of all cheap plastic, but this set brings back all my favorite tracks from that album and plenty of new (to me) stuff, all of which is pretty darn good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2008
ATF was my favorite band from late 1982 to mid 1983, being replaced by another Christian-secular cross-over band from across the Atlantic - U2. This is a must-buy for any fan and is a very good deal. If all you know is Der Kommissar, you're in for a treat. There are a lot of catchy songs which I believe are much better. Just be prepared for some cheesy 80's synths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2005
The short-lived ATF band was an inspiration to others in more ways than one. Its leader, "Memory" Banks, brought a tremendous technical knowhow into a group which was funky and electronic. Like Jan Hammer and Josef Zawinul, Banks shines in moments when the electronics transcend the medium, and express a classic sound.

Recommended highly.
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