Fire of Freedom

January 12, 1999 | Format: MP3

$7.99
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1:20
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4:08
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4:02
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6:19
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4:00
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6:26
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1:30
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4:47
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5:32
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4:29
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7:26
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7:28
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5:39

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 12, 1993
  • Release Date: March 12, 1993
  • Label: SBK
  • Copyright: (C) 1993 SBK Catalog
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:09:13
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000V88DEQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,932 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Black 47's best album by far.
Jim Reilly
Beyond all that I must add that when they sing of the sun rising over Fordham Road, it makes the heart of this expatriate Bronx boy rise in joy!
"devilzeye"
Absolutely awesome live recording of Irish hip-hop, and several other genres fused together, with brilliant lyrics by Seanchai.
Tim Bray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By m_noland on January 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Larry Kirwan writes theatrical music both literally and figuratively. Sometimes the epic nature of the music comes close to bombast, sometimes the drama veers toward melodramatic, and sometimes his melodic reach exceeds his vocal grasp.
But what songs.
My criterion for 5 stars is that every track has to be memorable. This disk nails it. One is tempted to go track by track to describe the music. As others have indicated, this is a band with disparate roots and influences; its central tendency sounds something like what might have happened if Springsteen grew up in Wexford listening to traditional Irish music instead of R&R and R&B. Like Springsteen at his best, not everything is pedal-to-the-metal; Black 47's music encompasses a range of subject matter and emotion, but with a perspective rooted in Kirwan's immigrant alienation and political interests. "Banks of the Hudson" is what might happen if a traditional murder ballad crashed into Manhattan complete with Geoff Blythe doing his best Clarence Clemmons imitation; "Funky Ceili" is a joyful celebration of dissoluteness; "James Connolly" an anthemic celebration of the Irish Marxist revolutionary; the quiet "Fanatic Heart" is both plaintive and chilling; and "Living in America" is the band's piece de resistance -- an evocation of the slights and hopes of immigrant men and women in America. Like I said it is tempting to review each track.
It would be easy to fall flat on your face trying to pull this off -- the politics degenerating into sloganeering, the passion into cheap sentimentality, and the music into some kind of ersatz folk hydrid.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Smith on January 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album is a little tougher than one might expect from a celtic band. While you can't divorce the celtic influence it is definitely supported by an American twist.
This cd is fun as in the exuberant "Funky Ceili" (a great song, great story, in neo-celtic style,) "40 Shades of Blue" or "Rockin' the Bronx". More often however there is an edgy darkness here whether in detailing Irish history ("James Connolly" or "Black 47") or in the contemporary ("Banks of the Hudson"). Don't expect the Irish Tenors here or even the Chieftains. The beauty of those artists aren't here (although the artistry is). This is more thought-provoking, more raw, more contemporary (lyrically and vocally).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tim Bray on March 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the decade's best albums. Every track is memorable, though "James Connolly" and "Fire of Freedom" are the ones that stick with me long after the music stops. This is Black 47 at the top of their game (or at least as good as they get in the studio: Nothing beats them live). A mixture of straight-on rock 'n' roll, with Celtic flavors on some tracks, and reggae beats or hip-hop thrown in occasionally. The musicianship here is incredible at times; the horn section blends with the pipes for some truly inspired sounds.
Look for a CD put out in 1995, called "Keep it Reel," with Seanchai (Chris Byrne from Black 47), Eileen Ivers, and Pat McGuire. Absolutely awesome live recording of Irish hip-hop, and several other genres fused together, with brilliant lyrics by Seanchai. Hard to find.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dan houlihan on December 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bought this CD in 1995 on recommendation from a fellow Pogues fan, but anyone trying to make a comparison to the Pogues is sadly mistaken. these boys are making Irish rock in America, giving their stuff an entirely different feel and heft.
There are a few people i've played this for who haven't appreciated it as much as me, but they tended to be much older and half-deaf like my poor old Da ("I can't hear a damn word, it's all just noise") who, for all his love of irish rebel songs, can't appreciate an electric guitar.
This CD and the followup Fire of Freedom are about the best to come out of the 1990's. Buy it - you won't be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stan Walker on June 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Fire of Freedom, the first Black 47 album is definitely the best. All the groups best songs are on this album: Maria's Wedding, Funky Ceili, James Connolly, and Livin' in America. Livin' in America is one of the most emotional songs I've ever heard.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim Reilly on December 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Black 47's best album by far. This is one of the decade's best albums. From the light romp Funky Ceili to the heavy melancholic sax solo in Sleep Tight in New York City/Her Dear Old Donegal the album takes the listener on a very enjoyable ride. I hope you enjoy the Irish flavor of Fire of Freedom as much as I have. "In the Blarney Stone, I drank a gallon of foam till I'm feelin half myself again.." Cheers!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on September 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
All of Black 47's albums have their strong points, but Fire of Freedom has nothing but strong points. There aren't very many albums I've heard by any artist that sound terrific on the very first listen and stay that way for good. But this is one - from the day I bought it in 1993 (on cassette - remember those?!), every song was catchy and memorable in its own way then and still is now.

If I had to settle on one genre for Black 47, "Irish rock" would have to do. But that's a massive oversimplification, and these guys sound absolutely nothing like U2 or The Pogues. What do they sound like? A mishmash of funk, folk, punk, hip-hop, soul, reggae and straight up rock and roll that almost had to be either horrible or wonderful. Luckily for us, it's the latter. The band's unabashedly militant politics turn up in several of the songs, notably "James Connolly," the title track, and the rather enigmatic "Fanatic Heart." They're also not above co-opting old ballads with new words of their own in "40 Shades of Blue" and "Livin' In America" (set to supercharged arrangements of "Down By The Sally Gardens" and "The Foggy Dew" respectively); folk purists might not like these too much, but they're among my favorites. Most of the others are slice-of-life tales of the modern immigrant experience in various corners of New York, ranging from tragic to hilarious.

Nothing beats seeing these guys live, but this CD is a close runner-up to that.
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