on August 16, 2006
Every summer night at 9PM, the firefall was tossed over the huge cliff at Glacier Point, in a certain National Park in California. But, the last summer they did this was 1969... but somebody in this band must have seen it because they named this great group after that event.
"Elan" was the third release by Firefall and by this time they were on AM Radio with the hits "You Are The Woman", "Cinderella" & "Just Remember I Love You". FM Radio found them cool enough with "So Long" & "Mexico".
The band always had an ying / yang thing goin' on between the Ballads of Rick Roberts that earned them big sales and radio airplay and the harder rocking edge of the songs of Larry Burnett that recieved more critical aclaim and audience approval.
The big hit here is "Strange Way" that reached #11 on the pop charts and the band was riding high with all the excess that was afforded a 70's Rock Band. "Elan" was this band's most sucessful project and went platinum.
Along with "Strange Way" , Rick does his ballad thing on "Count Your Blessings", "Anymore","Goodbye I Love You" & "Sweet Ann", he teams with Jock Bartley to write "Sweet and Sour" which "surprise" became another hit single.
Larry Burnett has his moments here with "Wrong Side of Town","Get You Back", and does his own ballad with "Baby".
"Winds of Change" is a Bluesy Rock Song written by Rick but sung by Larry and it is the final song from the original record. But on this Re-issue there are three "Bonus" tracks that were recorded for "Elan" but space limitations kept them unreleased all these years. "Headed For A Fall" is here in a sparse acoustic arrangement and this one had a major overhaul before it's offical release on the LP " Undertow". The other two are from Larry and they are good, the bluesy "New Man" and the edgy tale of an assassin "Sharpshootin' at the Senator" that caused a riff with their Record Company who would not release it.
"Elan" along with "Luna Sea" are the best works from this great band and in a couple of years things would start to fall apart but right here Firefall was indeed on top of their game and producing great work... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
on August 27, 2012
I've loved this band since their first album, and Elan continues providing great harmonies and solid musicianship. Yes it's been labeled country rock, and some may deride their style, but these guys can sing. Most of the vocals alternate from Rick Roberts to Larry Burnett and, unlike many bands with only one notable lead singer, this band has two amazing talents that do not disappoint. Buy it.
on December 5, 2004
I'm a huge fan of this band as can be seen by my brief reviews of their work, but great songs, close harmonies and quality instrumental work will do it for me every time. Strange Way, Sweet and Sour and Goodbye, I Love You, are three of the best tracks, and once again if you find the Rhino re-issue, you get three bonus tracks and some insightful liner notes.
I have a special fondness for ELAN. Way back in December of 1978, I was driving cross country from a misadventure in California to my home in Southwestern Virginia, and Firefall's cassette accompanied me. 30+ years later, I still enjoy it immensely.
This Rhino edition has detailed liner notes about the dissension in the band, based on the band's direction and the feuding between Rick Roberts and Larry Burnett. To me, Roberts was always THE voice of Firefall, but I enjoyed all the group's repertoire.
ELAN is Firefall's most successful album, and the only one to be certified platinum. Three bonus tracks were added to the original selections, providing a good representation of the band's distinctive sound.
STRANGE WAY, the album's biggest hit, is one of FF's best efforts--its somber bass foundation, the cascading strings and that great flute outro are marvelous components of a perfectly crafted song. I also like the desperate pleading of GOODBYE I LOVE YOU; the tropical ambience of SWEET ANN; the pseudo-funkiness of ANYMORE; the bluesy grit of WRONG SIDE OF TOWN; the playfulness of SWEET AND SOUR; and the folkish acoustic version of HEADED FOR A FALL which headed to a fuller, rockier version on their subsequent UNDERTOW album.
In light of all the band's inner turmoil, its to their credit, an album as good as ELAN was made. Two more gems (UNDERTOW and CLOUDS ACROSS THE SUN) were on their way before the band's ultimate demise. A re-formed Firefall would yield disappointing efforts such as MESSENGER and BREAK OF DAWN,