Customer Reviews: Fire on Ice
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Before today I hadn't a clue who Terry Callier was.I was listening to an album my father had purchased today by him and this was the one-and this is proof how,in the right hands how superb a first impression can be.On 1978's 'Fire & Ice" Callier employs the talents of Eddie Harris,Phil Upchurch and Minnie Ripperton for an arresting,intense mixture of acoustic guitar with firey soul and funk-rock.The biting "Street Fever" with it's powerfully rocking,slamming chords is a visceral commentary on the plight of the cities dislocated.On the Philly soul inspired "Disco In The Sky" Callier speculates on where rock stars will go after death.The most potent song is the soulful,poetic "African Violet",in which Callier encourages the black community to continue it's struggle for acceptance in society,despite past faliers and resentments.

During the disco era in which 'Fire & Ice' was released,politically inclined message songs were hardly in vogue.Nore was it always smart for a black 60's folk-rocker like

Callier to start playing Gil Scott Heron by integrating funky rhythms and R&B arrangements into his sound.But he did and with the right people he did it extremely well.This sound continued for at least one more album I noticed but for those who know Callier only for his earlier career I suggest you give this a listen.For those who enjoy protest R&B and funk with great songwriting and arrangements this will be right up your alley!
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on February 16, 2012
If you know Terry Callier's work, you're part of a privileged all too few. His two early 1970's albums, Occasional Rain and What Color Is Love were soul-folk masterpieces; layered orchestral landmarks with Callier's amazingly warm, evocative husky voice. If Cat Steven's were black. he would have sounded like Callier, and been a much better singer than he already was,

Callier, inexplicably, never really caught on in his era, but DJ's collected his albums, and the critic's canned phrase of "small but rabid following" was really the truth in Callier's case. He ended up working with artists like Massive Attack and Beth Orton--people who collected all the right records and then hit the big time

In between the two eras he made this album, Fire And Ice in the later '70s. As disco and soul were taking over radio, Callier's idiosyncratic soul folk must have seemed out of date. He thus made this album with female singers, using more conventional soul. Much of this is very good, as Callier continued to layer his music, dealing with spiritual themes. (Listen to the track here about Martin Luther King.)

Callier's voice here is as earnest as ever, and had I not heard is early work, I would probably give this album a higher rating. Callier moved musically, to a place that worked for him on Fire And Ice, and if you are ready for a thoughtful soul album by a talented vocalist, this is just the prescription.

Just don't go here expected the novelty of his early work, and don't neglect his two aforementioned masterpieces if you happen to start with Fire And Ice
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on January 24, 2002
..By those who now OVERAPPRECIATE him !
WOW, I am always interested in the subjectivities and objectivities in people's "opinions". Terry Callier,so long overdue for some solid "recognition" has been "discovered" in Europe during the early 90's. His old Cadet recordings are now being LAVISHED over as mini-masterpieces ,rightfully so!
For some reason, the 2 Elektra recordings seem to be ignored, the main criticism is that they are "overproduced".
We are dealing in irony now, as Elektra was only trying to do what has finally been accomplished--to get the great Terry Callier compositions some recognition(read-SELL COPIES, hehehe).
The cd features the usual Chicago session musicians, and of course, there is more lavish instrumentation/orchestration on the tracks..
"Holdin On" is re-recorded (originally on the cd "Turn You To Love"),with an eye towards the "R&B" market, and it is STILL a wonderful song! On the flip side, the pandering "Disco in the Sky" is not a terrible cut, but the disco groove on the chorus IS a bit annoying.
All the tracks have the dreamy, image laden TC jazz/folk doowop sound, save only one COMPLETE DOG track-"Street Fever". This track is a totally inappropriate "riff-rock" travesty,I dont know what they were thinking.........
"African Violet" hints at the sounds of the lament of the griots, and "Butterfly" a whimsical jazz/ballad.
I disagree with the "criticisms" of this recording, it isnt overproduced, it is just a different approach to presenting the musics of this fine , expressive singer, a composer of beautiful and heartfelt songs.
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on January 31, 2008
this is a powerful cd. i don't think there's a bad track on it. it's groovy, but there's real anguish in it too. african violet blew me away, but the lighter cuts had a raw, on-the-street kind of beauty that appealed as well. new depth for me on the soul spectrum.
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on September 28, 2014
so nice! excellent service
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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