CITY BOY – The Day The Earth Caught Fire [digitally remastered] (2016)
Finally I replaced my worn vinyl LP of CITY BOY‘s “The Day The Earth Caught Fire” with this just released, excellent digitally remastered reissue by UK label Talking Elephant.
City Boy is a criminally underrated band ahead of its time, that didn’t win a lasting legacy of acclaim which largely deserved.
City Boy scored two moderate single hits in England with their previous albums, characterized by melodic vocal arrangements and catchy guitar riffs.
But for “The Day The Earth Caught Fire”, the band decided to move back to their more progressive hard rock origins, yet doing so in a bombastic manner.
With awesome producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange (Def Leppard) conducting (and co-writing / playing some instruments) plus super talented Mike Slamer (Seventh Key) in the line up, City Boy recorded in “The Day The Earth Caught Fire” their finest opus, as said, ahead of its time.
The tracks are all thematically linked creating a concept album that prophesies disaster that our world is coming to. It might be considered a bit too much to ask for the audiences living in the era of oil crises and New Wave to comprehend the hardship that the band dealt with in order to pursue this artistic vision.
The success of the previous release just didn’t catch on and it’s truly a great pity considering how good this material is.
Musically, it blends a fantastic mix of pompous rock with hard rocking riffs and complex vocal arrangements, all meticulously arranged with clinical precision.
“The Day The Earth Caught Fire” is chock full of dramatic tunes driven by big riffs, clanky pianos, smooth synths and elaborated harmonies.
This is definitely slick music with commercial appeal, but it is also interesting enough and has enough good musicianship to hold the attention of demanding listeners. Fans of Styx, Boston, Kansas and Queen will be interested in the 12-minute ‘Ambition’ (divided into 4 different tracks), which features some orchestration for extra pomposity.
“The Day The Earth Caught Fire” is one of those albums still remaining unheard by many people, a shame because not only it’s the best City Boy album, but also one of the finest Pomp / ligtht prog / AOR albums recorded in England during the glory days of true Rock music.
I love this fresh digital remastering, clean and balanced.
A Cult Classic
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01. The Day The Earth Caught Fire
02. It’s Only The End Of The World
03. Interrupted Melody
04. Modern Love Affairs
05. New York Times
06. Up In The Eighties
09. Me And My Tarot
10. Rev-On (The Crunch)
11. The End (Came Easy)
Lol Mason / lead vocals
Steve Broughton / guitar, backing vocals
Chris Dunn / bass, acoustic guitar
Mike Slamer / acoustic & electric guitars
Max Thomas / keyboards
Roy Ward / drums, backing vocals
Tim Friese Greene / synthesizers
Derek King / percussion
Huey Lewis / harmonica
Kentall Tubbs / bass, percusion
Robert John Mutt Lange / bass, production
BUY IT !