Monday, July 9, 2018

"After the Fire" by Roger Daltrey

Song#:  2459
Date:  09/14/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  48
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Daltrey's first solo album following the break-up of The Who, Parting Should Be Painless, ended up being a disappointment. With only one minor charting single, the #62 "Walking in My Sleep," the LP tanked and couldn't even reach the Top 100. For his next effort, Daltrey set out to make the album he's always wanted to make, Under a Raging Moon. Along the way he got assistance from other musicians like members of Big Country, Bryan Adams, Russ Ballard, John Parr, and even his old bandmate Pete Townshend, who wrote this lead-off single. The song took off on Rock radio and it got to #3 - his biggest solo hit on that chart. The associated video was also well-received on MTV. The tune debuted low on the Pop chart and began a slow climb. It looked like it might get inside the Top 40, but it ended up stalling short of that mark. Still, the song's popularity at Rock and on MTV helped sell the album. It got to #42, which was far better than his previous album.

ReduxReview:  I've always thought this was a great anthem. I loved the production, especially the drums, and Daltrey sounds energized and engaged. I thought this was going to be a solid hit for Daltrey, even a Top 10 contender, yet it stalled mid-chart for some reason. At least it was embraced by Rock. I still think it's a terrific track and probably one of the most radio-friendly songs Pete Townshend had written around this time period. Apparently, Townshend gave the song to Daltrey to record and then The Who were going to perform it at Live Aid, which certainly would have helped promote the song. Unfortunately, schedules and such didn't allow the band to get the song properly rehearsed and they didn't play it at the event. That's a shame as it would have been a great addition to their set. It's also most likely the only song to name drop actors Matt Dillon and Dom DeLuise.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The album's title song "Under a Raging Moon" was written as a tribute to The Who's former drummer, Keith Moon, who had died in 1978. The song was written by John Parr and Julia Downes. Parr's manager had worked with The Who for many years and had told Parr numerous stories about Moon. Those stories came in handy when writing the song. Moon was The Who's drummer and as an added tribute to him, several famous drummers stepped in to play on the song. Each drummer played a certain section of the song. The running order of drummers that are heard on the song are: Martin Chambers (The Pretenders), Roger Taylor (Queen), Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck Group), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country). Brzezicki also played drums on "After the Fire." On that song, two of his Big Country bandmates, Tony Butler and Bruce Watson, also lend a hand.


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