Saturday, September 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-After The Fire

Artist:After The Fire
Song:Der Kommissar
Album:Der Kommissar

I'm sure most music fans remember the 1982 top five hit Der Kommissar released at the height of the new wave boom. But you probably don't know anything about After The Fire who split up before Der Kommissar was a hit. ATF were from London, England led by keyboard player Peter Banks. He is not to be confused with Yes founding guitarist Peter Banks. In fact, ATF's Peter Banks renamed himself Peter Memory Banks to avoid the confusion. By 1978, the rest of ATF was singer and guitarist Andy Piercy, bassist Nick Battle and drummer Ivor Twiddell. They released a 1978 album that was progressive rock similar to Genesis. The album got them a deal with CBS. But with the rise of new wave music, ATF decided to go in that direction. Battle and Twidell were replaced by John Russell and Nick Brotherwood. Russell played guitar so Piercy moved to bass. They recorded three albums for CBS with modest success and no hit singles. They announced while on tour that they planned to disband. Der Kommissar was written by the German singer Falco who would later have a worldwide hit with Rock Me Amadeus. His recording of Der Kommissar was a big hit in Europe. Piercy wrote English lyrics for Der Kommissar but other than that, ATF's version is close to the original including the rapping which would have been unusual at the time. The record was released as a farewell single but it caught on and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Epic Records released a comp of ATF's three albums with Der Kommissar included. This Collectables CD is that same album with a different cover and a couple of bonus tracks. Epic tried to convince Banks to keep ATF going. But he refused and he turned his rights over to Epic and Piercy. Piercy recorded an album and a couple of singles were released but the album was never released and that was the end of After the Fire. Banks opened a recording studio and he was managing director of a software company. Piercy went on to produce British Contemporary Christian artists like Delerious?. Banks and Russell reformed After The Fire in 2004. They recorded a 2006 album and toured. Based on their website, it looks like they called it quits in 2013. Here's the video for Der Kommissar by After The Fire.

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