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Firefall - Comet - CD
Comet – Firefall

By reading the name Firefall, you probably started singing “You Are The Woman” (and will be singing it for the next month now). Their brand of soft rock made mountains of memories for many folks. Firefall hit big with the aforementioned tune, along with a few others that can still be heard at your local grocer or home improvement store on a regular basis. But, those songs were made in the 70’s and 80’s. My questions going into this record were: 1) Will the writing be creative and relevant, or will they just try to deliver 10 different versions of “You Are The Woman,” and 2) How sharp has the band stayed over such a long period of silence. This is the first new Firefall album in more than 20 years, and after a few listens it quickly answered any questions I may have had.

Comet is a new Firefall album. No, I don’t mean that it’s just a new series of songs that’s been made available. This is a set of songs that you haven’t heard before. It’s a set of songs that deliver on the promise of quality soft rock songs under the Firefall brand, but they are songs that breathe new life into the band’s catalog. The first song that comes to mind to drive this point home is “Ghost Town.” Here’s a song that is a bit deeper and darker in tone, but it has all the goodies that made the classic stuff so inviting. There’s a gentle acoustic strum, some great electric soloing over the top, and excellent lead and harmony vocals. The real progression for the band comes right around the 3:00 mark, though. We get treated to a great conversation between David Muse’s flute and Jock Bartley’s electric guitar. It’s classic Firefall with a fresh spark. “Before I Met You” is another song that impresses in the same way. This song has incredible harmony vocals and an amazing blend of acoustic and electric guitar parts, all bolted into the ground with the bottom heavy rhythm section of Mark Andes (bass) and Sandy Ficca (drums). “A New Mexico” and “A Real Fine Day” are also songs that sound fresh and work brilliantly inside the signature Firefall formula.

The first single from Comet is “Way Back When,” and it’s not your typical Firefall song. This lyrically strong number pays homage to the eras and the bands that are responsible for giving Firefall its inspiration. With mention of everyone from Dylan and CSN to The Beatles and Zeppelin, this is a fun, well-written tribute to the band’s roots. Some of the softer “ballad-esque” material on this one just might be the strongest in the band’s catalog. “Hardest Chain,” “Younger,” and “Never Be The Same” are very powerful lyrically, but the instrumental mood that’s created is an absolutely perfect fit on each of these tracks. “Never Be The Same” was written by singer Gary Jones, and it’s an emotional essay about losing his mother. You can feel these songs, and each of them make a powerful statement.

Two really big treats for me on this record came by way of “There She Is,” which is a positive, upbeat rocker that injects ripples of incredible energy throughout the entire record. I’m going to hunt band management down if they don’t release this one as the next single. This is a song that should put the band back on the charts. The other extra special moment comes with a cover of Spirit’s “Nature’s Way.” We get to hear bassist Mark Andes, who is a founding member of both Firefall and Spirit, lend his voice here while being joined by brilliant Eagles legend Timothy B. Schmidt. The beauty of this duet is made even more special when we get a contribution from Doobie Brothers guitarist John McFee. Throw Muse’s flute and Ficca’s big dramatic timpani in the mix and you get quite an epic moment.

Firefall was on the edge of being a soft rock juggernaut in the 70’s and 80’s, with a nice catalog of songs that defined the genre. They just might be ready to walk along that edge once again. I think Comet offers up some of the best songs in their catalog, and I’m just about ready to call it their best album yet.


Bassist and founding member of Firefall, Mark Andes, talks with Dr. Music about the new Firefall album, Comet. Mark is also a founding member of Spirit and JoJo Gunne, and was a member of Heart for ten years throughout the band's 80's heyday. Mark discusses his time in all of those bands, as well as the details behind Firefall's Comet, and he even discusses the "Taurus"/"Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit!

Official Firefall website:
"Way Back When" official video:

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