in England to Australian parents, who returned to their homeland when
he was just 9 years old, Frank Ifield is best known for his yodeling
style and his mega hit, "I Remember You." Through the years,
although Frank has incorporated various influences in his music, his
biggest love has always been Country music and he has always struggled
to keep a semblance of it in there, while all the time being steered
in other directions by the people around him.
This album, "The Fire Still Burns"
was released in 1997 and once again is a mix of various styles, giving
it cross genre appeal.
For Country fans, there is an excellent version of Eddie Rabbitt's
"Hearts On Fire" with a 'single'
mix kicking off the album and a standard mix to close, and then there
is the catchy, "A Little Bit Of Push"
a story song in true country tradition, penned by Don Schultz, and
with an intro that reminds me of Confederate Railroad's "When
You Leave That Way." On one of Frank's visit's to Nashville,
he recorded an 'unplugged' session at the studio's of (Cowboy) Jack
Clements. The wonderful, "Forgettin' About
You," a song penned by Allen Reynolds and Don Williams,
is a track taken from that session, that also benefits from the added
background vocals of Jack Clements himself. The partnership of Allen
Reynolds and Don Williams also provide "Before
I'm Fool Enough" a good, mid paced song that bobs along
steadily to a Mandolin driven rhythm.
Frank also borrows from The Statler Brothers for "Who
Am I To Say," with Peewee Wilson of Australian group The
Delltones doing a grand job of reproducing the deep Bass vocals of
the Staler's Harold Ried, while the tex-mex flavoured "Let
Me Lay In Your Arms" is a very catchy tune, that should
appeal to fans of The Mavericks with it's strong brass feel.
"Let Your Love Fall Back On Me" would
sound good in a London pub with it's sing-a-long, honky tonk piano
styling, while Frank gives a Reggae feel to Karla Bonoff's "Isn't
It Always Love."
With the rest of the album made up mainly of pop ballads, there is
something on here for everyone, as Frank sounds as good as he ever
has, on this fine album that was released back in 1997. I have no
hesitation in recommending you get your local record shop to order
it for you and add it to your collection. These days, Frank spends
his time promoting new, young talent in Australia, rather than recording
himself, so this may turn out to be the last recording from one of
music's true legends.