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Iva Twydell

April 1, 2007

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An interesting obscurity here, Iva (Ivor) Twydell was a member of After The Fire, best known for their cover of Falco’s ‘Der Kommissar’ one of the most obnoxious and disturbingly memorable singles of the 1980’s. You would never guess After The Fire actually started life as a progressive rock band, releasing one incredibly rare album ‘Signs of Change’ in 1978 heavily influenced by both Barclay James Harvest and Genesis. Attempting to change with the times, After The Fire went full throttle new wave and pop, touring the world with ELO, Queen and Van Halen, but split at the peak of their career reportedly due to conflicts with their Christian ‘values’ and the rock n’ roll life style. In 1982, Twydell with former band mate Nick Battle released ‘Duel’ featuring none other than original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips, and if that wasn’t enough, Colin Blunstone on background vocals. Impressive, but does it measure up as a progressive rock album?

Not really. This is a quirky, synthesizer driven record much like After The Fire’s later work or Flock Of Seagulls and early Tears For Fears. Ant Phillips provides some flashy keyboard work which is probably the most interesting part of the record. Like most pop music of this era, the guitar takes a secondary place behind the overkill of electronics and percussion giving the album a very ‘dated’ sound, a term I dislike, but is very apropos here. There are similarities to Peter Gabriel in Twydell’s vocals on ‘Addicted’ and the closing ‘Abdication Day’, the most progressive song on the album and the one tune on ‘Duel’ that actually shows Phillips influence, although the outcome is more IQ, than Genesis.

Eric www.glory-daze.com

Similar Artist : The Graduate

Audio Sample : 90 seconds

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2 comments

  1. The Duel album is a quite interesting release, but the Secret Service album, released by Iva Twydell in 1981, is the real gemm! Much more guitar oriented, sometimes not that far from After the Fire’s Laser Love (though less use of synths as well as more acoustic at times). A real FUN album which really sounds FRESH even 27 years later!

    http://www.phileasphogg.net/discography/atf_discografi.html


  2. I have to agree with atf fan — Secret Service was a rollicking great album! At a time when British music was influencing the world with its synth based New Wave sounds and when Christian music was just starting to take hold, After the Fire represented a triumph for dedicated believers at the time. And, though I don’t know why they split, I was glad that Iva Twydell had a chance to release a couple of albums showing his creativity.
    I hope more people will learn of his straight ahead, bold music and lyrics. Jonathan from Canada.



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