Faster Than the Speed of Life

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Mars Bonfire's late-'60s material occasionally bears some resemblance to Steppenwolf, particularly in the use of heavy organs. But in fact this is certainly on the lighter and more pop-flecked side than Steppenwolf, which might both disappointment Steppenwolf fans who seek this out on the basis of the "Born to Be Wild" connection, and make this LP a rather pleasant surprise to those fearing bombastic late-'60s hard rock on the order of Steppenwolf's less impressive aspects. There is a version of "Born to Be Wild" here that is far tamer and less effective than Steppenwolf's hit cover. Yet on about half the album Bonfire favors a pretty airy pop-psychedelic approach ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Mars Bonfire's late-'60s material occasionally bears some resemblance to Steppenwolf, particularly in the use of heavy organs. But in fact this is certainly on the lighter and more pop-flecked side than Steppenwolf, which might both disappointment Steppenwolf fans who seek this out on the basis of the "Born to Be Wild" connection, and make this LP a rather pleasant surprise to those fearing bombastic late-'60s hard rock on the order of Steppenwolf's less impressive aspects. There is a version of "Born to Be Wild" here that is far tamer and less effective than Steppenwolf's hit cover. Yet on about half the album Bonfire favors a pretty airy pop-psychedelic approach reminiscent of his "Tomorrow's Ship" composition on the single for pre-Steppenwolf outfit the Sparrow, written under his real name of Dennis Edmonton to both his songwriting and arrangements. Bonfire has a thin, crackly voice that lacks force and precluded any significant success as a solo singer and band frontman, but does have a sincere and likable quality in spite of its limitations. "Lady Moon Walker" in particular is an overlooked psych-pop gem, with Bonfire's best deployment of attractive melodies, spacy lyrics, and pleasing keyboard textures. "In Christina's Arms" and "Sad Eyes" are also neat-o tender love songs with just enough unexpected melodic changes and oh-so-slightly trippy lyrics to make them more intriguing than the usual decent late-'60s pop
ock tune. When Bonfire tries to rock harder and get a little bluesy, the music becomes undistinguished, and sometimes downright boring. The good half of the album make this a worthwhile find, though, and it's worthy of CD reissue along with "Little Girl Lost" and "Time to Fly," non-LP cuts from the era. Sure it's obscure, but that hasn't stopped Columbia from reissuing lots of other commercially unsuccessful '60s stiffs from its vaults.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/11/2007
  • Label: Rev-Ola
  • EAN: 5013929452527
  • Catalog Number: 225
  • Sales rank: 126,068

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mars Bonfire Primary Artist
Norman Blake Synthesizer
Joe Foster Synthesizer
Technical Credits
Mars Bonfire Composer, Contributor
Fred Borkgren Engineer
Roy Durkee Engineer
Ted Glasser Producer
Lee Herschberg Engineer
Matthew Smith Producer
Joe Foster Producer
Andy Morten Producer, Artwork
Bill Keane Liner Notes
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