Dan Reed: Signal Fire

Funk-free rock’n’roll.

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Managed by Bill Graham, signed by Derek Shulman and produced by Bruce Fairbairn, hot and cool in all the right places, it’s difficult to identify what exactly went ‘wrong’ for Dan Reed and his Network.

In place of apparently inevitable stardom, Reed has embarked on a peripatetic life, currently resident in Prague and available for gigs in fans’ houses. Yet here is a substantial record by a writer and performer of high class. The funk has gone, and in its place are slick but heartfelt commercial rock songs, filled with the kind of touches that only a natural would add.

Reed’s voice is still a joy, especially on bridges and choruses as good as those of Signal Fire and Last Leaf. This might not be a big album, but it’s a very good one.

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.