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Dan Reed: Signal Fire

Funk-free rock’n’roll.

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.