Keep the Fire Burnin' (Dan Hartman album)

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Keep the Fire Burnin'
Dan Hartman Keep the Fire Burnin' 1994 Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 20, 1994[1]
GenrePop, Disco, Funk, House
Length77:02
LabelChaos, Columbia
ProducerDan Hartman (tracks 1-3, 7-11)
Jimmy Iovine, Hartman (tracks 4-6)
Dan Hartman chronology
New Green Clear Blue
(1989)
Keep the Fire Burnin'
(1994)
Super Hits
(2004)
Singles from Keep the Fire Burnin'
  1. "Keep the Fire Burnin'"
    Released: 1994
  2. "The Love in Your Eyes"
    Released: November 8, 1994

Keep the Fire Burnin' is a compilation album from American musician/singer/songwriter Dan Hartman. It was his first album since 1989's New Green Clear Blue, and was released posthumously on December 20, 1994, following his death earlier in the year. The album is essentially a compilation featuring remixes of earlier hits and previously unreleased material.[2]

Background[edit]

Following the commercial failure of his 1989 album New Green Clear Blue, Hartman turned once again to producing, although he had revealed to be recording a new solo album immediately after the New Green Clear Blue album.[3] By 1994, Hartman began to record a new album of contemporary pop and dance music. While in the studio during 1993, he noted that "So many things have changed in terms of social and political issues, as well as the need for love and personal relationships. All of these things are the reasons why writing and recording new material is most meaningful to me." In the end, a total of two songs were completed; "Keep the Fire Burnin'" and "The Love in Your Eyes". Hartman died on March 22, 1994, from an AIDS-related brain tumor.[4][5]

Both of the two new recordings were released as singles. "Keep the Fire Burnin'" was a duet starring Loleatta Holloway, who had provided vocals for Hartman before, and was the album's leading single.[6] It peaked at #49 in the UK.[7] "The Love in Your Eyes" followed as Hartman's last ever single, although it failed to make any impact in America and Europe.[8] The Keep the Fire Burnin' album itself was a commercial failure and failed to make any chartings.[9]

The first two songs on the album were the two previously unreleased tracks, and both the final compositions of Hartman. "Living in America" was written by Hartman and Charlie Midnight, who handed the song to James Brown in 1985, who scored a big hit with the track. The version that appears here is Hartman's own previously unreleased version. "Free Ride" was originally recorded in 1972 by The Edgar Winter Group, of which writer Hartman was a member of. The version that appears on the album is Hartman's own solo version from his "Relight My Fire" album from 1979. Track four "I Can Dream About You" is the Larry Levan Remix, but not credited to him on the album. Track eight, the version of "Vertigo/Relight My Fire", is the rare "Progressive Instrumental Remix". "Keep the Fire Burnin'" was included twice on the album, with the closing version being "(That SFB Feeling Mix)".[10] The tracks one, four and nine have no remix credit in the titles.

In an interview with Charlie Midnight on memories of Hartman for his unofficial fan site, one question asked "Can you tell us when you last saw Dan - how he was doing at the time - and any projects he was planning on working on in the future?" Midnight responded "I last saw Dan in the hospital in New York City. He was very optimistic and expected to go back into the studio to record more songs for a new album that eventually became, "Keep the Fire Burnin'." Because I had moved to Los Angeles, we subsequently kept in touch by telephone."[11]

Release[edit]

The album was issued via Chaos Recordings (a dimension of Columbia Records) and Columbia. It was released on CD and cassette in America, Europe and Brazil.[2][12] Today the album remains out-of-print on CD, although it is available as a digital MP3 download on sites such as Amazon and iTunes.[13][14]

Promotion[edit]

In The Advocate magazine of February 7, 1995, a black-and-white advert for the album was published with the quoted statement "Dan Hartman ruled the dance floors all over the world with classics like "Instant Replay," "Relight My Fire," and "I Can Dream About You". Now these and other boogie monsters come together on his new release, "Keep the Fire Burnin'." Featuring the new single, "The Love in Your Eyes," plus his own versions of his hit songs, "Free Ride" and "Living in America." Some hits are forever."[15]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Keep the Fire Burnin' (Duet Starring Loleatta Holloway)"Dan Hartman6:01
2."The Love in Your Eyes"Hartman5:00
3."Living in America"Hartman, Charlie Midnight7:09
4."I Can Dream About You"Hartman6:02
5."The Name of the Game"Hartman, Midnight4:39
6."We Are The Young"Hartman, Midnight4:20
7."Free Ride"Hartman7:05
8."Vertigo / Relight My Fire"Hartman11:24
9."Instant Replay"Hartman5:23
10."Countdown / This Is It"Hartman14:12
11."Keep the Fire Burnin' (Duet Starring Loleatta Holloway) (That SFB Feeling Mix)"Hartman6:06

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[16]
Entertainment WeeklyB[17]
The Courantfavorable[18]
The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s Music3/4 stars[19]

Tim Griggs of Allmusic stated "This collection of hits and unreleased material by Dan Hartman, the late multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter, is only so-so. The hits include the huge dancefloor single "Instant Replay" and a bad remix of the excellent "I Can Dream About You." Also included are Hartman's versions of "Free Ride," written by Hartman as a member of the Edgar Winter Group, and "Living in America," James Brown's huge comeback hit, also written by Hartman. Dan Hartman deserves a better retrospective."[16]

On December 23, 1994, David Browne of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the album and stated "Whether jumping aboard the '70s disco bandwagon (Instant Replay) or glomming on to '80s power pop (I Can Dream About You), Dan Hartman, who died early this year of an AIDS-related illness, was something of a hack chameleon. But this retrospective, "Keep the Fire Burnin'", which also includes a dance remake of Free Ride as well as James Brown's Living in America (which Hartman wrote), makes its point: that his music was the worthy successor to KC's white-guy disco."[17]

In The Courant of February 9, 1995, Courant staff writer Greg Morago reviewed the album and stated "Dan Hartman's flame is kept alive with "Keep the Fire Burnin'", a collection of the late singer-songwriter's greatest hits laced with a few unreleased tracks. Hartman, who died last March, enjoyed a two-decade career that embraced rock, disco, jazz and New Age. His ear for the changing tastes of pop music allowed him to go from the driving "Free Ride" with the Edgar Winter Group in the early '70s to the disco anthem "Instant Replay" in the late '70s to the biggest hit of his career, "I Can Dream About You," in the mid-1980s. Hartman was preparing to reconquer the '90s dance floor with a pop-dance collection at the time of his death. From that effort, the title song, "Keep the Fire Burnin," is Hartman at his best. Aggressive, bouncy and up-front, the track - with additional smokin' vocals by diva Loleatta Holloway of "Love Sensation" fame - proves he never lost his touch. He puts his own vocal stamp on "Living in America," his Grammy-nominated song that James Brown charted for the movie "Rocky IV." The pretty "I Can Dream About You" shimmers anew in a retake, as does "Instant Replay," as close to disco perfection as possible. And "Free Ride" still takes us there. This sampling of Hartman's remarkably diverse career is a treat."[18]

In the Buffalo News of January 13, 1995, a review of the album by news critic Anthony Violanti stated "Dan Hartman doesn't waste time kicking out the jams on his new album. "Keep the Fire Burnin'," the opening track, is a scorching, gospel-style duet with Loleatta Holloway."[20]

In the liner notes of the booklet of the Keep the Fire Burnin' album, writer Larry Flick stated "While in the studio during 1993, he noted that 'So many things have changed in terms of social and political issues, as well as the need for love and personal relationships. All of these things are the reasons why writing and recording new material is most meaningful to me.' Those words resonate during the two new tunes on this retrospective, "Keep the Fire Burnin' (Duet starring Loleatta Holloway)" and "The Love in Your Eyes". The former reunites Dan with Loleatta Holloway, the diva who fronted his much-sampled classic composition "Love Sensation." That latter showcases Dan's evocative tenor range, as well as his ability to transform simple love prose into a profound statement. In the end, we believe, that Dan Hartman would have most wanted to be remembered as a great friend who touched many. The fire will never dim."[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Keep the Fire Burnin': Dan Hartman: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  2. ^ a b "Dan Hartman - Keep The Fire Burnin' at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  3. ^ SPIN - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  4. ^ "The Estate Project". Artistswithaids.org. Archived from the original on 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  5. ^ "Dan Hartman - Music Career". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  6. ^ "Dan Hartman Starring Loleatta Holloway - Keep The Fire Burnin' at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  7. ^ "DAN HARTMAN | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  8. ^ "Dan Hartman - The Love In Your Eyes at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  9. ^ "Keep the Fire Burnin' - Dan Hartman | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  10. ^ "Dan Hartman - Keep The Fire Burnin' (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  11. ^ "Memories of Dan Hartman". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-10-22. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  12. ^ "Keep the Fire Burnin' - Dan Hartman | Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  13. ^ "iTunes - Music - Keep the Fire Burnin' by Dan Hartman". Itunes.apple.com. 1994-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  14. ^ Hartman, Dan (1970-01-01). "MP3 Music - dan hartman keep the fire: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  15. ^ The Advocate - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1995-02-07. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  16. ^ a b Tim Griggs. "Keep the Fire Burnin' - Dan Hartman | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  17. ^ a b David Browne (1994-12-23). "Keep the Fire Burnin' Review". EW.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  18. ^ a b "Extreme On Attack - Hartford Courant". Articles.courant.com. 1995-02-09. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  19. ^ The Virgin encyclopedia of 70s music - Colin Larkin - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  20. ^ "News Archives: The Buffalo News". Nl.newsbank.com. 1995-01-13. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  21. ^ "Memories of Dan Hartman". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-20.