Reviews Zone

Graham Bonnet: Flying Not Falling 1991-1999 (HNE Recordings) 24th November 2017

 

 


4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

 

 

This collection gathers three albums Graham Bonnet recorded across the 1990s; “Here Comes The Night” (1991), “Underground” (1997) and “The Day I Went Mad” (1999). A total of 50 tracks, songs which cover just a small part of the Graham Bonnet story, as few front-men can claim to have had such a lengthy and far-reaching career.

Graham first found fame as part of The Marbles duo, who enjoyed a hit with the Bee Gees’ “Only One Woman” in 1968, followed by a solo career across the 1970s. He achieved another hit with a Bee Gees song; the disco flavoured “Warm Ride”.

Achieving what was possibly his greatest success in 1979, for “Down To Earth” in Rainbow, worldwide hits followed with the Rainbow singles “All Night Long” and “Since You Been Gone”.

Further solo success beckoned with the song “Night Games” from the “Line-Up” album in 1981, before Graham briefly joined The Michael Schenker Group for 1982’s “Assault Attack”. Graham then formed Alcatrazz, with a then little known Swedish guitarist called Yngwie J. Malmsteen, who would be replaced by another legendary axe slinger, Steve Vai.

After Alcatrazz, the singer hooked up with Chris Impellitteri and the band Impellitteri. Graham subsequently recorded with Forcefield, Japan’s Anthem, the Taz Taylor Band and Blackthorne with Bob Kulick, in 1993.

This set kicks off with 1999’s “The Day I Went Mad”, Graham’s last solo album of the decade and his sixth in total, which has a whole host of special guests. Joining a band comprising Kevin Valentine on drums, Mario Parga on guitars and John Thomas on guitar and keyboards, are former Alcatrazz guitaris, Danny Johnson, Vivian Campbell of Dio, Whitesnake & Def Leppard, Bruce Kulick (KISS & Meat Loaf), plus Slash from Guns N’ Roses and Tim Bogert from Vanilla Fudge.

This album has been expanded with a number of live curios from his 2000 tour, including The Beatles’ “I’m Down/Lucille” and Rainbow’s “Since You Been Gone”, as well as “Spiked!” and “Killer” from “The Day I Went Mad” album.

1997’s “Underground” was Graham’s fifth solo record, and saw him reunited with guitarist Danny Johnson, who had previously played on Alcatrazz’s third and final LP, “Dangerous Games”. As well as a rocked-up cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary”, and “Lost In Hollywood”, a song that Graham had originally sung on Rainbow’s 1979 hit, “Down To Earth”, the album is now augmented by seven songs recorded live; Alcatrazz’s “Island In The Sun”, “God Blessed Video” & “Will You Be Home Tonight”, Rainbow’s “All  Night Long”, MSG’s “Dancer”, plus “Only One Woman” and “S.O.S.”

1991’s “Here Comes The Night” saw Graham move far away from his more rock orientated path, to take a more pop-flavoured approach, including covers of Ray Davies “I Go To Sleep”, Denny Laine’s “Eyes Of A Child”, Leiber & Stoller’s “Don’t” and James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy”. “Here Comes The Night” now includes four bonus instrumental demos; “Gone In A Minute”, “A Hole In My Soul”, “Please Call Me” and “Greenwich Meantime”. The live tracks were recorded in November 2001 in Easington Rock Garden, Coconut Teaser in September 2000 and Culver City in May 2000.

 

By Sally Fox

 

 

 


 

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