Blackthorne – We Won’t Be Forgotten (Box-set review)

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BlackthorneDecember 2019
Released: 2019 / Cherry Red / HNE Recordings
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I don’t know what it is about this album/band that had such staying power.  It was not all that long ago that Cherry Red/HNE issued the AFTERLIFE album.  I actually reviewed it here in January of 2019. In that review I explained the history of the band so it might be wise to go read (or re-read) that review so I don’t have to explain it all again!  The short version is that Blackthorne was an early 90’s super-group of 80’s guys that rose from the ashes of another 90’s super-group of 80’s guys, Murderer’s Row.  The AFTERLIFE reissue was cool and it has now spawned a box-set!

WE WON’T BE FORGOTTEN is the title of the new three-disc set issued by Cherry Red/HNE.   I’m starting to lose track but I think this must be the 8th, 9th or 10th (probably more) in this reissue campaign. It is housed in the clam-shell style glossy box and the discs are housed in cardboard wallets.  There is a 16-page booklet, full colour with tons of photos and an extensive history/essay interview by Malcolm Dome.

In the hierarchy of recording there are distinguishable levels, starting with rehearsal tracks, then demo tracks, then rough mixes, then final mixes.  This has it all. This is a real exercise in binge and purge with all of the above, demos, rough mixes and rehearsal tracks all lovingly (?) spewed out…basically this MUST be everything the band has ever done…the vaults are now empty.

THE BLACKTHORNE ANTHOLGY is 34 tracks of rarities, 20 of them unreleased! There are a generous handful of full songs that never made rthe album and there is the band fooling around with the Rainbow cut ‘Since You Been Gone’.  For the record the band decided to go with other big Bonnet/Rainbow cover ‘All Night Long’ for the actual record. There are a few cuts that could have easily made the first record, such as ‘Don’t Kill The Thrill’ and ‘Judgement Day’ both being surprisingly heavy at points.  For there record, a second unreleased album DON’T KILL THE THRILL  has also been reissued by HNE, so this box encapsulates that entire era.

I don’t want to end a review on a negative note, but I feel this needs to be said.  I feel a fan has to be a REAL die-hard fan to want to own three entire discs of what amounts to weaker, alternate versions of the studio songs.  Don’t misunderstand, AFTERLIFE is a killer record and well worth re-examining but the audience for this box-set must be so small, as to be even miniscule.  However, perhaps , as I alluded to in my opening remarks, the album must have real staying power for someone at the record company to say, “Hey, It’s almost 2020, we REALLY need a 3 CD set of rough tracks from an obscure album that came out in 1994!” I hope the sales projections are realistic.   Still, I’d rather have this cool box-set than not.  Blackthorne lives on in the afterlife and they will not be forgotten!

 


TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE

ALBUM CUTS / 1994 DEMOS / ROUGH MIXES

1. CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
2. AFTERLIFE
3. WE WON’T BE FORGOTTEN
4. OVER AND OVER
5. BABY YOU’RE THE BLOOD
6. SEX CRIME
7. LOVE FROM THE ASHES
8. WILD INSIDE (DEMO 1992)
9. DON’T KILL THE THRILL (DEMO 1994)
10. DREAMING IN THE HIDEAWAY (DEMO 1994)
11. JUDGEMENT DAY (DEMO 1994)
12. SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET (DEMO 1994)
13. INSANITY (DEMO 1994)
14. TWIST THE BLADE (DEMO 1994)
15. SANCTUARY (ALTERNATE LYRIC – DEMO 1994)
16. MAN IN A BLACK HAT (EARLY DEMO 1994)
17. JUDGEMENT DAY (EARLY ROUGH DEMO 1994)

DISC TWO

1992 & 1994 DEMOS

1. AFTERLIFE (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO)
2. WE WON’T BE FORGOTTEN (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO)
3. WILD INSIDE (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO CASSETTE)
4. BABY YOU’RE THE BLOOD (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO)
5. LOVE FROM THE ASHES (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO)
6. OVER AND OVER (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO)
7. SINCE YOU BEEN GONE (1992 DEMO / 2018 NEWLY RECORDED VOCAL)
8. GET MY HEART OUT OF HERE (DEMO 1992 – UNRELEASED SONG)
9. WE WON’T BE FORGOTTEN (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO #2)
10. AFTERLIFE (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO #2)
11. BABY YOU’RE THE BLOOD (ORIGINAL 1992 DEMO #2)
12. TWIST THE BLADE (EARLY DEMO)
13. GUILTY OF INSANITY (EARLY DEMO)
14. WILD INSIDE (EARLY DEMO)
15. SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET (EARLY DEMO)
16. ANGEL OF PLEASURE (WRITING DEMO)

DISC THREE

ROUGH MIXES / DEMOS / REHEARSALS

1. CRADLE TO THE GRAVE (ROUGH MIX)
2. AFTERLIFE (ROUGH MIX)
3. WE WON’T BE FORGOTTEN (ROUGH MIX)
4. BABY YOU’RE THE BLOOD (ROUGH MIX)
5. SEX CRIME (ROUGH MIX)
6. LOVE FROM THE ASHES (ROUGH DEMO)
7. ALL NIGHT LONG (ROUGH DEMO)
8. REHEARSAL TAPE ‘MATES’ (REHEARSAL STUDIO 1993)
9. JUDGEMENT DAY (VOCAL TAKES – ALTERNATE LYRICS)
10. SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET (VOCAL TAKES)
11. SINCE YOU BEEN GONE (DEMO – INSTRUMENTAL)


 

Blackthorne: We Won’t Be Forgotten: The Blackthorne Anthology, 3CD Remastered Boxset EditionBlackthorne