Graham Bonnet-Solo albums 1974-1992 (box-set)

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: January, 2021
Released: 2020,
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

I think this may be my first ‘non-Metal’ review for Metal-Rules.com in almost 20 years!  That is why you are seeing this review in our Let’s Get Rocked section.

I was sent a copy of this cool new box-set, GRAHAM BONNET: SOLO ALBUMS1974-1992.  I’ll admit I’m a full-on Metal guy, to the max.  My first awareness of Bonnet was his work with Rainbow. I had no idea that he had four solo albums of pop and rock material before and concurrent to his time in Rainbow, but before founding Alcatrazz. No idea.  I always thought he was this Hard Rock/Metal guy.  He had released three solo albums before I was 8 years old so bit was just a bit before my time.

This very generous six-disc album set is very well done.  It comes in a clam-shell box with a 16-page, full-colour booklet which is basically just the liner notes to each album. Each of his solo albums gets a wallet and for the true Bonnet fans, there is a massive amount of cool, rare and unreleased material.

Starting in the beginning, Bonnet recorded a full album called BACK ROW IN THE STALLS which was never released and sat languishing in the vaults for 40 years!  It is now available here for the first time re-mastered and expanded.  It comes with no less than seven bonus tracks! We are off to a good start!

Up next is his self-titled ‘debut’ album released in 1977. This one has seven bonus tracks.  Then we dive into his second solo album BAD HABITS from 1978.  This is when artists would churn out an album or two every year.  This still is loaded with 60’s styling’s, some of these songs even hints of disco and reggae!

LINE-UP originally released in 1981, after he left Rainbow and it fully embraces the 80’s with primitive synthesized sounds.  This one is loaded with guest stars from his Rainbow days guys like Neil Murray, Micky Moody, Cozy Powell and Jon Lord and other members of 70’s rock royalty. This one has four bonus tracks, B-sides and singles.

Then we have a ten-year break before his next solo album HERE COMES THE NIGHT from 1991.  I guess he was tired of his Hard rock phase and he did another soft rock album with lots of saxophone.

Last of all, but not least we get an archives/demo/rarities set called REEL TO REAL 1987-1992. This is the only CD in this set that has anything remotely close to Hard Rock and electric guitars. The liner notes aren’t exactly clear on the source of these songs. This one has been released a couple of times already.

Let’s say, hypothetically you are a Bonnet fan and own all his solo albums. This set adds at LEAST another 36 bonus tracks!  That is like three albums worth of material. This is an incredible treasure trove for the true fan. Much of this material has been reissued before in one form or another but not to this extent and not with this much rare, unreleased material.

I’ll be straight up, these solo albums is just not to my taste.  I’m just not a fan of pop, soul, blues, do-wop, jazz, shuffle, boogie-woogie, and all that stuff!  There is no doubt Bonnet is talented and a prolific artist with diverse influences and tastes, There is very little here for fans of his Hard Rock and Metal work, maybe just REEL TO REAL.  However, for soft-rock fans, fans of Bonnet’s bulletproof voice, and just good easy-listening tunes in general, there is a whole ton of stuff for you to explore.


Track List:

DISC ONE:
BACK ROW IN THE STALLS (1974) – 2020 REMASTER
1. HERE COMES THE RAIN
2. WHAT’S THIS ‘ERE THEN
3. PRIVATE EYE
4. GHOST WRITER IN MY EYE
5. SATURDAY’S OVER
6. BACK ROW IN THE STALLS
7. SHE MAY BE NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT (BUT SHE’S CERTAINLY GOT A HEART)
8. ADE’S SONG
9. MAMMA MINE
10. RELAXAE
11. SHE MAY BE NOT MUCH TO LOOK
AT (BUT SHE’S CERTAINLY GOT
A HEART) (VERSION 2)
12. DON’T DRINK THE WATER
13. DREAMS (OUT IN THE FOREST)
14. WE’RE FREE

BONUS TRACKS
15. WHISPER IN THE NIGHT (SINGLE A-SIDE, 1972)
16. RARE SPECIMEN (SINGLE B-SIDE, 1972)
17. TRYING TO SAY GOODBYE(SINGLE A-SIDE, 1973)
18. CASTLES IN THE AIR (SINGLE B-SIDE, 1973)
19. DOG SONG – Adrienne Posta
20. EXPRESS YOURSELF – Adrienne Posta
21. MESSAGE TO TREVOR

DISC TWO:
1. IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE
2. WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?
3. TIRED OF BEING ALONE
4. WINO SONG
5. IT AIN’T EASY
6. GOODNIGHT AND GOODMORNING
7. DANNY
8. SUNDAY 16
9. ROCK ISLAND LINE
10. SOUL SEEKER

BONUS TRACKS
11. DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO (DEMO)
12. GOODNIGHT AND GOODMORNING (SINGLE EDIT)
13. I WHO AM I (1977) – Graham Bonnet & Vicky Silva
14. THE LOVING TOUCH (1976) – Graham Bonnet & Vicky Silva
15. HEROES ON MY PICTURE WALL (SINGLE B-SIDE, 1977)
16. IT AIN’T EASY (DEMO)
17. YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING (DEMO)

DISC THREE:
NO BAD HABITS (1978)
1. I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT
2. WON’T YOU JOIN ME
3. WARM RIDE
4. IS THERE A WAY TO SING THE BLUES
5. CAN’T COMPLAIN
6. GIVIN’ UP MY WORRYIN’
7. PYRAMID
8. ONLY YOU CAN LIFT ME
9. STAND STILL STELLA
10. HIGH SCHOOL ANGEL
11. COLD LADY

BONUS TRACKS
12. 10/12 OBSERVATION (SINGLE B-SIDE OF ‘WARM RIDE’)
13. ONLY YOU CAN LIFT ME (SINGLE EDIT)
14. SUCH A SHAME (SINGLE B-SIDE OF ‘ONLY YOU CAN LIFT ME’)
15. WARM RIDE (12” LONG DISCO VERSION)
16. WARM RIDE (12” LONG VERSION)

DISC FOUR:
LINE-UP (1981)
1. NIGHT GAMES
2. S.O.S
3. I’M A LOVER
4. BE MY BABY
5. THAT’S THE WAY THAT IT IS
6. LIAR
7. ANTHONY BOY
8. DIRTY HAND
9. OUT ON THE WATER
10. DON’T STAND IN THE OPEN
11. SET ME FREE

BONUS TRACKS
12. DON’T TELL ME TO GO (B-SIDE)
13. BAD DAYS ARE GONE (B-SIDE)
14. NIGHT GAMES (SINGLE EDIT)
15. OUT ON THE WATER (SINGLE EDIT)

DISC FIVE:
HERE COMES THE NIGHT (1991)
1. SOMETHING ABOUT YOU
2. HERE COMES THE NIGHT
3. LONG TIME GONE
4. ONLY ONE WOMAN
5. PLEASE CALL ME
6. A CHANGE IS GONNA COME
7. I’LL GO CRAZY
8. I GO TO SLEEP
9. LOOK DON’T TOUCH
10. EYES OF A CHILD
11. DON’T
12. WHAT SHE SAYS, YOU HEAR IT MEANS

BONUS TRACKS
INSTRUMENTAL DEMOS
13. GONE IN A MINUTE
14. A HOLE IN MY SOUL
15. PLEASE CALL ME
16. GREENWICH MEANTIME

DISC SIX:
REEL TO REAL: THE ARCHIVES
(1987-1992) 2020 REMASTER
1. TONITE I FLY (1987)
2. REEL TO REAL (1987)
3. THE DANCER (1987)
4. WHIPLASH (1989)
5. LONG TIME GONE (1989)
6. SUMMER IN THE CITY (1989)
7. RIVER DEEP – MOUNTAIN HIGH (1989)
8. MIDNIGHT CROSSING (1989)
9. RIDER (1989)
10. DOUBLE CROSS MY HEART (1992)
11. HEARTS UNDER FIRE (1992)
12. YOU ARE YOUR MONEY
13. DEAD MAN WALKING
14. GLASS MOUNTAIN
15. RED RUM
16. MY KINGDOM COME
17. MIRROR LIES
18. UNLEASH THE BEAST
19. HIPPIE HEART, GYPSY SOUL


www.cherryred.co.uk/product/graham-bonnet-solo-albums-1974-1992-6cd-box-set/

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