Hope all Smarties had a good Easter. Im sure it will come as no surprise to regular readers to see this album featured! Over the last few months ive brought you HNE’s remastered Alcatrazz albums, which of course feature Graham as lead singer. Ive loved his voice since first hearing The Marbles ‘Only One Woman’ right back in ’67. There is no mistaking that distinctive vocal used to such effect and probably most famously with his sojourn in Rainbow and the two massive hits ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and ‘ All night Long’. Departing the band in 1980 the following year saw the release of Line Up. Gathering together an impressive array of musicians including Jon Lord,
Mick Moody, the incomparable Cozy Powell and Francis and Rick from Quo Line Up unleashed 11 tracks of hard rocking songs provided by an array of distinguished songwriters from the likes of Russ Ballard, Ray Davies, Chuck Berry and Phil Spector amongst others. Kicking off with the Top Ten single ‘Night Games’ here in its full version with an electric sitar intro from Francis Rossi its a great start to some ass kicking rock S.O.S.and Don’t Stand in the Open’ being two great examples. Its the choice of two standards that are really interesting to me The Kinks ‘Set Me Free’ and The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’ incongruous choices in a way but they work really well. Although I must admit Ronnie Spector will always OWN ‘Be My Baby’ (She’s coming to Bexhill soon, cant wait!) anyway back with Graham this mixture of melodic rock for grown ups certainly hits the spot and really rewards repeated listens. This expanded version features four bonus tracks including the ‘single edit’ of Night Games. The sleeve notes make for informative and amusing reading! and the sound quality is superb. Its rumoured Graham is touring this year, if that’s so i’ll be right there!
For more information go to http://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time……. Colin