Thunder – Islington Academy London (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgThunder are an English hard rock band from London. Formed in 1989, the group was founded by former Terraplane members Danny Bowes (lead vocals), Luke Morley (guitar, backing vocals) and Gary “Harry” James (drums), along with second guitarist and keyboardist Ben Matthews and bassist Mark “Snake” Luckhurst. Originally signed to EMI Records in the UK, the band released their debut album Backstreet Symphony in 1990, which reached number 21 on the UK Albums Chart and number 114 on the US Billboard 200. The 1992 follow-up Laughing on Judgement Day reached number 2, while both albums were certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). All nine singles released from the two albums reached the UK Singles Chart top 40.

Luckhurst left the band in late 1992, and was replaced the following February by former Great King Rat bassist Mikael Höglund. The new lineup recorded only one studio album, Behind Closed Doors, which peaked at number 5 in the UK and spawned three UK top 40 singles. The 1995 compilation Their Finest Hour (And a Bit) reached number 22 in the UK and was certified silver by the BPI. Höglund left in 1996 and was replaced by Chris Childs, after Morley performed bass on fourth album The Thrill of It All, which reached the UK top 20. Thunder’s 1998 live album Live reached number 35 on the UK Albums Chart, while the following year’s fifth studio album Giving the Game Away reached number 49. The band broke up in early 2000 due to “outside business forces”.

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After a brief hiatus, Thunder returned in 2002 and formed their own record label, STC Recordings. The band’s sixth studio album Shooting at the Sun was released the following year, supported by the UK top 50 single “Loser”. After three more new studio albums – 2005’s The Magnificent Seventh, 2006’s Robert Johnson’s Tombstone and 2008’s Bang! – Thunder decided to break up in 2009. Two years later, however, the group returned for a third active spell, scheduling a number of sporadic live shows over the following years. A tenth studio album, Wonder Days, was released on the earMusic label in 2015, giving the band their first UK top ten since 1995 when it peaked at number 9. Rip It Up followed in 2017, reaching a peak UK Albums Chart position of number 3. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a very rare bootleg from 2006 … a superb soundboard recording… a Christmas party concert … (December 19, 2006) … enjoy the power of one of the finest Hard-Rock bands from the Eighties !

Sometimes it sounds like the heavy metal version of Free !

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Personnel:
Danny Bowes (vocals)
Chris Childs (bass)
Harry James (drums)
Ben Matthews (guitar, keyboards, background vocals)
Luke Morley (guitar, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro 0.18
02. Loser 6.47
03. River Of Pain 3.48
04. The Devil Made Me Do It 5.11
05. Love Walked In 7.18
06. Back Street Symphony 4.19
07. I Love You More Than Rock N Roll 5.57
08. Dirty Love 12.26

All songs written by Luke Morley

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Barbara Streisand – Superman (1977)

FrontCover1.JPGSuperman (1977) is the nineteenth studio album by American singer Barbra Streisand.

The single “My Heart Belongs to Me” became a hit in 1977, peaking at #4 on the US pop chart.

The album peaked at number 3 on the Top 200 LP Billboard album chart and on the UK Albums Chart at number 32. It has sold 2 million copies in United States and was certified 2× Platinum.

Two songs were written for the movie A Star Is Born but not used in the picture —”Answer Me” by Streisand, Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher; and “Lullaby For Myself” by Rupert Holmes. (by wikipedia)

Although it is merely a pastiche of songs, including two outtakes from A Star Is Born, Streisand Superman is clearly the best album Streisand has made in some time, possibly the best since Stoney End. While it lacks any kind of focus and occasionally disintegrates into a shopping-mall arrangement such as “I Found You Love,” Superman is ample evidence that Streisand actually can get away with singing whatever she chooses. (A Star Is Born was sufficient proof that she could succeed with absolute trash.)

The most remarkable track is “Don’t Believe What You Read,” which is nothing less than a flat-out rock song, written by Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews with Streisand, and given a superb arrangement by Jack Nitzsche. It’s driven by a fuzz-tone guitar, huge drums and Streisand’s vocal, which is derived, I think, from Stevie Nicks. This is the most modern track she’s ever done and, aside from Pete Townshend’s “They Are All in Love,” the only successful attack on the press any songwriter has been able to come up with. (It helps that Streisand, like Townshend, is attacking gossips rather than critics.) Nagle, a vastly underrated songwriter, has also turned in a terrific look at working-class marriage as a trap in “Cabin Fever,” which gets a similarly modern treatment and ranks with the best things here.

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Most of the rest is given over to the typical ballads, which, as usual, rise and fall on the strengths of their arrangements. Streisand still resorts to mannerisms (her phrasing is suffering from a case of arrested development, except on the two songs above) but the material is chosen skillfully enough to transcend that. Still, on the basis of “Don’t Believe,” “Cabin Fever” and the bluesy treatment of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” it would be interesting to hear her work with a rock-oriented producer—Peter Asher, perhaps. (Dava Marsh, Rolling Stone No. 245)

And we hear musicians like Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Harvey Mason, David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, Lee Ritenour and Fred Tackett amongst others.

And her version of the Billy Joel hymn “New York State Of Mind” is a real great one !

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Personnel:
Barbra Streisand (vocals)
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Israel Baker (violin)
Harry Bluestone (violin)
Mike Boddicker (keyboards, synthesizer)
Alan Broadbent (piano)
Dennis Budimir (guitar)
Larry Carlton (guitar)
Gary Coleman (percussion)
Robben Ford (guitar)
David Foster (keyboards)
Jay Graydon (guitar)
Ed Greene (drums)
Ralph Grierson (keyboards)
Plas Johnson (saxophone)
Harvey Mason (drums)
Scott Mathews (drums)
Lincoln Mayorga (piano)
Mike Melvoin (piano)
David Paich (keyboards)
Steve Paietta (accordion)
Jeff Porcaro (drums, percussion)
Reine Press (bass)
Emil Richards (vibraphone, percussion)
Lee Ritenour (guitar)
Fred Tackett (guitar)
Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
Gayle LeVant (harp)
David Wolfert (guitar)
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background vocals:
Augie Johnson – Clydie King – Jim Gilstrap – John Lehman – Julia Tillman Waters – Venetta Fields

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Tracklist:
01. Superman (Snyder) 2.48
02. Don’t Believe What You Read (Streisand/Nagle/Mathews) 3.33
03. Baby Me Baby (Miller) 4.21
04. I Found You Love (Gordon) 3.47
05. Answer Me (Streisand/Williams/Ascher) 3.14
06. My Heart Belongs To Me (Gordon) 3.21
07. Cabin Fever (Nagle) 3.10
08. Love Comes From Unexpected Places (Carnes/Ellingson) 4.11
09. New York State Of Mind (Joel) 4.40
10. Lullaby For Myself (Holmes) 3.16

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And here´s another version of “New York State Of Mind” (feat. Billy Joel) from 2014: