Graham Bonnet, still kicking out the jams at the ripe old age of 71, point proven on this very impressive Live In Tokyo 2017 album, released on Frontiers Music S.R.L. Out of its sixteen tracks, it weighs heavily on Down To Earth, the album Graham made with Rainbow. It divided fans opinions between him and Ronnie James Dio but I thought he did a great job and it still is one of my favourite Rainbow albums. Of the five taken from it, ‘Eyes Of The World’ is a strong set opener, still sounding fresh forty years on. Grahams band locks in tight, especially the guitar work of Conrado Pesinato who nails the solo as Graham still holds that long note outro. ‘Loves No Friend’ is a bit of a letdown as it doesn’t sound like Graham on the lead vocal.
‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, the song that really set the cat among the pigeons back then sounds amazing here to. ‘All Night Long’ doesn’t fare too well as it musically lacks the bite of the original but Graham really belts it out and ‘Lost In Hollywood’ is cranked out by the band, a real tour de force delivery. The rest of the album is made up of his The Book album, Assault Attack, the album he made with MSG and a couple of curios, The first is ‘Night Games’ that brought back so many memories and it sounds massive here with big band backing vocals. ‘Stand In Line’, the Impelliteri classic from the debut album of the same name Graham appeared on is scarily close to the original especially when Conrado blasts out the lead solo. ‘The Crying Chair’ (alternate lyric version), from the Meanwhile, Back In The Garage album is a poignant ballad but doesn’t sound like it’s been taken from the Tokyo gig.
Best cuts taken from The Book album are ‘California Air’, as the jabbing keyboards from Jimmy Waldo and heavy riffing keep the energy levels high and ‘SOS’ cranks away a bit like ‘Jane’ by Jefferson Starship. Fantastic hooks and huge choruses during ‘Rider’ are an album highlight. The Assault Attack tracks made me want to dig out my album as it’s not been played for years. Standout tracks here are ‘Samurai’ as its utterly compelling grooves dominate, especially the bass guitar prowess from Beth-Ami Heavenstone and drumming by Mark Benquchea. Those touches of ‘Love To Love’ by UFO still crop up during ‘Desert Song’ but pick of the crop is a crushing run through of ‘Assault Attack’.
Eyes Of The World.
Stand In Line.
Into The Night.
Love’s No Friend.
Since You’ve Been Gone.
All Night Long.
Lost In Hollywood.
The Crying Chair (alternative lyric version).