ALCATRAZZ – Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986 Box Set (2017)

ALCATRAZZ - Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986 Box Set (2017) full

Put on sale as the ‘perfect Christmas gift’ for hard rockers, Cherry Red / Hear No Evil Records just released “Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986“, a mammoth 3-CD ALCATRAZZ Box Set, including a bunch of previously unreleased material rounding it as the definitve ALCATRAZZ collection.

Few frontmen can claim to have had such a lengthy and far-reaching career as Graham Bonnet; first finding fame as part of The Marbles, enjoying a hit with the Bee Gees’ ‘Only One Woman’ in 1968; a solo career across the 70s; further success with the Bee Gees’, and the disco flavoured ‘Warm Ride’.
But Graham found what was possibly his greatest success replacing Ronnie James Dio in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow for 1979’s “Down To Earth”, and the worldwide hit singles ‘All Night Long’ and ‘Since You Been Gone’.
Solo success beckoned with ‘Night Games’ and the “Line-Up” album in 1981, before briefly joining The Michael Schenker Group for 1982’s “Assault Attack”.

By 1983, it was obvious that Graham should recapture some of his Rainbow glory days by forming a new band with a similar vein of melodic hard rock running through it. To that end, he formed Alcatrazz with a formidable, but relatively young 20 year old Swedish guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen.
Bonnet and Malmsteen formed an impressive songwriting partnership, with songs such as ‘Island In The Sun’ and ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ on the band’s debut offering,
“No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll”. ‘Jet To Jet’, ‘Kree Nakoorie’, ‘Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live’, ‘Starcarr Lane’ and ‘Suffer Me’ are also included.

Making a healthy dent on the US chart, aided by videos aimed squarely at MTV, nowhere was Alcatrazz’s impact felt as strongly as Japan, where the band became instant stars.
A Japanese tour was booked for early 1984, with plans to record a number of dates for the inevitable “Live in Japan” LP. As it happened, the performance at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza venue was deemed so good that no other concerts were considered for inclusion on the “Live Sentence” release, which includes unique versions of ‘Night Games’, MSG’s ‘Desert Song’, and Rainbow’s ‘Since You Been Gone’, ‘All Night Long’ and ‘Lost In Hollywood’.

CD One is completed with 1983 instrumental demos of ‘General Hospital’, ‘Incubus’ and ‘Big Foot’, as well as a previously unreleased version of Russ Ballard’s ‘S.O.S.’, recorded at Yngwie Malmsteen’s audition for the band.

ALCATRAZZ - Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986 Box Set (2017) - disc 3 photo

When Yngwie left in 1984 to pursue a successful career as a solo artist fronting his own Rising Force, Alcatrazz not only lost a key songwriter, but also a musician who would turn out to be one of the most influential lead guitarists of the decade and beyond. Although a relative unknown at the time, it was a stroke of genius when future David Lee Roth and Whitesnake guitarist Steve Vai joined the band.
Signing to EMI’s US subsidiary Capitol Records, “Disturbing the Peace” was released in 1985, led by the single and MTV favourite ‘God Blessed Video’. Also included from the album are ‘Mercy’, ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’, ‘Wire And Wood’, ‘Desert Diamond’, ‘Painted Lover’ and ‘Skyfire’.

Alcatrazz’s underrated third and final album, “Dangerous Games”, is represented here with a revisit to ‘It’s My Life’, plus the 12” remix of ‘Undercover’, on CD for the very first time.
Disc Two is completed by 6 previously unreleased demo / rehearsals from 1985 for the “Dangerous Games” album, including ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Blue Boar’ and ‘No Imagination’.

Possibly of the most interest to fans of Alcatrazz, and especially Yngwie Malmsteen, is the third disc comprising of previously unreleased 1983 rehearsals and writing sessions, giving a unique insight into the composition and arrangements for the “No Parole…” record.

ALCATRAZZ - Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986 Box Set (2017) box back

As said, “Breaking The Heart Of The City; The Best Of Alcatrazz 1983-1986” is the definitve Alcatrazz collection, including the best studio songs completely remastered plus a lot of unreleased material.
Some of the demos sound better that others, but what matters here is their previously unheard status. All tracks have been included for their historical importance, and to present a complete Alcatrazz Anthology, in the studio, rehearsal and live on stage.
Strongly Recommended

01 – Island in the Sun
02 – Jet to Jet
03 – Hiroshima Mon Amour
04 – Kree Nakoorie
05 – Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live
06 – Starcarr Lane
07 – Suffer Me
from LIVE SENTENCE 1984:
08 – Night Games (Live 1984)
09 – Since You’ve Been Gone (Live 1984)
10 – Desert Song (Live 1984)
11 – Evil Eye (Live 1984)
12 – All Night Long (Live 1984)
13 – Lost in Hollywood (Live 1984)
14 – General Hospital (Instrumental Demo)
15 – Incubus (Instrumental Demo)
16 – Big Foot (Instrumental Demo)
17 – S.O.S. (Yngwie Malmsteen Audition)

01 – God Blessed Video
02 – Mercy
03 – Will You Be Home Tonight
04 – Wire and Wood
05 – Desert Diamond
06 – Painted Lover
07 – Skyfire
08 – It’s My Life
09 – Undercover (12 Inch Remix)
10 – Ohayo Tokyo
11 – Dangerous Games
12 – Blue Boar
13 – Witchwood
14 – Double Man
15 – Night of the Shooting Star
16 – Set Me Free (Live Rehearsal Vocal Take)
17 – No Imagination (Live Rehearsal Vocal Take)
18 – Jimmy Waldo Instrumental
19 – Blue Boar (Instrumental Rehearsal Demo Take)
20 – Double Man (Instrumental Rehearsal Demo Take)
21 – Rider (Instrumental Rehearsal Demo Take 3)

01 – Incubus (Take 1)
02 – Incubus (Take 2)
03 – Kree Nakoorie (Take 1)
04 – Kree Nakoorie (Take 2)
05 – I’m Not Down
06 – Big Foot (Take 1)
07 – Big Foot (Take 2)
08 – Jet to Jet (Live – Rehearsal)
09 – Kree Nakoorie (Take 3)
10 – Starcarr Lane (Live – Rehearsal)
11 – Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live
12 – General Hospital

Graham Bonnet: Vocals
Yngwie Malmsteen: Guitars (1983-1984)
Steve Vai: Guitars (1984-1985)
Danny Johnson: Guitar (1985-1986)
Gary Shea: Bass
Jan Uvena: Drums
Jimmy Waldo: Keyboards


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