ANTHEM featuring GRAHAM BONNET – Explosive!! –studio jam– [Japan only release] (2020)
ANTHEM, led by its founder and former Loudness bassist Naoto Shibata, is one of the best known metal acts from Japan. Originally formed in 1980, the band released its self-titled debut album in 1985. Anthem and legendary Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group and Alcatrazz vocalist GRAHAM BONNET originally teamed up 20 years ago for Anthem’s comeback album, “Heavy Metal Anthem”, an album which consisted of old Anthem songs that were re-recorded with English lyrics.
The brand new release “EXPLOSIVE!! –studio jam–” delivers re-recordings of RAINBOW, ANTHEM, MSG, ALCATRAZZ and Graham Bonnet solo, professionally recorded into the studio.
The results surprised us; instead of being a simple re-harsh of old stuff, Anthem & Bonnet give new life to these timeless songs.
We get to hear the the songs “Gypsy Ways (Win, Lose or Draw)”, “Crying’ Heart” and “Midnight Sun” from the album Anthem did with Bonnet on lead vocals.
Then a couple of Rainbow songs (“Since You Been Gone” and “Lost in Hollywood”), an MSG song (“Desert Song”) and the Alcatrazz ballad “The Witchwood”. From Bonnet’s solo back catalogue we get the terrific “Night Games”.
72-year-old Graham Bonnet, who had his first hit single in 1968, still has a great voice and just released a new Alcatrazz album. You’ll be surprised how well he sings the Rainbow / MSG songs. Admirable.
It’s great to see him reunited with his Japanese friends to play some old favorites.
Personally, I find the three Anthem songs the most interesting as they are lesser-known songs for fans outside of Japan and they may be new discoveries for some Bonnet fans. But as said, the classic Bonnet songs are a treat too as he gives a new color to them.
01. Gypsy Ways (Anthem)
02. Cryin’ Heart (Anthem)
03. Midnight Sun (Anthem)
04. Since You Been Gone (Rainbow)
05. Lost in Hollywood (Rainbow)
06. Desert Song (Michael Schenker Group)
07. The Witchwood (Alcatrazz)
08. Night Games (Graham Bonnet solo)
Graham Bonnet (Vocals)
Naoto Shibata (Bass)
Akio Shimizu (Guitar)
Yukio Morikawa (Vocal)
Isamu Tamaru (Drums)