Title - 'Flying Not Falling 1991-1999' [3CD Box-Set]
Artist - Graham bonnet
Graham Bonnet is quite rightly best known for fronting the melodic hard rock of Rainbow, MSG and Alcatrazz, with a career going back to the 1960s. However, his initial breakthrough as part of The Marbles was in 1968, where his style and tastes were originally geared more towards pop and R&B orientated music.
Recording a number of obscure, but now highly collectable 45's in the early 1970s, before releasing his solo albums, Bonnet is still as much revered today as he was in his heyday.
Having recently had a slew of his old work released via Cherry Red Records (UK), including the brilliant double pack of Graham Bonnet / No Bad Habits: Expanded Deluxe Edition, the excellent Graham Bonnet Anthology 1968-2017 CD/DVD collection, and his work with Alcatrazz, this time Cherry Red bring us three of his solo albums, all recorded across the 1990s, together in on glorious box-set: Here Comes The Night (1991), Underground (1997), and the self-explanatory, The Day I Went Mad (1999).
As with all his releases, this quite superb (especially if you are a fan of Bonnet's, and, in this genre, who the hell isn't?) this box-set is chock full of both rock greatness and pop sensibilities also.
Disc 1: The Day I Went Mad
1. 'The Day I Went Mad'
3. 'Flying Not Falling'
4. 'Hey That's Me'
5. 'Lolita Crush'
6. 'This Day'
7. 'Model Inc.'
9. 'Greenwich Meantime'
10. 'Don't Look Down'
11. 'Oh! Darling'
Live Bonus Tracks:
12. 'I'm Down/Lucille' (Live Easington Rock Garden 22nd November 2001)
13. 'Killer' (Live Coconut Teaser 23rd September 2000)
14. 'Spiked!' (Live Culver City, 12th May 2000)
15. 'Don't Look Down' (Live Culver City, 12th May 2000)
16. 'Since You Been Gone' (Live Culver City, 12th May 2000)
17. 'Oh! Darling' (Live Culver City, 12th May 2000)
Disc 2: Underground
4. 'Movin' On'
5. 'Sail On'
6. 'Cajun Pink'
7. 'The Strange'
8. 'Winter Skin'
9. 'Lost in Hollywood'
10. 'The Wind Cries Mary'
Bonus Tracks - Live At Culver City, 12th May, 2000:
11. 'Island in the Sun'
13. 'Only One Woman'
14. 'God Blessed Video'
15. 'Will You Be Home'
17. 'All Night Long'
Disc 3: Here Comes The Night
1. 'Something About You'
2. 'Here Comes the Night'
3. 'Long Time Gone'
4. 'Only One Woman'
5. 'Please Call Me'
6. 'A Change Is Gonna Come'
7. 'I'll Go Crazy'
8. 'I Go to Sleep'
9. 'Look Don't Touch'
10. 'Eyes of a Child'
12. 'What She Says, You Hear It'
Bonus Tracks - Instrumental Demos:
14. 'Gone in a Minute'
15. 'A Hole in My Soul'
16. 'Please Call Me'
17. 'Greenwich Meantime'
Although, as noted, this collection only covers a small part of the Graham Bonnet story, few front men can claim to have had such a lengthy and far-reaching career. Kicking things off in this 3CD box-set is Graham’s last solo album of the decade, and his sixth in total.
Chock full of special guests, joining Graham and his band - Kevin Valentine on drums, Mario Parga on guitars and John Thomas on guitar and keyboards - are former Alcatrazz guitarist, Danny Johnson, Vivian Campbell of DIO, Whitesnake and Def Leppard, Bruce Kulick (KISS and Meat Loaf), plus Slash from Guns N’ Roses and Tim Bogert from Vanilla Fudge.
Tracks that still stand out as glorious to me today are ones such as the near five minute long, title track opener, the guitar licks galore of the Box-Set title 'Flying Not Falling', and both the drumtastic, Purplesque 'Lolita Crush' and the frenetic 'Spiked!'
Now expanded with a number of live curios from his 2000 tour, including The Beatles’ ‘I’m Down/Lucille’ and Rainbow’s ‘Since You Been Gone’, as well as cuts from the actual The Day I Went Mad album, this is, as always, Graham giving his all musically.
Underground, a darker album in places, is next in this set and was Graham’s fifth solo record, and saw him reunited with guitarist Danny Johnson who had previously played together on Alcatrazz’s third and final LP, Dangerous Games. As well as a rocked-up cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, and ‘Lost In Hollywood’, a song that Graham had originally sung on Rainbow’s 1979 hit, Down To Earth, the album contains come very solid tracks.
Amongst them are the brilliant, yet dark title track, 'Underground', the upbeat 'Breakaway', the lush acoustic guitar work of 'Sail On', and a fun, down south blues romp in the form of 'Cajun Pink'.
This album is also now augmented by seven songs recorded live at Culver City, 12th May 2000, and includes Alcatrazz’s ‘Island In The Sun’, ‘God Blessed Video’ and ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’, Rainbow’s ‘All Night Long’, MSG’s ‘Dancer’, along with ‘Only One Woman’ and ‘S.O.S.’.
Finally comes 1991’s Here Comes The Night, which saw Graham move far, far away from his hard rock orientated path to take a more pop, R&B flavored approach. Inclusive of covers of Ray Davies ‘I Go To Sleep’, Denny Laine’s ‘Eyes Of A Child’, Leiber & Stoller’s ‘Don’t’, James Brown’s ‘I’ll Go Crazy’, and the Four Tops' 'Something About You', it may well have been a controversial side step for him, but it's one (In my book) that he needed to do to fully embrace his musical roots.
Stand out tracks here are, for sure, the opening track, a sax-tastic and inspired cover of the Four Tops' 'Something About You' which is backed by a cover of Them's 'Here Comes The Night', and then comes both the beautiful ballad 'Only One Woman' and a stirring cover of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come.'
This albums also now comes with some nice extras, this time in the form of four (4) bonus instrumental demos for, ‘Gone In A Minute’, ‘ A Hole In My Soul’, ‘Please Call Me’ and ‘Greenwich Meantime’.
'Flying Not Falling 1991-1999' [3CD Box-Set] Purchase Link
Check out this BRILLIANT Interview clip with Ritchie Blackmore revealing what he asked Graham to do for their first live gig - and how Graham screwed him over on purpose!
Ritchie on Graham
Now check out this also BRILLIANT Interview clip with Graham talking about Ritchie Blackmore and his love and admiration for his guitar work!
Graham on Ritchie