Title - 'Line-Up' (Cherry Red)
Artist - Graham Bonnet
Graham Bonnet is a British rock singer/songwriter. Having performed both solo and as a member of several metal acts - such as Rainbow, MSG and Alcatrazz - it was in 1981; after his break from Rainbow (which, although he only stayed for a short time with them, still managed to produce some of their finest, all be they pop-fused tracks: 'Since You've Been Gone' and 'I Surrender,' to name just two), that he chose to resume his solo career.
'Line-Up' was soon released and as most witnessed, the album had a markedly more rock-based sound than his previous solo recordings; whilst retaining some of his former R&B influences. But, that wasn't the most incredible aspect of this album, by a long shot!
For Bonnet enlisted several well-known rockers to make this album something special. Today this might well be called a Supergroup for it included Whitesnake guitarist Mick Moody, Whitesnake and Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, Deep Purple and Whitesnake keyboard player Jon Lord, and Status Quo guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt!
And yet, amazingly, and as much as this whole album still today stands out in my mind as one that got me through my youth, 'Line-Up' only reached #62 on the UK Albums Chart! At least the album's lead single, 'Night Games' reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart, but the follow-up single, 'Liar', reached only #51.
'Line-Up' kicks off with arguably, the best song on the album, 'Night Games.' [Incidentally, the video for this, where he and all his incredible, star-studded band mates are on stage singing, Bonnet's neck straining each lyric, is still embedded in my mind!] Following that single is the more melodic 'S.O.S.' which in turns gets followed by the mellow 'I'm A Lover.'
A cover of The Ronettes' 'Be My Baby' is next, and as much as it is truly out of place, 'That's The Way It Is' follows and gets us back on track. But it's another huge '80s hit, 'Liar' that truly sends us back in time.
The swingin' rock of 'Anthony Boy' is next, before the complete rock out of 'Dirty Hand.'
'Out On The Water' provides us another look into the depth of Bonnet's gravel-laced voice, before 'Don't Stand In The Open' and the bouncy 'Set Me Free' round out the album.
UK CD Purchase Link