Album review: GRAHAM BONNET – The Historic Collection (2 CDs)

Store For Music [Release date 21.01.22]

Graham Bonnet needs little or no introduction.

His 5 decade back catalogue is a rich and constant source of reissues and expanded versions.

This double CD package sees his 1991 album, Here Comes The Night paired with Live Around The World.

Here Comes… is a game of two halves, and a covers album. In some ways a return to the classic pop tropes of his earlier material. On yet another version of ‘Only One Woman’, the artificiality of the synth soaked production actually adds to the song’s blazing pop majesty.

It’s in good company, being surrounded by material written by Denny Laine (Eyes Of A Child), Ray Davies (I Go To Sleep) and uber popular music songwriter/ producers, Lieber & Stoller (Don’t).

We first saw Bonnet’s soulful rhythm& blues leanings taking root in his self titled 1977 recording. Mixed in with the classic pop songs already mentioned, a sensual sax turns a cover of Them/Van Morrison’s ‘Here Comes The Night’ into something really interesting. Sam Cooke’s prescient ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ and ‘I’ll Go Crazy’, a huge R&B hit for James Brown in the sixties, contribute to Bonnet’s reputation for cross genre artistry.

The Live CD plucks top performances from Bonnet at various venues from all over the globe.

Stomping reconstructions of ‘Since You Been Gone’ and ‘All Night Long’ are the not unexpected highlights. Still, the soaring ‘Eyes Of The World’ and oft underrated ‘Night Games’ cross the line not too far behind.

In all honesty, when you can also include high calibre material like ‘Island In The Sun’, ‘Assault, Attack’ and ‘Lost In Hollywood’ in your repertoire, your fans might well be reminded of why they got into melodic hard rock in the first place. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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