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Bonfire - 2001 Strike Ten

ARTIST: Bonfire
ALBUM: Strike Ten
SERIAL: 74321 84038 2 8
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: Claus Lessmann - vocals, acoustic guitars * Hans Ziller - guitars, talk box, vocals * Chris Lausmann - keyboards, guitars, vocals * Uwe Kohler - bass, vocals * Jurgen 'Bam Bam' Wiehler - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Revelation Day * 02 Under Blue Skies * 03 Strike Back * 04 Down To Atlanta * 05 Southern Winds * 06 Good Time Rock N Roll * 07 Until The Last Goodbye * 08 Diamonds In The Rough * 09 Damn You * 10 Any Time You Cry * 11 Too Much Hollywood * 12 I Need You * 13 Angel In White (bonus track) * 14 Take Me By The Hand (bonus track)


It turns out, not surprisingly, that 'Strike Ten' is Bonfire's tenth album - if you don't include the 'Hot & Slow' compilation. Few melodic rock bands can boast a career that spans fifteen years and ten albums. Apart from the mediocre 'Knock Out' and the interesting acoustic/country flavoured 'Feels Like Coming Home', Bonfire has been steadily releasing good-to-excellent quality Euro melodic hard rock.

The Songs
Thanks to the cult status of their 'Fireworks' album (1987), anything released since then is compared to it. To some extent the same can be said for 'Point Blank' (1989). There are a couple of tracks that would fit into those moulds quite easily on 'Strike Ten', namely 'Under Blue Skies', 'Strike Back' and 'Damn You'. Bonfire have also written a couple of high quality pure melodic rock tracks - 'Until The Last Goodbye' and 'Anytime You Cry' - still clearly Bonfire but with an added slickness and, perhaps even, maturity. That is definitely the case if you compare those two tracks to 'Down To Atlanta', the only notable blemish on an otherwise excellent album. Unfortunately Bonfire's need to pay homage to the southern USA on their past few albums, and on 'Strike Ten', has resulted in some of their weakest recorded moments. The German legends have also been known to write a good ballad, but 'I Need You' is a step up and simply breathtaking. Great way to finish the album.

In Summary
On 'Rebel Soul' and 'Fuel To The Flames' Bonfire had hinted at giving us something special again. 'Strike Ten' is a big step in the right direction, and if songs such as 'Until the Last Goodbye', 'Anytime You Cry' and 'I Need You' are anything to go by, I'd wager that the next time we hear from Bonfire they may be releasing their best yet. For now, Strike Ten is a worthy addition to the Bonfire arsenal.

Related Articles
Bonfire - 1987 Fireworks
Bonfire - 2001 Strike Ten
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