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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Bonnet, Graham - 1981 Line Up
Bonnet, Graham - 1981 Line Up

ARTIST: Bonnet, Graham
ALBUM: Line Up
LABEL: Vertigo
SERIAL: 6302 151
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2004, Lemon (UK), 2007, Universal Japan, UICY-6884


LINEUP: Graham Bonnet - vocals * Micky Moody - guitars * Gary Twigg - bass * Cozy Powell - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Night Games * 02 S.O.S * 03 I'm A Lover * 04 Be My Baby * 05 That's The Way That It Is * 06 Liar * 07 Anthony Boy * 08 Dirty Hand * 09 Out On The Water * 10 Don't Stand In The Open * 11 Set Me Free


Graham Bonnet has an impressive resume when it comes to the art of pop/rock vocal performance. His appearances have populated the music scene for nearly four decades. Whether it's The Marbles, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impelliteri, Bonnet has sung with some of the best bands and best musicians around. Though his association with many of these bands were a highlight for many rock fans, it may have overshadowed his deeds with his solo career, but let's not forget those couple of albums which were released during the late 70's. His 1977 debut spawned the hit single 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue' while 1978's 'No Bad Habits' spawned the popular 'Warm Ride', both songs big hits down under in Australia and New Zealand at the time. After the latter album, Bonnet was shoulder tapped to replace Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow who left the band at the end of 1978. Bonnet joined in April 1979, and he appears on the 'Down To Earth' LP, perhaps their most commercial album up to that point. Bonnet toured all through 1979 and early 1980, culminating in the inaugural 1980 Donnington Monsters Of Rock. By this stage, Cozy Powell left the band, followed soon after by Bonnet, who claimed that Rainbow offered little in the way of musical challenges, and that some of the songs presented for the next studio album were just plain awful. The press at the time were told that Bonnet was fired because of a drunken performance - Bonnet claims that this was not true. Not one to sit back, and now having a profile in the hard rock world, Bonnet picked up his solo career, to release 'Line-Up' bringing in Powell, Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody, bassist Gary Twigg plus Deep Purple's Jon Lord.

The Songs
'Line-Up' is an amalgam of British hard rock fusing the likes of Bonnet's former band Rainbow with early 80's era Uriah Heep. It's pretty commercial fare, AOR in places even, and with some top rated musicians on-board, the album - was released in October 1981 to little fanfare and little interest though it does have its moments. 'Night Games' was initially released as the first single way back in March 1981. It fared very well in the UK charts, reaching #6. 'Liar' was chosen as the next single. Written by Russ Ballard when he was with Argent, it probably wasn't the best selection for Bonnet. It's an OK song, but 'S.O.S' the other Ballard contribution, would've made a much better choice, the song borders on AOR, with melodic synths underpinning the whole affair. 'I'm A Lover' is a nice meandering power ballad, while the Phil Spector written 'Be My Baby' is obviously a Bonnet favourite from the 60's, but its inclusion here is ill-advised. The Paul Bliss written 'That's The Way That It Is', popularised by Uriah Heep the following year on their 'Abominog' LP is featured here, though not a touch on Heep's fantastic version. Bonnet covers Chuck Berry's 'Anthony Boy', the whole thing coming off like a 12 bar boogie excursion a la Status Quo. Tracks 8-10 were written by Bob Young and Micky Moody and are reasonable efforts, but nothing exceptional either. The closer 'Set Me Free' is a Kinks cover, and is given the typical Graham Bonnet facelift.

In Summary
The history of this album can be found on Graham Bonnet's website. In essence, the songs (many of them covers) were assembled over an extended period of time, using an array of musicians other than those named above (as credited on the album). Compounding issues was the Japanese market, and deciding what to choose as singles for that territory, plus with Bonnet becoming increasingly confused by what was going on, he left for the USA in mid 1981 while all the back-end studio production work was being done. He returned to find the final product for 'Line-Up' being completely watered down. What started out as a good year, ending up being a shocker by the time 1982 arrived. Not happy with the way his solo career was going, Bonnet joined the Michael Schenker Group in March 1982, and started a whole new chapter.

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