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Alcatrazz - 1983 No Parole From Rock N Roll

ARTIST: Alcatrazz
ALBUM: No Parole From Rock And Roll
LABEL: Rocshire
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1989, Grand Slamm, SLAMCD11 * 1992, Music For Nations, CDMFN-133 * 2011, The Store For Music, SFMCD246


LINEUP: Graham Bonnet - vocals * Yngwie Malmsteen - guitars * Jimmy Waldo - keyboards * Gary Shea - bass * Jan Uvena - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Island In The Sun * 02 General Hospital * 03 Jet To Jet * 04 Hiroshima Mon Amour * 05 Kree Nakoorie * 06 Incubus * 07 Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live * 08 Big Foot * 09 Starcarr Lane * 10 Suffer Me

Anyone remember Graham Bonnet? Yes say all MSG or Rainbow fans, albeit with a bit of disdain or enthusiasm depending on your tastes. After the 'grand exit' from MSG before the Reading Festival in 1982, Bonnet disappeared to a self induced exile to California. Well, he re-emerged, fronting a new lineup that's a virtual supergroup in it's own right, despite their indifferent backgrounds. Bonnet, always renowned for his radical vocal octave range (a.k.a strong voice), had returned to the somewhat cruel pedestal of the rock world. Alcatrazz his new band, features one of rock's potential axe wizards in Yngwie Malmsteen, who had previously played with Euro metal band Rising Force, as well as keeping company with Ron Keel's band Steeler. Shea and Waldo came from pomp rockers New England while ex Iron Butterfly and Alice Cooper drummer Jan Uvena got the drumming spot ahead of such formidable opponents as Aynsley Dunbar and Bill Lordan. I guess we all know how dodgy potential supergroups can be. What with reputations and expectations on the line, the promise of a new existing album is fairly demanding to say the least. Unfortunately Alcatrazz falls into that category, and I'm afraid it's an inedible and indigestible album for the average melodic rock fan.

The Songs
It seems that Bonnets vocals are not suited by the type of music that Alcatrazz play, which is a sometimes pomp sometimes rock mode, with Malmsteen's lead guitar played at 78rpm. 'Jet To Jet' is a pomp style song. When Malmsteen jumps in with his solo, it's far too fast, and spoils the rhythm of the whole thing. 'Island In The Sun' despite the UFO intro similar to 'Love To Love' follows the same pattern. A real raunch 'n' roll number is 'General Hospital', rounded off with some punchy guitar lines and inkly keyboards. Bonnet frequently fails to hit the high notes on this album, and conversely, this is one of the low notes of the album. The instrumental 'Incubus' has a Randy Rhoads like acoustic intro, leading into 'Bigfoot' a very rocky sounding track. Biting guitar from Malmsteen prevails over moody and sombre vocals by Bonnet on 'Starcarr Lane' while the closer 'Suffer Me' is just plain basic hard rock fodder of no real importance.

In Summary
This album is nothing to enthuse over, in fact it's a complete letdown as I know all five musicians are capable of better. Apparently they weren't so bad live, and things definitely got on the improve with the release of the excellent 'Disturbing The Peace' two years later, though by this stage, Malmsteen had gone off on his own merry way and guitar monster Steve Vai had filled his shoes.

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#1 | Jokerdean on March 15 2006 18:45:38
This is One of the best Hard Rock Releases from the 80's IMO. It has a Aor-ish sound at times, and harder rocking sound other times. Yngwie sounds fully developed at this time, amazing really since he was 19 or 20 at the time...WOW! Graham has a nice voice and the songs are strong! Production is a little flat, but hey it still rocks!
#2 | gdazegod on March 15 2006 19:38:53
Well I might have to go back and listen to it again then. It was 1983 when I first reviewed this album (the one you see above), so perhaps my opinion might have changed after 23 years? lol
#3 | Jokerdean on March 16 2006 17:54:45
To each his own... that's the cool thing about sites like this... you can read a review, find something new or re-find one that ya didn't like the first time around... not to mention the fact of all the ones I had never heard of or seen... Man there a lot of those I'll tell ya! Grin
#4 | Jokerdean on January 10 2008 18:34:57
Still Love this...In Fact I'm Spinning it right now!
#5 | rostoned on August 05 2008 18:24:39
This hit #128 in the US albums chart.
#6 | Eric on August 10 2008 15:39:50
Over rated and a big way
#7 | jeffduran on August 11 2008 01:08:33
agree....the next at least was an improvement.
#8 | gdazegod on August 11 2008 02:48:08
The review above, is taken from one of my Kreshendo (NZ fanzine) reviews from 1983. I may have been a tad unfriendly to this album at the time, and have softened my stance since. Certainly, it's not as bad as I made it out to be..
#9 | englandashes on December 28 2015 23:58:03
Been playing my vinyl copy for years, brought in a sale from WHSmith's of all places, picked up the recent cd reissue, while i still love Island in the sun, my favourite song is Too Young To Die, worth listening too again.
#10 | melodiapositiva on March 31 2016 19:51:23
best alcatrazz album,and maybe the best malmsteen record.He plays amazing in this album,and only 19 years old! GENIUS!

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