Some eighteen years after The Cars’ self titled debut album was afforded the 2CD deluxe reissue treatment, fans of Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr can now breath a sigh of relief. After almost two decades of hoping other Cars titles would be reissued with various bonuses, two more titles hit the shelves in July 2017.
Few musicians hope they will be in the spotlight for fifty years and even fewer expect to spend that long with the same band. For guitarist Rick Parfitt, of course, this was pretty much the case. The young Richard Parfitt joined the fledgling Status Quo (previously called The Spectres) in 1967. His friendship with Francis Rossi now more than cemented, they both became committed to the band, which from 1967 scored hits across the bulk of the next five decades.
Graham Bonnet is one of the UK’s hardest working rock vocalists. In the past, he’s fronted big name bands, been a voice for hire for several widdly guitarists and even found time in between for a hit and miss solo career. When on good form, Bonnet can be terrific (as evidenced on Rainbow’s classic ‘Down To Earth and his own ‘Line Up); when he misses the mark, he has the ability to do so in a devastating way (the Blackthorn debut is pretty nasty, and somehow his solo LP ‘No Bad Habits’ from 1978 ended up being one of the worst albums ever recorded). Despite these inconsistencies, the Skegness born singer has reached legendary status.
Following the first run of Mott The Hoople reunion shows in 2009, Ian Hunter took time out to write new material. The Hoople gigs seemed to energise the legendary singer songwriter, as 2012’s ‘When I’m President’ (recorded with The Rant Band) contained some of his best material for some time. From the catchy pop-rock of the title track – complete with trademark tongue in cheek lyric – to the thoughtful ‘Black Tears’, the straight up rock of ‘Fatally Flawed’ and the brilliant 70s throwback and Hoople inspired ‘Comfortable (Flying Scotsman)’, the album was – and still is – a superb record. An album worthy of filing next to his 1975 solo debut and the much-loved ‘You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic’.
After departing Rainbow in 1980 after just one album and tour, Graham Bonnet found himself at a career high. Returning to solo work, the third LP released under his own name, 1981’s ‘Line-Up’ is a huge step forward from his two solo discs from the 1970s. To be fair, it couldn’t be any worse; 1978’s ‘No Bad Habits’, in particular, borders on being a terrible waste of plastic.