Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
The next three albums in the reissue series are upon us and the fantastic The Thrill of it all is up first. Album number four from thunder came just one year after Behind Closed Doors and it continued the popular wave the band were riding in the 90s.
There were a few changes on this album, Luke Morley produced the album and took over pretty much all songwriting duties, he even done the bass parts. The album done well commercially but was not as easily accepted as the first three albums other than to hard core fans.
The album opens with “Pilot of my Dreams” and to be honest this is not my go to album for Thunder but I loved going back to revisit what I refer to as old friends”. I was at all Thunder tours right from the start so I have probably heard the most of these tracks more live than on record.
This is a usual feel good Thunder track that has all the elements we knew and loved. “Living for Today” has Mr Morley on acoustic guitar and vocals on intro and when Danny bursts in with the rest of the band this is Thunder perfection…it even throws in the moothy and this is a stand out track of the album with its groove and relevant lyrical content.
It is an album so you know there is always a ballad and “Love Worth Dying For” is this albums slowed down smoldering song and has all the elements that thunder do so well and Danny is on fire. “Don’t Wait Up” was a single that cracked the UK top 30 and mixed things up with the band leaning heavily in a Blues vibe.
A sure fire hit for Thunder was always opening with just an acoustic and Danny and “Somebody to Love” ticked the boxes but somehow was just a bit off. It was difficult to put your finger on but it felt like just too many ingredients.
“Welcome to the Party” on the other hand hit spot on at every stroke. You have the sing along, the pitch perfect vocals and the Coca Cola summer party advert swing. Another one of the top tracks.
The title track is just stunning, the Skynrd opening, the acoustic, the pitch and the powerful songwriting. Another number that highlights the songwriting genius of Mr Morley. I have felt over the years that it is only crazy Thunder fans that appreciated just how good his lyrical abilities are.
“Hotter than the Sun” kicks off with Harry on some crazy Ska beat and this is one of the left field tracks with the UB40 guitars and totally uncalled for vocal distortion and although this builds to something better it takes a bit to get used to.
There will always be a song on every Thunder album that will grab you by the heart strings and “This Forgotten Town” is the one here. If I remember correctly this was based on Luke’s father and you feel the emotion, something that Danny was always able to squeeze out of every lyric he sang. This is just a beautiful number.
I had completely forgotten about “Cosmetic Punk” and I have no idea why as this is the rockier side of Thunder and an upbeat beast. A song that gets you up and drags you along to a good time whether you want to or not. The guitar solo is exquisite too.
The original album closed with “You Can’t Live your Life in a Day” which was a bluesy Beatles tribute with that always present message. This album is oft forgotten but giving is a listen again took me back and reinforced why Thunder were a band that carried me through the 90s and for me drowned out that Grunge nonsense.
I will be honest with these reissues I always go straight to the bonus section before I listen to the studio tracks but that is because Thunder have always been a live band to me. My memories are always of the boys either on a stage or after they had been on stage with a beer in hand and usually with some very dodgy clothing.
All the live tracks are at least 11 years old but the earliest going back to 2000 and once again they are the highlights of the release. You have a funked up version of “Don’t Wait Up” with the backing singers and Jazz club keys. There are two tracks from Nottingham in 2005 in “Love Worth Dying For” and the Thrill of it All” and the sound is perfect. Danny is one of the best singers in the business. In all the shows I saw I never seen him have a bad show, just like the band.
The whole thing is wrapped up in Japan back in 2000 with “Welcome to the Party” and this is a cracking version and shows the appeal that the band had globally.
Thunder always make me smile, recorded or live and I cannot believe it is almost two years since I saw them live at their Christmas show…a night to remember as is every show. These reissues are a great way to pay homage to a fantastic British band and the journey they have been on and all of those Thunder Channel crazies that follow them to this day.
The Thrill Of It All
- Pilot of My Dreams
- Living for Today
- Love Worth Dying for
- Don’t Wait Up
- Something About You
- Welcome to the Party
- The Thrill of It All
- Hotter Than the Sun
- This Forgotten Town
- Cosmetic Punk
- You Can’t Live Your Life In a Day
- Don’t Wait Up (Live at Manchester Academy, 2012)*
- Love Worth Dying For (Live at Nottingham Rock City, 2005)*
- The Thrill Of It All (Live at Nottingham Rock City, 2005)*
- Welcome To The Party (Live at Club Citta, Kawasaki, Japan, 2000)*
Pre-order the expanded reissues HERE
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