From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alexander Gitlin) Subject: Graham Bonnet "No Bad Habits" (1978) LP "review" Date: 7 Dec 1995 02:20:05 GMT Message-ID: <email@example.com>
Just as "Lineup", this item is star-studded - there's Jon Lord, Cozy Powell, Micky Moody, Micky Underwood (from Gillan), Frank Ricotti, Pip Williams (Status Quo's dreaded producer, respondible for the 1978 "If You Can't Stand the Heat" disastrous production), and I think even Brigitte Bardot doing some backup vocals on "Is there a Way to Sing the Blues" and "Stand Still Stella"... At least the back cover credits someone named "Bardot" for that. :)
The front cover picture depicts our hero in a blue silky leisure suit, with a squeaky clean haircut, just standing still; the back cover is a typical Chuck Berry pose, complete with a Gibson guitar, and the "leg twist" thing.
The album itself sounds quite polished, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the production was. Knowing that the producer was Pip Williams, whom I usually rag on, a great deal! Well, he ruined many a Quo album anyway. Speaking of whom, Graham borrows Quo's "Givin Up My Worryin" (Rossi/Frost); and compared to the clean original version, Graham's sounds quite raunchy and rough!
The tunes are energetic, innovative and brilliant performance and songwriting-wise; one thing only comes to mind in 1995 - they don't make 'em like this anymore.
Thankfully, Graham decided to lose the slushy Motown ballads which had already ruined his 1977 self-titled solo debut, and would also make his 1991 comeback album, "Here Comes the Night" die a death (years later)...
...in favour of harder-rocking punchy 3-minute songs, very much in the style of Rainbow, or at least, listening to this, one can better understand where he was (literally) coming from, when "Down to Earth" (especially "All Night Long") was being recorded.
Nevertheless, compared to "Lineup", which bears the imprints of its time (the heaviness of NWOBHM), "No Bad Habits", recorded some 3 years earlier, is more power pop than heavy rock.
A great deal of tunes is written by someone named Kongos(?), one by Bob Young (Status Quo's long time road manager, and the "fifth Beatle" in the Quo) and Micky Moody - probably in the aftermath of the "Young & Moody" collaboration. And Graham also goes so far as to cover Bob Dylan's "I'll be your baby tonight".
Vocally, he also sounds like he was in an excellent shape - perhaps just as good as in his Rainbow/MSG days. What can I say? If you see this record at a faire - don't think too long - grab it!
You may regret otherwise, as it might take years to be re-issued on CD, like "Lineup" did!
p.s. Now, would anyone tell me whatever happened to Blackthorne's second album? Ditched?
p.p.s. If on "Here Comes The Night" and on some Forcefield albums Graham sounds cheesy, "No Bad Habits" kicks a serious ass, so you're likely to forget all those Forcefield bollocks, once you hear it.