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Album Review

Although he'll probably always be best known for being the shortest tenured vocalist in the history of Rainbow (only a single album, 1980's Down to Earth), Graham Bonnet has certainly carved a niche for himself as one of rock's most underrated vocalists. After all, he's also appeared on countless other releases (Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, etc.), and has issued sporadic solo albums over the years. 1998 saw Bonnet issue his fourth solo set overall, Underground, which sees him return to his hard rock roots, and forgo the pop-based material he was singing toward the end of his tenure with Alcatrazz (in hopes of crossover success). As with his previous solo outings, Bonnet relies on outside songwriters to supply the tunes — including a Rainbow cover, "Lost in Hollywood," as well as such tough hard rockers as the album-opening title track and "Breakaway." But Bonnet's voice is perhaps best suited for slightly laid-back rock fare, as evidenced here by "Movin' On." Underground is certainly a return to form for Bonnet, although he does manage to break one of rock's golden rules — never attempt to cover a Jimi Hendrix song (a best forgotten cover of "The Wind Cries Mary"). Fans of the overlooked Disturbing the Peace and the aforementioned Down to Earth should enjoy Bonnet's 1998 solo outing.


Born: 12 December 1947 in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

In the 1980s, hard rock and heavy metal were all about the way you looked. If you didn't have long hair and dress in studs, spikes, leather, or spandex, you stuck out like a sore thumb. Singer Graham Bonnet -- who sported a look that was equal parts James Dean and Miami Vice-era Don Johnson -- was a prime example of this, despite fronting (albeit briefly) such renowned acts as Rainbow, the Michael Schenker Group, and Alcatrazz. Born December 23, 1947, in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England, Bonnet had...
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Underground, Graham Bonnet
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