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The Enthusiast's Guide: Thunder


Thunder

To celebrate the recent release of the band’s first double LP ‘Dopamine’, which is their 14th studio album to date, James Gaden guides you through the band’s discography.


Thunder arrived on the scene in 1989 from the ashes of the band Terraplane, immediately causing a stir with their excellent debut album ‘Backstreet Symphony’. With a fine songwriter in Luke Morley and a superb singer in the form of Danny Bowes, flanked by keyboard player/guitarist Ben Matthews, bassist ‘Snake’ Luckhurst and drummer Harry James, the group became one of the primary flag bearers for British Rock, particularly after a phenomenal opening slot at 1990’s Monsters Of Rock at Castle Donington.

Their second album ‘Laughing On Judgement Day’ hit #2 in the UK album charts and in short order the band clocked up no less than nine UK Top-40 singles. The departure of Luckhurst did nothing to stop the group’s momentum with third album ‘Behind Closed Doors’ spawning three more hits.

By 1996 the group had issued a fourth album, ‘The Thrill Of It All’, which charted in the UK Top-20 and then installed a new permanent bass player in Chris Childs. Their ability as a live act was documented on the ‘Live’ set which was available as an album or home video.


The band’s next album was the more mellow ‘Giving The Game Away’ which added yet another Top-40 hit, a fine cover of Wild Cherry’s ‘Play That Funky Music’. Despite the chart placings and enthusiastic audiences, Thunder announced they were going to do a farewell tour and call it a day, stating, “We must stress that this decision is due to outside business forces and not down to any personal or musical differences within the band”. Bowes would elaborate, “It was a matter of simple economics. We were finding it increasingly hard to find a record company that would allow us to compete”.

After issuing a farewell live album ‘They Think It’s All Over...’, the members would work on other endeavours, with James joining Magnum, Childs doing various sessions, Morley releasing a solo record and then cutting two excellent albums with Bowes exploring a more Funk, Soul and Pop style.


In 2002 Thunder reunited to play some Monsters Of Rock shows and released a new album ‘Shooting At The Sun’ independently. This led to more festivals and shows and resulted in ‘The Magnificent Seventh’ in 2005 and ‘Robert Johnson’s Tombstone’ in 2006, again issued by the band’s own label STC Records. By the time 2009 arrived, the group put out another independent effort ‘Bang!’ only to state the tour for that would be another farewell effort.


In 2011 they were invited to come and perform at the short-lived High Voltage Festival, and after a handful of shows they were added to the bill opening for Journey and Whitesnake. Enamoured with the response they received from the audience, Thunder returned once more in 2015 to deliver the excellent ‘Wonder Days’. The follow up, 2017’s ‘Rip It Up’ saw the band achieve their highest chart placing since 1992 and the comeback kings were captured filling Cardiff Arena on their ‘Stage’ live album and Blu-Ray set.


‘Please Remain Seated’ saw the band explore their back catalogue in new, more stripped down styles prior to ‘All The Right Noises’ gaining more acclaim. Their latest release, the double album ‘Dopamine’, shows there’s still plenty in the Thunder tank. This article aims to guide you through their albums – but with over thirty live releases available to date, the selections have been limited strictly to their studio output.


 

STUDIO ALBUMS

Thunder Scorching
Thunder Sizzling
Thunder Toasty
Thunder Tepid
 

Thunder Band Mix Tape

 

This article appeared in Fireworks Rock & Metal Magazine Issue #100

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