Thunder – “Backstreet Symphony” (1990)

ThunderHey folks.  Me again.  I just wanted to tell you about yet another hard rock gem!  Here we have a tasty nugget called Backstreet Symphony by the U.K. band Thunder.  This album (the band’s debut) recalls older British rock bands like Bad Company, or the long forgotten Rage.  Thunder weren’t re-inventing metallic blues based rock and roll, but their entry into the tried and true “classic rock” genre has definitely grown on me over the years.  At first, I was a bit put off by the somewhat corporate production on this 1990 release (those drums!).  But despite the stiffness of the recording, Thunder were able to shine through the lacquer while unfolding an abundance of nice melodies.  All brought to you by the powerful rock pipes of singer Danny Bowes.  This guy could really take a tune and carry it on his back!  My favorite song is probably the rocking title track (which, by the way, has pretty cool lyrics).  Again, Thunder were not doing anything cutting edge, they were basically dressing up classic rock with their own enthusiastic twist — and an extra helping of charisma.  Another fave is Until My Dying Day, which starts off with a very nice chord progression strummed on an acoustic guitar (accompanied by Bowes’ vocal ownage), before breaking out into a full-on electric riff rocker.  I really like to bang this song out on my own acoustic guitar while attempting to sing along.  Needless to say, I suck.  But it only makes me further appreciate the talent of Bowes and Thunder.  In the U.S., Thunder never made more than a ripple on the charts, but in the U.K. they did enjoy some commercial success from around 1990-1995.

Backstreet Symphony was originally released by EMI Records in the U.K. with the cover shown above.  In the U.S., Backstreet Symphony was released by Geffen Records with a different cover.  My score: A-


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