Album Review: Graham Bonnet – The Day I Went Mad (1999)

Regular readers of my inane drivel will be all too aware of my love/hate relationship with the voice of Graham Bonnet. Most criticise him for his completely inappropriate (for a hard rock vocalist anyway) James Dean look, but to be honest that has never really bothered me. Although I must admit he did look a little silly at the inaugral ‘Monsters of Rock’ at Donington in 1980 fronting Rainbow sporting his red cords, white dinner jacket and sunglasses. My problem with Bonnet has always been his vocal inconsistency, which marrs every album he’s made with the exception of his first solo outing, his Rainbow album ‘Down To Earth’ and the solo follow up ‘Line-Up’. When the guy sings he’s actually quite good, problem is he insists on doing this almost operatic wailing which is at times either embarrisingly cringeworthy or just unlistenable.

‘The Day I Went Mad’ is no exception and after an extremely promising start with two belting rock songs featuring good heavy Malmsteenesque guitar from Vivian Campbell and Mario Parga namely “The Day I Went Mad” and “Don’t Look Down” we are soon brought down to earth with two typically infuriating vocal performances on ‘Killer’ and the Beatles cover ‘Oh Darling’ which cannot be saved even by the guitar work of Slash.

On the plus side though they are the easily the worst tracks on the album and quite possibly are not helped by following the best two. Of the other tracks ‘Model Inc’ and ‘Greenwich Meantime’ are possibly the best.

As ever with a Bonnet album, or Bonnay as a friend of mine insists on pronouncing it, there are a multitude of special guest musicians on the album. As well as the aforementioned guitarists Slash, Vivian Campbell and Mario Parga there are contributions from Bruce Kulick, my old mate Tony Franklin and Tim Bogert on bass. Kevin Valentine occupied the drum stool and the producers seat but presumably not at the same time !

Newcomers to Graham Bonnet would be better off with his Rainbow album ‘Down To Earth’ and those looking to explore his solo output should look no further than his self-titled debut and his best and most consistent solo  offering ‘Line-Up’

© Martin Leedham. First published on RYM September 2010

About Martin Leedham

Music critic, Horse Racing Tipster, Hapless Dreamer, Defender of the Underdog
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4 Responses to Album Review: Graham Bonnet – The Day I Went Mad (1999)

  1. Dave B says:

    Completely agree with the comments, I saw Mr B fronting Rainbow at New Bingley Hall Stafford, He always looks wrong for what he does musically, Still Line Up is a much stronger work far more consistant! Possibly his most consistant work to date.

    Keep the reviews coming !

  2. Crackers for Graham says:

    Graham Bonnet can do no wrong. Being the living embodiment of God, what he does is by definition PER-FECT! Got it? Do not blaspheme. Perhaps you are deranged. If so, get thee to a facility and do your penance away from public eyes. Do not offend the faithful. We are a vengeful lot, and ruthless. Proceed further at your peril.

    • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow Donington 1980 … Nuff said !!!! But to be fair I did say Love/Hate and on Down To Earth, Line Up and the first solo album to name three he was great. This though was not good but wasn’t anywhere near as bad as No Parole From Rock N Roll which may just ne the worst rock album of all time. Oops guess I got another threat of death coming. Rather that than having to listen to Jet To Jet Islands in the Sun and General Hospital on an eternal loop though !!!

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