Album Reviews

Alcatrazz – Live ’83

Released by Cleopatra Records

Released on January 12th, 2010

Genre: Heavy Metal/Neo Classical Metal



Line Up:

Graham Bonnet – vocals

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Guitar

Gary Shea -Bass

Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards

Jan Uvena – Drums


01 – Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live

02 – General Hospital

03 – Kree Nakoorie

04 – Island In the Sun

05 – Evil Eye

06 – Since You Been Gone

07 – Hiroshima Mon Amour

08 – Suffer Me

09 – Desert Song

10 – Jet To Jet

11 – All Night Long – (featuring George Lynch)

A pleasant surprise comes your way my fellow readers, courtesy of one of the most underrated bands of the early 80’s, yes I said “underrated” and I’m talking about a band that could of blown up if they had stayed together longer, of course I’m talking about Alcatrazz. The band that introduced that Swedish guitar sensation to the metal world, the guy they call Yngwie Malmsteen. And lead by the vocals of the English master Graham Bonnet. A little history for your folks if you’re not familiar with Graham, he was chosen by Ritchie Blackmore to replace Dio at the time for Rainbow and other notable groups he took part in we’re the famous Michael Schenker Group and Impellitteri.

This one was an interesting surprise because you don’t normally see many older releases, especially live ones to resurface with exceptional quality let alone  a performance that captures the band at its peek and introduced so many new things to the metal world. By that I mean Yngwie, for any guitar freaks out there there is a chance you would find something for your ears here as the master shredder just tears the sky off most of the bands popular song as they are performed live in The Country Club in Reseda, CA back in the early 80s. This show was also a widely circulated bootleg.

I have to comment about the sheer power of the band, the rhythm section Malmsteen and Shea produce a tremendous powerful sound which you could later see in influenced some of Yngwie’s solo stuff during the Rising Force days. “Kree Nakoorie” is an outstanding track with it’s mythological mystical lyrics and the banshee voice of Bonnet coming full force. To this day I have no damn clue what the name of the song means. The opening of “Evil Eye” displays a young Malmsteen fiddling again with the symphonic neo-classical style we came so accustomed to hearing. A pure classic tune is played with passion, I’m referring to “Hiroshima Mon Amour” which was one of the band’s early hits from the Bonnet-Yngwie era. A nice bonus treat is the Rainbow cover “All Night Long” which guest stars another guitar god in George Lynch.

When listening to this timeless classic, you’ll find yourselves trying to find more of the early catalog Alcatrazz material, and then probably scratch your head as to why this lineup did not stay together. I wonder where Yngwie’s musical career might of been like if he had stayed with the band, I guess we’ll never know. Another interesting bit is the fact that Graham Bonnet I thought fit the style of the band so well, no he didn’t over do his voice like some fans seem to think, the writing was smart , catchy, enduring and just strong as metal.  The package here probably could of had a better cover art which to be honest, is kinda freaky and horrid, other then that small fault I would really advice all to get this package as for fans of Yngwie is a must to understand the early material from one of metal’s most talented guitar players alongside a terrific lineup of professional musicians.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  9/10

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