Graham Bonnet – Line-Up [1981]

Country United Kingdom          Style Hard Rock

Rating 84/100

Band Members
Cozy Powell – Drums, Micky Moody – Guitars, Gary Twigg – Bass, Jon Lord – Keyboards, Graham Bonnet – Vocal

01. Night Games , 02. S.O.S., 03. I’m A Lover, 04. Be My Baby, 05. That’s The Way That It Is , 06. Liar , 07. Anthony Boy , 08. Dirty Hand, 09. Out On The Water, 10. Don’t Stand In The Open, 11. Set Me Free


“Line Up” is the third studio album by hard rock singer Graham Bonnet originally released in 1981, reissued by “Lemon Recordings” in 2004. A mere year after Bonnet quit British rock powerhouse “Rainbow”, the singer was already marketing a promising single as a solo artist, the song being “Night Games”.

On the charting strength of “Night Games”, Graham was contracted for a full length studio album, which was to be the sarcastically titled “Line Up” (since it is essentially a solo album). In retrospect “Line Up” did feature a remarkable cast of musicians with guitarist Mick Moody (“Whitesnake”) and drum legend Cozy Powell (“Rainbow”) being constant throughout the album.

Though “Line Up” is often considered an AOR album (and for the biggest part it is), it is clearly not produced to the standards of the genre; The guitar parts are pretty rough sounding and the drumming is intense though far from over-produced. In fact “Line Up” sounds very similar to late `70s “Rainbow” hence not dissimilar to the sound found on the “Down to Earth” album. The AOR tunes in question are the Russ Ballard-written “S.O.S”, “I’m a lover”, “That’s the way it is” and “Liar”. Form there onwards the album takes a turn towards bluesy rock `n’ roll on songs like “Anthony Boy”, “Dirty Hand” and “Out on the Water” which should not come as a surprise baring in mind the involvement of the “Whitesnake” guitarist.

Overall “Line Up” brings to front a fair mixture of late `70s “Rainbow” and early `80s “Whitensake” styled music which I suppose is all fans of the singer could ask for. Indeed “Line Up” stands artistically somewhere between “Down to Earth” and “Lovehunter”.

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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