They were one of the best bands to come out of the UK in at least 20 years, drawing influences from the likes of Bad Company and Free. Guitarist Luke Morley is the principle songwriter in this classy band and he must rate as one of the best around. Musically, you'd be hard pressed to find any band anywhere that comes even close to this wonderful quartet. The sad news, of course, is that they folded a short while ago, leaving a huge gap in the melodic hard rock scene. Get their albums while you can - you won't be disappointed. If power rockers and emotional, thought provoking ballads are for you, or even if you just like e xpertly played, uncomplicated melodic hard rock that's full of "feel good" vibes, then Thunder are a band you need to get to know.

THUNDER
Thunder - Back Street Symphony, the title track of their excellent debut album, released in 1990. It's black armband time, unfortunately: according that great British music magazine, Classic Rock, one of England's best ever bands recently announced their decision to split up. When Thunder first hit the scene in 1990, they had had something really special about them. Yes, they did sound a bit like Bad Company and Free, but there was something more "classy", if that's the correct word to use, about them. Frontman Danny Bowes, guitarist Luke Morley and drummer Gary James, who had all been in another UK outfit called "Terraplane ", formed the band with bassist Mark Luckhurst and second guitarist, Ben Matthews. They were offered the opening slot at Donnington in 1990, and rumour has it that they knocked all the opposition, which apparently included the likes of Whitesnake, right off their perches to become the surprise success of the day. This first album was a stunning combination of gutsy blues based rockers to really emotive ballads, a successful theme that would apply to all their albums. Luckhurst left in 1993, to be replaced by Great King Rat's Mikael Hoglund. Apart from the odd change here and there, the core of the band remained the same, and they didn't release a single disappointing album in their ten or so years together. Danny Bowes is unquestionably one of England's best ever vocalists and frontmen, Gary James is a very competent drummer and an entertainer in his own right, and Luke Morley's songwriting and guitar playing has very few equals. What a great pity that they are no more - buy any of their albums before it's too late!
  
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Biography by John Bush
Vocalist Danny Bowes and lead guitarist Luke Morley first played together when they were 15-year-old classmates in London. The two later formed the band Terraplane, which released two albums but broke up in 1988. Bowes, Morley, and drummer Gary "Harry" James then formed Thunder, recruiting bassist Mark "Snake" Luckhurst and rhythm guitarist Ben Matthews. The group's first two singles both hit the U.K. Top 40 and earned Thunder a support slot for Aerosmith and a gig at the 1990 Monsters of Rock festival. Backstreet Symphony, released just a year and a half after the group's live debut, reached the U.K.'s Top 20 and was certified gold. The follow-up, Laughing on Judgement Day, appeared in 1992, followed three years later by Behind Closed Doors. 1996 saw the release of their fourth full-length album, the radio-ready Thrill of it All. A series of live recordings and compilations peppered the next five to seven years, followed by the arrival of 2003's Shooting at the Stars. 2005 saw the release of Magnificent Seven, followed by Robert Johnson's Tombstone in 2006, all three of which were put out on the Fronteirs label. 

 

Gary James
Daniel Don Bowes
Mark "Snake" Luckhurst
Ben Matthews
Luke Morley

AC/DC
Mötley Crüe
L.A. Guns
Junkyard
Cinderella
Aerosmith
Def Leppard
Whitesnake
Tesla
Guns N' Roses

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

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Thunder - 1990 - Back Street Symphony - 3/5

Thunder - 1991 - Laughing on Judgement Day - 3/5

Thunder - 1995 - Behind Closed Doors - 2/5

Thunder - 1996 - The Thrill Of It All - 2/5

Thunder - 1999 - Giving the Game Away - 3/5

Thunder - 1999 - Rare the Raw & the Rest - 4/5

Thunder - 2000 - Open the Window Close the Door - 4/5

Thunder - 2003 - Shooting At The Sun - 3.5/5

Thunder - 2004 - Gimme Some...Thunder - 4/5

Thunder - 2005 - The Magnificent Seventh - 3.5/5

Thunder - 2006 - Robert Johnson's Tombstone - 3.5/5

Rating

 

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