Friday, February 28, 2014

heavy metal anthem - (Anthem with Rainbow's Graham Bonnet in year 2000)

        Around 2000/2001, two big things happened for Japanese Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music fans all over the world when one of them was the Fabulous Four of Loudness - Akira/ Minoru/ Munetaka/ Masayoshi got back together for the Spiritual Canoe album. The first time ALL FOUR was together since the late 80s. I was lucky then as I got Loudness "Hardcore Freaks" as friends so I got a chance to hear that album fast and check out the original album packagings and all that. That album has some great fast exciting songs like End Of Earth and Stay Wild.

Another big thing that happened around 2000 was bassist Naoto Shibata got his band Anthem together again with Anthem's guitarist Akio Shimizu and their old drummer Takamasa "Mad" Ohuchi after freezing the band since the early 90s. 

Interestingly, they never called back either of their previous singers Eizo or Yukio Morikawa to record an album but instead use Graham "Rainbow's Down To Earth singer" BonnetGraham Bonnet who had sung for Alkatrazz etc, was I think most known for being chosen by Ritchie Blackmore to replace Ronnie James Dio and to bring new Rainbow music to the radio masses and a larger commercial appeal with a different musical direction than Ronnie James Dio's era. 

Though Graham Bonnet last only an album before Joe Lynn Turner took over, but Graham Bonnet has left his mark and will always be fondly remembered as being once a member of one of the best, thrilling, exciting, most memorable, bring tears to the eyes greatness and legendary band ever - ~RAINBOW~.  Anyway, Graham Bonnet was the singer when Rainbow headlined the first Monsters Of Rock Festival at Donington Park. The bootleg cassette tape that was the start of me daydreaming as a small boy wanting to go this place called Donington Park and wondering how you can squeeze the SCORPIONS, Judas Priest (I knew much later as this band was not on the bootleg cassette) and Rainbow together plus Touch, Riot, Saxon and April Wine all on one stage, in a huge field. 
When Klaus Meine was heard on tape asking " Can you hear me?? Can You Hear Me Out There??", for a village little boy listening to that Monsters of Rock bootleg cassette tape, its very terrifying imagining the size of the audience in that Donington Park. That kicks-off  everything for me. When now I got a chance to backpack to see Iron Maiden playing in far away countries with different environments and fans, its all started as a school boy listening to that cassette tape imagining about going to Donington Park thousands and thousands of miles away beyond the seven seas in a completely foreign land.

Back to topic, when Anthem had Graham Bonnet as the vocalist, the album that was finally released is called "HEAVY METAL ANTHEM" but did not comprise any new song, but re-arranged, re-recorded old Anthem songs with new complete lyrics in English.
It was preceded first by a single Gypsy Ways with two additional songs - Love In Vain & Show Must Go On.
Heavy Metal Anthem album itself has 10 songs which includes Gypsy Ways and Show Must Go On, plus the eight of Evil Touch, Midnight Sun, The Juggler, Mr Genius, Cryin' Heart, Hunting Time, Hungry Soul, and Blinded Pain. - A selection of some fine Anthem 80's Japanese heavy metal. It is also a reminiscent of Loudness with Mike Vescera era.

photo of Akio Shimizu then with Blonde hair..

As usual with most Japanese rock bands releases, these Anthem with Graham Bonnet recordings are very hard to find in their original cd format, and even if you can find it anywhere, the price is usually much more expensive. Thanks to Youtube or maybe some fan-sharing websites, fans all over the world do not need to be starved and deprived from some excellent music, but its never the same like holding the original cd with the packaging in your hands.

The sample of a setlist from that era from a Bootleg during Anthem's time with Graham Bonnet dated and location stated as July 13th 2000, Tokyo On Air East, Tokyo, Japan
1. gypsy ways 
2. evil touch
3. midnight sun
4. love in vain
5. keyboard solo
6. blinded pain
7. lost in hollywood (Rainbow cover)
8. guitar, bass, drum solos
9. hungry soul
10. crying heart
11. the juggler
12. hunting time
13. all night long (Rainbow cover)
14. show must go on!
15. unbelievably - will you still love me tomorrow (The Shirelles cover) - which I had blogged on this song here -
The outro tape that followed was Led Zeppelin's All Of My Love.
(I just want to add the Keyboards solo I heard on this bootleg is very very beautiful..)

"Mad" Ohuchi was then replaced by Hirotsugu Homma after this, and Anthem also called back Eizo Sakamoto as singer.

Here is the rest of the photos showing packaging for both Heavy Metal Anthem cd with Obi strip, and also the Gyspy Ways single with Obi strip.

Last but not least, I think my youtube uploads of horrible quality short clip of "blast/akio solo/heat of the night" taken by my mobile handphone got a few views and one gentleman ask for more.
I am sorry I cant rip, its a blue-ray and I watched it on a stand alone player. But I use my handphone to record another segment as below.
Akio Shimizu during Venom Strike, followed by Naoto Shibata's bass solo.
Let me say again, this horrible quality below is completely world's away from the colourful, beautiful Anthem's 2013 Live Unbroken blue-ray disc.
(adjusting the "wheel gear" icon of the quality setting may help.)

I love to see the Japanese music fans on these live rock videos.


Ijau D. Koceng said...

resound the anthem...

berteromber said...

memang tabik ngan koleksi ko....aku loudness pun tak khatam...

Rafi said...

Nak kena cari jugak cd Anthem la camni..

ChrisV82 said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.

deaf-angel said...

Hi. Thanks a lot.
We are all music lovers...