Bonfire - Pearls

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By way of celebration for their 30th anniversary, German rock veterans Bonfire have re-recorded two CDs-worth of their most popular songs with their current David Reece-fronted line-up, updating many with new lyrics and arrangements. Bonfire have a lot of compilations on the market, but this is the first with newly re-recorded versions (including, for no real reason, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama, which they've already covered on the Fuel To The Flames album), and only the second release with Reece on vocals, but it doesn't offer a great deal until the second disc. The first disc is all rock versions, which are all pretty similar to the originals. Its biggest let-down is the horrible mix on the drums, much of which hits with a dull thump instead of a precise snap, but in general these don't sound like the sonic upgrades re-recordings with as much as 29 years between them should. The more interesting disc is the second one, which turns several songs (mostly ballads) into acoustic reworkings with additional orchestration. These versions really are different to the originals, even when the originals were soft songs in the first place, adding new layers which elevate many of the simpler tracks. Bonfire albums of late seem have slight distribution issues, making them quite expensive in some territories, like the UK, and being a double album in a deluxe digibook won't add the price. The second disc of this, as a single album at a standard price, would have been a much more attractive prospect.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews,

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