‘ALL THE RIGHT NOISES’
OUT 12th MARCH 2021 ON BMG
British hard-rock heroes, Thunder, have announced the release of their 13th studio album ‘All The Right Noises’ on 12th March 2021.The album is a return to the full-throttle sound of Thunder that has seen them create a hugely successful 30+ year career at the forefront of British rock.
No major international music artist has as storied a career as Thunder.
Built around the lifelong friendship of vocalist extraordinaire Danny Bowes and songwriting genius and guitarist Luke Morley, Thunder is the last of the true British rock giants.
Garlanded in praise by fans and critics alike since the release in 1990 of their debut hit album, Backstreet Symphony, this is the band that W. Axl Rose personally intervened to secure them their first American record deal, the band of whom Whitesnake leader David Coverdale says, “I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for years.” The band whose 1992 album, Laughing On Judgement Day, was only kept from No. 1 in the UK charts by a Kylie Minogue best-of compilation. A fact Luke laughs off with the quip, “I always say we spent a week lying beneath Kylie.”
Beyond the plaudits and sense of humour, though, lies a band that made their bones through a succession of some of the most highly-regarded rock albums of the past 30 years. The key to their renown: brilliantly conceived top-drawer material including all-time classics like ‘Dirty Love’, the what-it-says-on-tin rocker Axl Rose first fell in love with; ‘Low Life In High Places’, described by the late great Radio One Rock Show presenter Tommy Vance as “the greatest ever single released by a rock band”; and a catalogue of hit albums that is the envy of the world, including all three of the Top 10 albums they have released since their ecstatically-received comeback six years ago: Wonder Days (2015), Rip It Up (2017) and Please Remain Seated (2019).
What enriches their story is the fact that Thunder has been through enough lows to fully appreciate the highs. On the cusp of becoming the next big thing in America in 1991 – heralded coast-to-coast as the natural successors to Brit-rock legends such as The Who and Led Zeppelin – their first major arena tour was scrapped virtually overnight after grunge changed the face of the music industry in the early-90s.
They continued to enjoy Top Five albums but the writing was on the wall and the band went into hiatus after their fifth album, Giving The Game Away, became their first not to reach the Top 40. When they returned four years later with a succession of independently-released albums the fans and critics were still with them. The 2005 album The Magnificent Seventh! more than lived up to its title and boasted the groove-chugging, peacocking hit single, ‘I Love You More Than Rock’n’roll’.
But without major label support Thunder once again became disheartened. Other avenues were pursued: different paths to a world of solo deals, working with other bands, working on the biz side the music business.
Then in 2015 came their big comeback with Wonder Days. Simply the best Thunder album since their famous debut 25 years before, Classic Rock describing it as: “a massive reminder that class is both timeless and incandescent.” It also became the first Thunder album for 20 years to reach the Top 10. Since then Thunder has been on a roll.
Danny says, “Our last album Please Remain Seated was very much a sit down album, and we did a sit down tour to promote it. Both the album and tour were firsts for us, and we enjoyed doing them enormously, but it was always the plan to turn the volume back up and rock out for the album that followed. I think the little rest did us good, because the energy on this new album is huge.”
Now in 2021 comes their 13th studio album, All The Right Noises. An intense confection of illicit charms that reasserts their authority as the number one band in the land.
Recorded in the months leading up to the first Covid-19 lockdown, it was originally due for release in September 2020. Strange to reflect then on how much of the new material appears to address the challenging new world we now inhabit.
Says Luke, “All the songs were written and recorded pre-Covid. But it is interesting how if you look at some of the tracks through the prism of Covid they still make a lot of sense.”
A track like the volcanic opener ‘Last One Out, Turn Off the Lights’, could easily be mistaken for world-ending lockdown rage. But, says Luke, “That was directly about Brexit, but you could apply it to everything else.”
Similarly, the paranoiac grinding ‘Destruction’, which Luke explains, “is about mental illness. It's about depression. That is so perfectly timed now too.”
Or most biting, the epic ‘Force Of Nature’: full spectrum heaven-meets-hell jacket. This ain’t just rock’n’roll. This is honest fury. “Certainly with a lot of the songs I was angry,” says Luke. “There's no hiding what ‘Force Of Nature’ is about.”
In this instance, Donald Trump, as Danny spits out the words:
‘I know that I’m a god in your eyes
But I believe this much
I’m a friend of the common people
As long as they don’t touch…’
Luke: “It’s written from Trump's point of view. I just thought, I wonder what goes through his head.”
There are also lighter moments, as you would expect from Thunder. The cheerfully swaggering ‘You’re Gonna Be My Girl’. The defiantly strutting ‘Going To Sin City’.
Luke: “It's based on the first time Danny and I went to LA in the late-80s. We were used to the music scene around Soho, and thought we were cool. In LA I felt like I was the bloke who’d come to fix the plumbing. Before bands like Guns N’ Roses rock’n’roll was pretty much denim and leather in Britain. Danny and I were determined to bring all that colour and sex and fun to the new band we were forming, which became Thunder.”
Each track comes with a real-life story. ‘St. George's Day’: diversity and immigration. ‘Don't Forget To Live Before You Die’: another eerily prophetic song for people too scared to leave their homes. ‘I'll Be The One’: a monumental ballad which Luke describes as “a song about that thing where you're completely in the relationship for the long haul and saying I’m here whenever you need me. It's easy when times are good. But when times are tough that's when you need support. Nobody's immune from that, and that's what the song’s about.”
Then there’s ‘Young Man’. “It’s like the opposite of ‘My Generation’,” explains Luke. “An old man – i.e. me – going, ‘Thank fuck I’m not young now.’ All these things my generation didn't have to deal with when we were kids. We were free to make mistakes. Now everybody judges you and it’s online forever.”
The key to keeping the band’s edge, says Danny, is “we have never felt like we’re at the top of the mountain. We are never satisfied that we’ve made our best record, or done our best show.”
To keep it fresh, he explains, “We made a conscious decision to only record a limited number of tunes per recording session. In the past we would go into a residential studio and spend however long it took until we came out with enough tracks for an album. Nowadays we usually record in three sessions with fewer songs in each, which means there’s time for reflection and more writing in between. The results are more diverse and fresher.”
‘All The Right Noise’ will be available in 1CD, 2CD, and 2LP formats, with the 2CD and 4LP releases containing bonus tracks.
The LP versions feature a stunning pop-out of the ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ which appears of the album’s glorious artwork. The photo cover art was shot by the band’s long term collaborator Jason Joyce. The sculpture, is set in Burnley, Lancashire, and resembles a tree which harnesses the energy of the wind to create a choral, discordant sound.
1. Last One Out Turn Off The Lights
3. The Smoking Gun
4. Going To Sin City
5. Don’t Forget To Live Before You Die
6. I’ll Be The One
7. Young Man
8. You’re Gonna Be My Girl
9. St George’s Day
10. Force Of Nature
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