Thrill Of It All, The - Thunder

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Thrill Of It All, The - Thunder

1 CD(s) - Pop Metal - Label: Raw Power, Raw Power Records - Distributor: Pinnacle, Essential Music/Proper - Released: 02/1997, 01/02/1997 - 5026389411...

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Review of "Thrill Of It All, The - Thunder"

published 05/02/2003 | Soho_Black
Member since : 30/08/2002
Reviews : 687
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About me :
Brighton Marathon done in 4:32:01, London Marathon in 4:38:47. A little over £1200 (including Gift Aid) raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Pro There's some great tracks
Cons But they have done better
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
How does it compare to the artist's other releases

"Thrilling...but only in part"

In 1997, Londoners Thunder released their fourth studio album, following on from the previous “Greatest Hits” album. It is far from their greatest offering, and does not have any of the band’s almost trademark humour. There is no “Englishman on Holiday”, “Stand Up” or “Rolling the Dice” here.

For the first time, also, the band’s guitarist and main songwriter Luke Morley took sole control of production, and also played bass guitar due to the recent departure of Mikael Hoglund. Despite these changes “The Thrill of it All” does contain some wonderful moments of rock/pop genius at which Thunder have always excelled, at which made Terraplane so much fun to listen to.

As ever on a Thunder album, the inlay card is worth a read. There are the usual amusing “thank you’s” and equipment credits, alongside a notation in the “technical thanks” section which is worth repeating here, due to it being unique amongst albums I have purchased. “Bristol Magistrates – for the 6 points & £120 fine (107 mph, it could have been a ban!)”

Even without being their best album either musically or technically, Thunder manage to show their most endearing characteristic – that they are a fun-loving bunch of guys!

Let’s take a dip inside. I have listed eleven tracks here which are on the cassette version of this album. If there is a bonus track on the CD which I have missed, please accept my apologies.

“Pilot of my Dreams”
All albums should start this way! One of my favourite tracks on the album, and one in the true Thunder rock/pop style. They’re rocking, they’re loving it and it shows! A song about how one day you see the woman of your dreams walking along a beach, fall deeply and immediately in lust and the effect she has on your dreams afterwards. The backing vocals during the bridge run “Get down, get down, get down”, and you really do want to. One of those songs that really get your feet tapping which, as I’ve been playing this tape in the car recently, isn’t always the safest thing.

This song is notable for me personally since, as a songwriter, it contains one of those lines which make me think “I wish I’d written that!” The last two lines of the first chorus run “I was a passenger in first class on a flight of fantasy/She was the pilot of my dreams.” I just LOVE that line, and I love this song.

“Living for Today”
Starts with a driving beat, which continues all the way throughout the song and, if you’re listening in the car, makes you want to put your foot down to try and keep up. A song about having lived a life with the arrogant view that you are greater than the world you live in and that you will go on forever, and suddenly discovering that this is not the case. Rather than preparing to live forever, you need to live for the moment you are in, before it escapes from you and is gone forever.

“So when it hits you, you’re fading away/cos you won’t live forever, start living for today”

“Love Worth Dying For”
Thunder have always been good at their ballads. Unfortunately, the one they will always be remembered for (“Love Walked In”) was on their debut album, and they haven’t managed to top that since. Although, to their credit, they have never stopped trying. This is a lovely song about being alone for a long time, and then finally meeting “the one”, and knowing immediately that this is the person you will love for the rest of your life. I’m still in the first stage at the moment but, as a born romantic, have never given up hope that the second will happen. This song always gives me a feeling of hope for my future.

“In the morning when the sunlight hits your face/It’s such a beautiful collision, that nothing could replace”

I think I’ll try that one later on tonight!

“Don’t Wait Up”
The first single from the album and another up-tempo rock/pop number. A song about the other end of a relationship from “Love Worth Dying For”, maybe even the same relationship, or maybe a reality check to follow on from “Pilot of my Dreams”. A couple whose love has died and who are, in effect, living separate lives in the same place. Her feelings of jealousy have started to get on his nerves, and he has reacted to this by living his own life. He’s off out to have fun, and doesn’t particularly want to see her when he gets back. If you’ve ever been in a relationship and had the conversation “See you later”, “Where are you going” “Out!”, this is a song you can relate to. But not having been there does not reduce the enjoyment in the slightest.

“That’s right, that’s right/If you keep telling me I have, then I might/That’s right, that’s right/Don’t wait up for me on Saturday night”

“Something About You”
Do you know anyone who is trapped in a relationship that isn’t any good for them? Someone who is a decent person, but is being overpowered by the other person in that relationship and who has taken much of their enjoyment out of life? This is another ballad about that relationship, at the stage where the weaker of the two has been forced to make some fairly major life changes. You can see it’s not the best thing for them, but you can’t say anything to bring them round and make them realise that there is no happiness down the route they are following.

“Good-bye Johnny it was different at the start/But she called your bluff and tore you r life apart/And as I watched you crumble, I could hear your breaking heart…”

“Welcome to the Party”
In my opinion, the best track on the album. This is the kind of song that makes you want to turn the volume all the way up and dance like a maniac around your living room. It’s nominally about someone who is going to bring everybody together in one place and pulling in the same direction. Someone “talking ‘bout love, stamping out hate”. I suspect that the party involved could well be a political party, but this is a great song to start any party with and, indeed, Thunder started the gig I saw at the Empire in 1999 with this song, and are still doing so with their current shows more than 5 years later. As an opener to a live show, they don't come any better than this.

“Welcome to the party, there’s a feeling in the air/Can you feel the vibrations…”

Well, yes I can. It’s my speakers going mental! Turn the stereo way, WAY up, and don’t give a damn what the neighbours think. Or move next door to a Thunder fan!

“The Thrill of it All”
The title track is a mid-paced number, certainly not up to their usual rocky tempo, but a little to quick to really be a ballad. This is possibly about the same dying relationship as “Don’t Wait Up”, but from a different perspective, and another song which will mean a lot more to those that have been there. This is perhaps a discussion between two people who have reached the conclusion that the relationship is going nowhere, and are trying to work out what went wrong and decide whether or not to keep on trying. The decision, ultimately, is that it’s not worth the hassle. This song is additionally notable for the inclusion of a female backing vocal, something Thunder rarely used throughout their ten-year life span. For the fan, given what happened a couple of years later, you do wonder if this song related to the band as well as a relationship.

“Cos I don’t care who’s wrong or who’s right/I can’t stand another day/I can’t stand another day/All we’re doing is wasting our time, carrying on/When the thrill of it all has gone”

“Hotter Than the Sun”
Another mid-paced number, but with a beautifully funky bassline, which gives the sing a funk feel that matches Danny Bowes voice wonderfully. The funky feel disappears briefly in the middle, but returns just in time to pep up what would otherwise be a fairly ordinary song. Definitely more of a groover than a rocker, this one. The focus returns again to the ideal woman, but this time there’s a battle for superiority going on. Not literally, psychologically. She is trying to suck him into the relationship and gain the upper hand and, while his heart is saying yes, his mind is trying to hold back a little. It’s really a battle within himself, and the winner’s prize is the best you’ve ever had.

“I thought my will was really strong/But this is war that’s going on/She won’t loosen off her grip until she’s done/She’s hotter than the sun”

Right now, sitting at my computer sweating like a pig, I believe him!

“This Forgotten Town”
You know that when a song opens with the lines “Father’s gone crazy/He stares out the window all day” that you’re not about to get a happy number. Well, no surprises here, you don’t. Another slower number, largely based around Luke’s acoustic guitar. It’s about living in a town that’s died, with a family who have pretty much given up on any hopes they had of improving their situation, but the son (?) still has enough fight left to cry for help. This would almost work as a prelude to “Higher Ground”, again from Thunder’s debut album, “Backstreet Symphony”. Coming from a small village such as I do, this song is almost a symbol of where my future could have ended up, if I hadn’t moved to London.

“Cosmetic Punk”
Another song with a driven beat, which is the heaviest that Thunder have ever done to the best of my recollection, and is a great song. It’s a rant against the privileged child who decides to rebel against her family, become a “punk” and pick up a wild boyfriend purely for the image, rather than any real desire to be a punk. He knows that the future is bright for her, and that soon all that she is currently living will be forgotten when her life moves on to the glorious future awaiting her. Although it’s a great Thunder song, the image of the punk world does not fit in with the band, and even though it’s a heavy song for Thunder, any punk fan would find it incredibly soft. If you can suspend your disbelief, this is well worth a listen.

“Cosmetic punk, I see right through/You got your future all mapped out for you/Soon you’ll be running the family company/And you won’t give a damn about the likes of me”

“You Can’t Live Your Life in a Day”
The album ends with a final ballad, about a friend who’s planning his future all in one go, and is trying to get everything he wants to do done as quickly as possible. He’s got dreams and wants to see every single one of them realised immediately. The song is about you trying to persuade him to look longer term, and base his dreams around a period of 24 years, not 24 hours.

“I said don’t you believe in tomorrow?/Cos today’s just one scene in the play/You might get some bad breaks and you’ll make some mistakes/But you can’t live your life in a day”

The Hidden Bit on the End
Does anyone remember the "Smith and Jones" series where, over the end credits, they were a lounge act doing jokes? This “end bit” would not have been out of place amongst them. Danny ruins it by laughing over most of it, as do the band, and it’s a truly dreadful joke, but it’s great to hear them all having a bit of fun, which seems to have been missing throughout most of the album.

This is not a classic album by anybody’s standards, much less Thunder’s, but there are a few stand out numbers which mean the fan cannot miss out on this. The up-tempo numbers are, generally, more impressive than the slower numbers, although there are some great lines in the ballads. For the Thunder newcomer, have a listen to either the first (“Backstreet Symphony”) or fifth (“Giving the Game Away”) studio albums, or either of the Greatest Hits collections first, and come back to “The Thrill of it All” a little later on.

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Comments on this review

  • welshwickedone published 04/10/2006
    Another great Thunder review...........Sam x
  • anya_lahiri published 27/05/2003
    An extensive and deatiled review...makes me feel like I have already listened to it. Lisa x x
  • Glorificus1 published 09/02/2003
    Great in depth stuff there Iain. have a great time when you go and see them. Not that you need me to tell you?!
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Product Information : Thrill Of It All, The - Thunder

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Pop Metal - Label: Raw Power, Raw Power Records - Distributor: Pinnacle, Essential Music/Proper - Released: 02/1997, 01/02/1997 - 5026389411591, 5026389411522

Product Details

EAN: 5026389411591, 5026389411522


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