Thunder (band)

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Thunder
Origin London, England
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal[1]
Years active 1989–2000, 2002–2009, 2011–present
Labels STC Recordings, EMI Records, Geffen
Website Thunder Online
Members Danny Bowes
Luke Morley
Gary 'Harry' James
Ben Matthews
Chris Childs
Past members Paul Caple
Mac McKenzie
Nick Linden
Rudi Rivière
Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst
Mikael Höglund

Thunder are an English rock band who play hard rock and heavy metal. They formed in 1989 when the band Terraplane broke up, leaving lead singer Danny Bowes and guitarist/main songwriter Luke Morley to form a new group, namely Thunder. Retaining Terraplane drummer Gary James (popularly known as 'Harry' James), they completed the line-up with bassist Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst and guitarist/keyboard player Ben Matthews. Though the band's main area of support has remained their homeland of the UK, they also enjoy significant success in Japan.

Band history[edit]

Early years[edit]

Luke Morley and Danny Bowes first met at Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College in 1975, where they formed the band Nuthin' Fancy, which played in pubs around the London area and released an independent single "Looking for a Good Time". When Harry James joined after the previous drummer left, the band renamed themselves Terraplane. As Terraplane they played numerous gigs, including regular performances at the Marquee Club and a slot at the 1982 Reading Festival. They were signed by Epic Records and ultimately released two albums.

Renamed Thunder, they were signed to EMI after performing a demo audition in 1989, and began recording their first album Back Street Symphony. With their producer, Andy Taylor (of Duran Duran) they created blues-rock and atmospheric ballads. Their debut album was a success in the UK, helped by an appearance at the 1990 Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park.

A follow-up album, Laughing on Judgement Day appeared in 1992 and reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart. All four singles released from the album were Top 40 hits, and "A Better Man"" made the UK Top 20 in early 1993. Snake quit the band after the subsequent tour and was replaced by Swedish bass player Mikael Höglund. In the meantime, rumours of an approach by Whitesnake singer David Coverdale to recruit Luke Morley were circulating, although in 2002 Danny Bowes stated that "the whole thing was made up" by the band to engineer some press interest[2] and it would be another two years before the third album appeared.

That album, Behind Closed Doors was reasonably successful, reaching number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. Despite this it was to be the band's last studio album for EMI, and they parted company with the label with a compilation: Their Finest Hour... And a Bit, notable for its inclusion of several unreleased tracks, in particular a cover of the Python Lee Jackson song "In a Broken Dream". For personal reasons Mikael Höglund was unable to participate in the recording of the band's fourth album The Thrill of It All; Luke Morley handled bass duties and the album was released on the independent B Lucky record label. The band recruited bassist Chris Childs for the tour and he remained with them for the rest of their career.

In 1998, the band released Live. The album featured recordings from concerts in Wolverhampton and Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. A DVD of the album was also released. Later that year, two EPs were released containing the single "The Only One". One EP featured the studio recording while the other featured the live version. Both EPs contained three extra bonus tracks.

Retirement and solo projects[edit]

In 1999, Thunder released their fifth studio album Giving the Game Away. This album was released to coincide with the band's tenth anniversary; however they announced in 1999 that they were to split. Following a UK tour in November 1999, and some dates in Japan in early 2000, they bowed out on 4 May 2000 with a show at Camden Dingwalls in London, which was recorded for the live album They Think It's All Over... It Is Now.

Luke Morley returned to the scene the following year with the solo album El Gringo Retro and played a brace of live shows at the Borderline in London, backed by virtually all of his former band mates (Danny Bowes being the exception) and with the McDonald sisters (Tara McDonald and Anna McDonald) on backing vocals. Morley and Bowes reunited in 2002 for the soul influenced album Moving Swiftly Along, again with the McDonalds on backing vocals.

Reformation and split[edit]

Thunder were tempted back into action by a slot on the touring Monsters of Rock UK arena shows in late 2002. They returned in November 2003 with a new album called Shooting at the Sun released on their own label STC Recordings.

Their second self-released album, The Magnificent Seventh spawned a top 30 single, "I Love You More Than Rock and Roll" in March 2005, reaching #27 in the UK Singles Chart. Their resurgence can be traced through the venues booked for their live tours. In 2006 Thunder returned, for the first time since the days of the EMI released Back Street Symphony album, to headline the Hammersmith Apollo at the end of a 12 date UK tour.

The band also took part in the return of the Monsters of Rock festival in 2006 at Milton Keynes, sharing the bill with Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Journey, Queensrÿche, Ted Nugent and Roadstar.

The band released their eighth studio album on 30 October 2006, entitled Robert Johnson's Tombstone.[3]

The single "The Devil Made Me Do It" taken from this album reached #40 in the UK Singles Chart on 10 December 2006, and the video, produced and animated by Andy Doran, also enjoyed significant success on its first week when uploaded to the YouTube site, and has received airplay on Scuzz TV.

Thunder undertook a European Tour in early 2007, their first in nearly 12 years, playing small venues in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. A further UK tour took place in November and December 2007. In February 2008, it was announced Thunder would be the opening act on the second leg of Def Leppard and Whitesnake's co-headline UK arena tour. The second leg in July 2008 opened in Cardiff International Arena before heading to Liverpool Arena and Nottingham Arena.[4]

Thunder released their ninth studio album Bang! in the UK on 3 November 2008 through their own STC label and in mainland Europe via Frontiers Records on 7 November 2008.[5] Whilst writing the album, they released limited edition EPs, Six of One,...Half a Dozen of the Other and The Joy of Six.

Thunder announced a decision to split on 28 January 2009 via their website. The band cited outside interests as the reasons for the split with members of the band playing in other bands when not touring with Thunder. Bowes mentioned the stresses of managing a website for the band, along with management and vocal duties taking their toll, added to the decision to split. The band played at Download-2009 (Tuborg stage) on Sat 13 June 2009, toured Europe and Japan before returning home for the British leg of their farewell tour in July 2009, their final full gig was played at the Hammersmith Apollo on 11 July, however the band made an appearance at the Rock of Ages festival in Germany on 31 July. Their final appearance took place at the Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth.

2009-2011[edit]

In 2009, Luke Morley teamed up with Peter Shoulder to form The Union, who released their first album in 2010 and second in 2011.

Harry James has appeared recently as Magnum's drummer. Danny Bowes has appeared as occasional vocalist for Kenney Jones's band the 'Jones Gang' singing live at Kenney's Polo Club. Luke Morley has teamed up with Peter Shoulder in the band 'The Union' and has played the High Voltage Festival in 2010. Chris Childs has joined the 'Ultimate Eagles' an Eagles tribute band and toured extensively.

Later reunions[edit]

In February 2011, it was announced that the band would reunite for a one-off live performance, at that year's High Voltage Festival in July 2011.[6] Thunder played on the Sunday and were third on the bill below Dream Theater and Black Country Communion.

In January 2012, Danny and Ben played a tour under the title of 'Danny & Ben from Thunder' performing acoustic versions of Thunder songs, cover versions and telling stories of Thunder on the road.[7] In April 2012, it was announced that Thunder would play a Christmas show at Manchester Academy on 21 December 2012. The band toured the UK with Whitesnake and Journey in May 2013.[8] On 29 April 2013 it was confirmed by Andy Copping via Twitter, that Thunder will play the Download 2013 on 15 June on the Zippo Encore second stage. They will also perform at Wacken Open Air 2013 on 1 August.

On 13 May 2014, Thunder announced via their Facebook page that they were to record a new studio album. Live dates were also announced in August 2014 for shows in the UK and Europe in 2015. The album, titled Wonder Days, was released on 16 February 2015 via earMUSIC and reached no.9 on the UK album chart.

In March 2016 Thunder announced that their official autobiography was being written by the bestselling author Joel McIver for publication later in the year. The book, titled Giving The Game Away, launched at the Louder Than Words festival in Manchester in November. The launch event sold out to members of the band's fan club within hours, and featured the band-members in conversation with McIver and performing an acoustic set.

In December 2017 Thunder announced that a new studio album entitled Rip It Up will be released on the 10th Feb 2017. This will also coincide with a number of live dates.

Personnel[edit]

Members[edit]

Line-ups[edit]

1980–1983
Nuthin' Fancy
1983–1985
Terraplane
1985–1989 1989–1992
Thunder
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Mac McKenzie – bass
  • Paul Caple – drums
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Nick Linden – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Rudi Rivière – guitar
  • Nick Linden – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion
1992–1993 1993–1996 1996–2000 2000–2002
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals, bass
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Mikael Höglund – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Chris Childs – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion

Disbanded

2002–2009 2009–2011 2011 – present
  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Chris Childs – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion

Disbanded

  • Danny Bowes – lead vocals
  • Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards
  • Chris Childs – bass
  • Gary 'Harry' James – drums, percussion

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Thunder discography

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/thunder-mn0000926085
  2. ^ Classic Rock, September 2002
  3. ^ [1] Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ [2] Archived 16 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [3] Archived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Thunder News - Band Reunites for One Off UK Festival Appearance". Thunderonline.com. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Forthcoming Gigs". Thunderonline.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  8. ^ [4] Archived 8 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]