Wim R. : I think it was around 1985 when I bought the Japanese pressing of Alcatrazz’s ‘Live Sentence’. It set me back fifteen guilders (now we have Euros) at the biggest record chain in Holland at the time (which went bankrupt years ago). This album was a partial registration (nine songs) of a great show the band played in Tokyo, which at first was only released in the land of the rising sun. This was released shortly after the band released their first album ‘No Parole From Rock & Roll’. Most known members were singer Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker) and Yngwie Malmsteen on guitar. Bonnet was already a veteran of the music bizz, Malmsteen had recently come to the States and his star was just rising. Alcatrazz was his first big gig. This release was also the last album the two collaborated on together. They had a short and fiery relationship, but those are the ones that deliver the fireworks, don’t they?
This album has seen some re-releases during the years, lastly in 2011. Ear Music found the original tapes in some basement (yeah right), so here they offer you the full remastered complete show for the first time. Eighteen songs of pure enjoyment, brought to you by Bonnet and his partners in crime. Because, besides Bonnet and Malmsteen, Gary Shea (bass), Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and Jan Uvena (drums) were also seasoned musicians during the recording of this live show. Besides original songs, there are also covers from Rainbow and Michael Schenker. Malmsteen already played ‘Evil Eye’, that would later appear on his first solo album. Bonnet shows once more what a great song ’Night Games’ is from his solo period. But Jet To Jet’, ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ or ‘Suffer Me’ are also classics in the melodic rock genre. Sound wise this release is the best so far. Ear Music did a good job. It might even please Malmsteen, as rumors have it he wanted to obstruct the release of ‘Live Sentence’ due to poor sound and production back in the days. If you want to really travel down memory lane, check out the dvd or blue ray. I am going to give the album another spin.