Alcatrazz – No Parole From Rock’n Roll (1983)

Posted: July 19, 2006 in Album Reviews

Alcatrazz - No Parole From Rock'n'Roll

Alcatrazz – No Parole From Rock’n’Roll (1983, Rocshire)

  1. Island In The Sun
  2. General Hospital
  3. Jet To Jet
  4. Hiroshima Mon Amour
  5. Kree Nakoorie
  6. Incubus
  7. Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live
  8. Big Foot
  9. Starcarr Lane
  10. Suffer Me

Total Time: 41:34

Band Lineup:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Yngwie Malmsteen – Guitar
Gary Shea – Bass
Jan Uvena – Drums
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards

Graham Bonnet official website
Yngwie Malmsteen official website

Alcatrazz is one of those forgotten bands from Metal’s past that had considerable success overseas but couldn’t catch a break in the good ol’ USA. After his dismissal from MSG, Graham Bonnet decided to form his own band. He enlisted Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea (both of New England fame), Jan Uvena (former Alice Cooper drummer), and a young Swedish guitar virtuoso, Yngwie Malmsteen, fresh out of L.A. Metal band Steeler. With all the parts in place, Alcatrazz was born.

All the songs on the debut album are Bonnet/Malmsteen collaborations, with help from Jimmy Waldo on a few tracks. What I find interesting about this is that Malmsteen seems restrained (compared to future works) but more focused. Rather than playing complex throughout, he keep his guitar focused within the context of the song and then lets loose come solo time. Probably the most enjoyable Malmsteen performance I’ve heard (and I have all of them!), almost Schenker like. Bonnet continues his excellent vocal performance as heard on his previous albums with Blackmore and Schenker but he seems to let loose a bit more here as he is the man guiding the ship this time around. With Waldo’s keyboards adding to the tracks rather than drowning them, giving added punch much like Rainbow.

Island In The Sun starts the album in sing-along fashion. This was Alcatrazz’s first single and video (search YouTube) and it’s pure Pop Metal. We move to the metallic General Hospital where Bonnet’s tale of being trapped in the hospital is a departure from the usual songcraft of the times and Malmsteen adds the chugging riffs. Jet To Jet is the fast rocker, Malmsteen’s solo is blistering.

No doubt that Alcatrazz’s popularity was in Japan after hearing the two Japanese inspired songs: Hiroshima Mon Amour and Kree Nakoorie. My two highlights of this album: both mid-paced, both including Bonnet’s most emotional performances of the record. Again Malmsteen stays within the song and lets loose during the solos.

Incubus is Malmsteen’s instrumental. Too Young To Die, To Drunk To Live chugs along, another Metal attack telling the tale of the consequences of imbibing. Big Foot slows down to tell the tale of the Abominable Snowman, one of the best Yngwie solos. Bonnet mellows out on the vocals. Starcarr Lane is an OK rocker, nothing you haven’t heard already on this album. It’s good but doesn’t grab me like the rest did except for the solo. Suffer Me is the ballad and the weakest song on the album.

No Parole From Rock’n’Roll is another of my all-time favorites, probably in my Top 10, definitely in the Top 20. Fave tracks here are the first five…..I really enjoy the the sing along of Island In The Sun. No Parole is probably the one of the greatest lost albums of the early ’80s, the last of the triumverate that Bonnet helped create from 1979-1983 and building his unknown legacy.

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Comments
  1. Metal Mark says:

    I have never heard this. I saw it in the record store not long ago and then I saw the $25 price tag and I passed it by. I thought Malmsteen was more restrained on the Steeler album too and I liked his work that way. My favorite album of his is Odyssey because of JLT and because Yngwie seemed to be concetrating more on the songs rather than just solos.

  2. $25 is the going rate because it’s considered an import, usually from Japan. If you liked Down To Earth or Assault Attack, you’ll dig this. A lot of things I’ve read suggest that No Parole is what Rainbow and MSG would’ve sounded like had Bonnet continued with them.

    The Steeler album with Ron Keel and Rik Fox is great. I agree that Malmsteen is subdued, a part of the band rather than the focal point.

    Odyssey is my favorite Malmsteen solo album, I’m a huge JLT fan so that has a lot to do with it.

  3. Metal Mark says:

    The most I have ever paid for a single cd is $20. I bought Heathen’s Breaking the silence last year for that and it wasn’t worth it in the end because it wasn’t as good as I remembered it being. I also bought Icon’s first one new on cd for that amount. It was good, but not worth what I paid. I am much more a fan than a collector. If I really want something then I would be more likely to pay $7 for a used vinyl then pay $20+ for a cd of the same thing. That’s just me though, cheap I guess.

  4. If I want a CD bad enough and it’s hard to find or OOP, I’ll pay the extra bucks. I have paid some high prices in the past but I’ve calmed it down in the last few years. I’m looking for a decent turntable now so I can pick up some vinyl. There are some great albums out there and the vinyl is much less than the CD. There are also suspect reissues on CD and I would rather have an original. Unfortunately, the vinyl pickings in my area are very slim so Ebay will be getting more of my money.

  5. Metal Mark says:

    I have gotten some sort of rare stuff on vinyl, but it’s a lot harder to win it now then it was say four years ago. Sometimes you just have to look and bide your time and most items will pop up. I bought a lot of albums in the 80′s and picked up a lot of cheap ones when record stores were clearing them out in the early 90′s. I remember getting sealed WASP and Twisted Sister twelve inch singles for a quarter a piece in ’92 when a record store was clearing them out.

  6. Karl from Sweden says:

    I bought this back in 84 when I was an exchange student in Montana. I played it just the other day, and its top quality metal from the 80:ies.

    Best regards
    Kalle

  7. dude says:

    Well this album is amazing due to Malmsteen and his first apperance!. Its also great that this type of music is now back in fasion in 2007 and this is one of the bands that started it all.

  8. andy the producer is my dad so i like it

  9. Andy DiGelsomina says:

    For me, there is a Graham Bonnet “Trilogy” of classic albums. At the top is Michael Schenker Group’s “Assault Attack” , which showcases both Graham and Michael’s greatest, most powerful , intricate, dynamic, and musical work. Number two would have to be Down To Earth, which may (possibly excepting Perfect Strangers) be the last really Great thing that Ritchie Blackmore ever did. Number three is No Parole For Rock and Roll. I admit my bias when I write that I feel this was the best thing Yngwie ever did. I feel this way because No Parole for Rock ‘n Roll is, musically, very much Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rainbow; ye, unlike Rainbow, and it is great simply because Yngwie let Graham be his PARTNER in songwriting. Not letting others participate in the songwriting has been a mistake that Yngwie has made throughout his career.

    I feel that the next Alcatrazz album with Graham and Yngwie would have been an absolutely outstanding Monster, but as it is this is often a really terrific album.

  10. Dwayne Rosemeyer says:

    When is this CD going to be re-released???????????????

    • david (the manager and producers son) says:

      ummm this c.d. will not be re reliesed any time soon, i could call yngwie or graham (cant ask andy cause he died in 2003), but from what ive heard, itll b another 5 months-1 year. any other questions, e-mail me at davidtrueman@rocketmail.com

    • Dwayne — You can easily find this on CD, vinyl, and cassette on Ebay. An official re-release would be cool…..maybe some bonus tracks? What I am looking forward to is the new Alcatrazz album Graham is putting together

  11. ken zuchel says:

    This album is on Itunes. I believe it was also remastered

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