Impellitteri – Stand In Line (1988, Relativity)
- Stand In Line
- Since You’ve Been Gone
- Secret Lover
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow (instrumental)
- Tonight I Fly
- White And Perfect
- Goodnight And Goodbye
- Playing With Fire (instrumental)
Total Time – 35:27
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Chris Impellitteri – Guitar
Chuck Wright – Bass
Pat Torpey – Drums
Phil Wolfe – Keyboards
After Alcatrazz’s 3rd album, Dangerous Games (1986), the band was laid to rest in 1987. Graham Bonnet’s resume now well reknowned, he is asked to take over the vocal duties for guitar wizard Chris Impellitteri’s band, Impellitteri.
To my ears, this is basically Alcatrazz (Mark IV). You’ve got the same instrument set-up and good backing band. Add the Voice, the Guitar God, and have them co-write all the tracks except the covers. The formula has been used and done better. As an added bonus, Chris Impellitteri is the Producer, sealing the deal for every wanking solo making the album along with two unnecessary instrumentals.
Let’s dump the two instrumentals: Playing with Fire and Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I could see Chris wanking all over Playing With Fire, all the other Bonnet guitarists got a solo instrumental but Somewhere Over The Rainbow? Absolutely no need for such a track to be on any album. Sure Chris plays it nicely but, if we’re forced to have it, does it need to clock in at just over 5 minutes? Let’s also dump the Rainbow cover Since You’ve Been Gone. Yes, it’s Bonnet’s most popular song but it’s a terrible rendition. The gang vocals on the chorus are annoying and the guitar is mixed way up front, taking away from the vocal. The solo is also way over the top, nothing Ritchie would do.
This leaves us with 6 songs…..
Stand In Line is a great opener and single. Impellitteri plays within the context of the song, making it enjoyable. It easily could have been on any of the Alcatrazz releases. Secret Lover is a fast paced Metal track, perfect for Chris to wail through. Tonight I Fly is mid-paced with a chunky riff and keyboards that accompany, not drown out, the rest of the band. Easily Bonnet’s best performance and my favorite song on the album.
White And Perfect is another Alcatrazz-like song that could have fit on Disturbing The Peace. Leviathan is slow and mysterious, a creature lurking and waiting to strike. Goodnight And Goodbye revisits the ’80s shred fest.
Bottom line – an average release with only 6 actual songs. Bonnet’s singing is powerful but the songwriting is similar to previous efforts. The keyboards seem to be trying to compete with the guitar instead of complimenting it. Chris Impellitteri is definitely a talented guitarist but he likes to play as many notes as possible (even if they aren’t needed) rather than stay within the song and add some balls. Like the rest of Bonnet’s guitar maestro’s (Blackmore, Schenker, Malmsteen, Vai), impellitteri is at his best when he plays in the song rather than showcasing himself. I don’t reach for this very often, maybe to hear Stand In Line or Tonight I Fly.