Please Re­main Seated BMG

Classic Rock - - Album -

Thun­der stripped back and laid bare.

Twenty-eight years ago, I sat on Thun­der’s tour bus out­side the Par­adiso in Am­s­ter­dam. It was late, and even while some girls tried to pull him away, gui­tarist Luke Mor­ley wanted to play me a new song he’d writ­ten for their sec­ond al­bum. Mo­ments like these aren’t rare, and I was ready to run rather than lis­ten to half a mu­si­cal idea bol­stered by a muddy mix. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The keen­ing demo ver­sion of Low Life In High Places was a beau­ti­ful sketch of a song, filled with prom­ise and life. So much so that the fin­ished ver­sion never sounded quite as good to me when par­ent al­bum Laugh­ing On Judge­ment Day fi­nally ar­rived.

That song reap­pears on Please Re­main Seated, this time pi­anoled be­fore it turns into a mourn­ful el­egy buoyed by a male voice choir; it is, re­mark­ably, the un­ex­pected left that feels right. This col­lec­tion of re­worked songs from the Thun­der cat­a­logue mostly es­chews the straight acous­tic cover for gen­tle swing, blues and the oc­ca­sional jazz note, from a band live in the stu­dio, re­flect­ing on a re­mark­able mu­si­cal life well lived.

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