Here’s a real blast from the 80’s past. If I talk about how the YouTube algorithm gives me some of my favorite albums, this might have been the first one. Cruising that highway at 2:00am led to to Stand In Line by Impellitteri. The band, led by shred guitarist Chris Impellitteri, has had a couple lead singers over the years. On Stand In Line it was the legend, Graham Bonnet. Bonnet is definitely in my top 5 singers of all time. His voice is completely unique and he’s a living legend of the genre. Impellitteri’s style is that of classic heavy metal or speed metal. Stand In Line is no different to this styling and one of the landmark albums of the era in shredding.
The album made it to 91 on the Billboard charts and stayed on the charts for a whopping twenty weeks. Which is astounding for a smaller release album like this one. It was remastered in 2009, which had four bonus tracks that are re-recorded versions of songs from the first Impellitteri EP, Impellitteri.
The Metal Hall of Fame welcomed Graham Bonnet earlier this year. Check out our coverage of it below:
Lowlights of Stand In Line
I normally start off with the stuff I love from the album. Instead of going for the best parts, we’ll start off with the worst. Chris Impellitteri’s guitar playing is great at most points on this album. He’s deftly shredding one lick to another and culminating in a blistering solo. Some of the songs it becomes far too much. The cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is atrocious in this regard. It’s just too masturbatory. It’s guitar wanking at it’s worst. I love me some Gary Moore or Yngwie Malmsteen, but Impellitteri takes it to a new low on that track. It’s not worth listening to after the first shot.
“White and Perfect” has amazing music behind atrocious lyrics. Graham Bonnet sings the hell out of the track but it could have been better served not being about English colonization of the world in the 16th-19th centuries. Other than those tracks though, the album is fantastic listening for any fan of metal music.
Where The Album Shines
The best tracks on the album are: “Stand In Line”, “Since You Been Gone”, and “Goodnight and Goodbye”.
In the video for this song, not only can you see how awesome Graham Bonnet’s style was at the time, but why this video was played so much on MTV at the time. Bonnet is a throwback that shouldn’t have worked in all the bands he did, but his voice and style blew down those barriers. He’s a legend. “Since You Been Gone” is a cover of a cover. Originally written by Russ Ballard and then covered by Rainbow when Bonnet was the lead singer of that band with Ritchie Blackmore. Their cover is harder and has more shredding from Chris Impellitteri. The real highlight is Bonnet’s singing near the end of the song.
The Best Song On The Album
Finally “Goodnight and Goodbye” is a straightforward rocker that makes you want to bang your head and go crazy. The guitar tone on this one is a huge highlight on the album. I haven’t heard one similar to this song on anything else. This is one that goes on every playlist I make on my phone. You can guarantee that anytime I hear this song at the gym, the workout kicks into high gear. It’s a fantastic album that not too many people I know have listened to. Most of the albums I’ve done for this Music Rec column have been relatively well known. This is the first one that I’m not sure how people are going to react to. Either way, it’s a real highlight and hidden gem of the late 80’s, so check it out.
For more on Impellitteri, Stand In Line, heavy metal, or any other general pop culture, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.
To read yesterday’s Music Rec, click down here: