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Thunder

T

hunder was started by main songwriter Luke Morley (guitar), along with Danny Bowes (vocals) who first met at Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College in 1975, where they formed the band Nuthin' Fancy, which played in pubs around the London area and released an independent single Looking For A Good Time.

After a membership change the band featured the founders plus Rudy Riviere (guitar), Nick Linden (bass/piano) and Gary James (drums), who reformed as Terriplane, a regular act at the Reading festival in 1983. After a set of 7” singles they would finally release their debut album Black And White (1986), an album that would see Riviere play on only one track before departing. The album also got them a chart position of 74 but only in the U.K., their only charting ever under the existing construct. Their planned expansion into the U.S. market was halted abruptly in 1988 after a brief tour there and the release of Moving Target in both the U.K. and U.S. the year before.

The following year the act was resurrected under the name Thunder with the core of the former returning, now featuring Bowles and Morley, Gary “Harry” James, who all recruited Ben Matthews (guitar/keyboards), and Mark “Snake” Luckhurst (bass). Their career under the moniker Thunder was somewhat more productive and successful by following a sort of Bluesy Melodic Hard Rock style of Aerosmith, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin. Their first real moment of fame came with their new debut Back Street Symphony (1990) gaining a 21 on the U.K. charts. The single for the title song of which carried the album getting 25 on it's own, and gaining them widespread grassroots fan base. Dirty Love, released on the album and as a single (before the album's release), further pushed their standings by getting a 32 in the U.K. on it's own.

The follow-ups Laughing On Judgment Day (1992) and Behind Closed Doors (1995) saw them succeed by gaining a 2 and 5 respectively, the latest saw Luckhurst leave and replaced with Mikael Hoglund. The follow-up Their Finest Hours (And A Bit) (1995), a compilation, got a 22 in the U.K. Thunder were always a singles oriented band and had traditionally experienced healthy sales in that realm, and as their career waned it was surprising that their later albums managed to chart as they did, especially after changing to ‘Raw Power', a label known for publishing compilation albums, because the succeeding albums of The Thrill Of It All (1997) and a live set Live (1998) featuring recordings from concerts in Wolverhampton and Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. The releases managed a 14 and 35 in the U.K. respectively; the second seeing Chris Childs replacing Hoglund. Later that year, two EPs were released containing the single The Only One. One EP featured the studio recording while the other featured the live version; both EPs contained three extra bonus tracks.

Their final offering, Giving The Game Away (1999), showed them past their prime but nonetheless still managing a 48 position in the U.K. In 2000 they disbanded after the supporting tour.

Luke Morley returned to showbiz the following year with the solo album El Gringo Retro and played several live shows at the Borderline in London, backed by virtually all of his former band mates (sans Danny Bowes), with Tara McDonald and Anna McDonald) on backing vocals. Morley and Bowes reunited in 2002 for the soul influenced album Moving Swiftly Along, again with the McDonald's on backing vocals.

Thunder returned on the Monsters of Rock UK arena shows in late 2002. They returned in November 2003 with a new album called Shooting at the Sun released on their own label 'STC Recordings'.

Their second self-released album, The Magnificent Seventh spawned a top 30 single, I Love You More Than Rock And Roll in March 2005, reaching #27 in the UK Singles Chart. In 2006 Thunder returned to headline the Hammersmith Apollo at the end of a 12 date UK tour; the first time they played there since the Back Street Symphony album.

Robert Johnson's Tombstone was their next album; a European tour ensued - their first in 12 years.

'Bang!' (2008), on their on label again, would once again signal their retirement, each citing their own excuses for leaving. Multiple one-off reunions had since been performed until 2014 when another reunion had been announced. In 2015 Wonder Days arrived via 'earMusic', along with a new tour.


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Nation UK
City London
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Hard Rock
Formations/Versions 3
Web Unknown
Active Years 1989-2000, 2002-2009, 2011-
E-Mail Unknown
Old RRCA File Code UC000276
New Reference Code 729

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See also these artists mentioned in this article:

Aerosmith Led Zeppelin Bad Company