Alcatrazz: The Ultimate Fortress Rock Set

One great singer. Two great guitarists. And still a failure.

Alcatrazz The Ultimate Fortress Rock Set album cover

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In the erratic career of 80s band Alcatrazz, there was a sharp and poignant contrast between the central figures. For singer and leader Graham Bonnet – an established star, following spells with Rainbow and the Michael Schenker Group – Alcatrazz turned out to be his last shot at the big time. For the young guitarists that joined him in the band – first Yngwie Malmsteen, then Steve Vai – it was a stepping stone to fame.

In this new box set are the band’s three studio albums and one live album, plus live CDs of the Malmsteen line-up in 1983 and the Graham Bonnet Band in 2015, and a live DVD with two sets from ’84: one with Malmsteen, the other with Vai.

The debut No Parole From Rock ’N’ Roll was their best – melodic hard rock with a quirky edge, and Yngwie shredding at high speed. 1985’s Disturbing The Peace was more polished, with Vai showing off his chops. But after a weak third album, Dangerous Games, with Danny Johnson on guitar, the band split, and Bonnet’s glory days were over.

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”