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Thunder: Live – Rough & Ready

All the good and bad bits in a collection of variable quality.

Like so many great British bands, from Free and Family to Dogs D’Amour and The Quireboys, Thunder deserved far more than they actually got.

With no Bob Rock or Mutt Lange to guide them in the studio, their recordings rarely lived up to their live performances. Hence the poignancy of a collection that works as both posthumous memento for those lovelorn fans who look back on their shows fondly, and a painful reminder to everybody else of what the rock world lost when Thunder called it a day in 2009.

Four CDs are culled from two shows in 2005: one from Japan – of admittedly bootleg quality – and one, of pristine quality, from London.

And while 11 of the 32 tracks are alternative versions of one song, eight are singular in their appearance here, including Low Life In High Places, Love Walked In, Back Street Symphony, Until My Dying Day and Stand Up. Well weathered.

Mick Wall is the UK's best-known rock writer, author and TV and radio programme maker, and is the author of numerous critically-acclaimed books, including definitive, bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), Guns N' Roses and Lemmy. He lives in England.