I did a show on our YouTube channel recently discussing the wealth of covers albums that have been released in recent years, and how so many bands who choose to do such albums pick songs that, while they might be near and dear to them, have been done to death over the years, and even with the obvious choices of songs, many of these bands don't even put their own spin on these classics. Here we have the latest from veteran act Bonfire, titled Legends, originally conceived as a tour where the band would pick classic favorites of theirs from the '70s & '80s, and invite many of the legendary singers to come out and sing on these tunes. That proved to be a bit too ambitious, and the band instead decided to just go into the studio and record all of these themselves. With the current line-up of Alex Stahl on vocals, Hans Ziller and Frank PanĂ© on guitars, Ronnie Parkes on bass, Tim Breideband on drums, plus Paul Morris on keyboards, Bonfire dives into a great selection of standout tracks from their heroes, legends such as UFO, Rainbow, Survivor, Toto, Queensryche, Deep Purple, and more, 32 tracks in all. While the guys don't deviate much from the original formula of these songs, and stay pretty true to the original arrangements, the song selections are quite strong, the Queensryche, Rainbow, and Survivor tunes coming across especially well, most notably "Eyes of a Stranger", "Stone Cold", and "Caught in the Game", while UFO's "Lights Out" and "Rock Bottom" are also pretty damn sizzling. Deep Purple's "King of Dreams"? Sure, why not! Kudos to Stahl who handles all the different vocal styles in his own way, doing a more than admirable job on each and every track here, and the band lays down all the musical parts flawlessly.
Some might argue that the arrangements are too close to the originals, and that is certainly the case, but overall Bonfire has selected some great songs here, and the performances are so good it's hard to fault this spirited covers set one bit. A fun listen!!