Alcatrazz Information

Alcatrazz is a hard rock and heavy metal band formed in 1983, known for its distinctive blend of powerful vocals and intricate guitar work. The band has undergone several lineup changes throughout its history and is notable for launching the career of legendary guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. The history of Alcatrazz is a journey through the realms of heavy rock and metal.

Formation and Debut (1983): Alcatrazz was formed by Graham Bonnet, a British vocalist known for his previous work with Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group. The band’s debut lineup featured Bonnet on vocals, Yngwie Malmsteen on guitar, Gary Shea on bass, Jimmy Waldo on keyboards, and Jan Uvena on drums. In 1983, they released their first album, “No Parole from Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The album showcased Bonnet’s powerful vocals and Malmsteen’s virtuosic guitar skills, earning the band critical acclaim.

Rising Star Yngwie Malmsteen (1983-1984): Yngwie Malmsteen’s tenure in Alcatrazz was brief but significant. His exceptional guitar playing and neoclassical influences brought a new dimension to the band’s sound. The album’s tracks like “Island in the Sun” and “Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live” remain fan favorites and showcase Malmsteen’s blazing fretwork.

Lineup Changes and “Disturbing the Peace” (1984): Following Malmsteen’s departure, Alcatrazz underwent lineup changes, with Steve Vai briefly joining as the guitarist before departing to pursue a solo career. The band’s second album, “Disturbing the Peace” (1985), featured Danny Johnson on guitar. Despite the lineup turmoil, the album produced tracks like “God Blessed Video” and “Will You Be Home Tonight,” which further solidified the band’s place in the metal scene.

Evolution and “Dangerous Games” (1986): In 1986, Alcatrazz released their third album, “Dangerous Games.” The album marked a shift towards a more melodic and radio-friendly sound, with new guitarist Danny Johnson contributing to the songwriting. While it received mixed reviews, it demonstrated the band’s ability to adapt to changing musical landscapes.

Dissolution and Reunions (1987-Present): After the release of “Dangerous Games,” Alcatrazz disbanded due to internal conflicts and changing musical trends. Over the years, there have been sporadic reunions and lineup changes, with Graham Bonnet occasionally reviving the band for live performances and recording new material.

Alcatrazz Discography:

  • “No Parole from Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1983)
  • “Disturbing the Peace” (1985)
  • “Dangerous Games” (1986)

Notable Members:

  • Graham Bonnet (vocals)
  • Yngwie Malmsteen (guitar)
  • Steve Vai (guitar)
  • Danny Johnson (guitar)
  • Gary Shea (bass)
  • Jimmy Waldo (keyboards)
  • Jan Uvena (drums)

Official Social Media Accounts:

Platform Link
YouTube Alcatrazz Official YouTube
Spotify Alcatrazz on Spotify
Facebook Alcatrazz on Facebook
Twitter Graham Bonnet on Twitter

Alcatrazz’s history is characterized by its blend of exceptional musicianship and ever-changing lineups. While the band may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as some of its peers, it played a significant role in the development of heavy metal and showcased the talents of legendary musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai.