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Thunder Biography


Home > Music > T > Thunder > Biography


Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1989 - 2000, 2002 - 2009
Genres: Hard Rock, Blues-rock


Thunder was an English rock band, who originated in London in 1989 from the ashes of another band, Terraplane. Lead singer Danny Bowes, and guitarist Luke Morley, formerly of Terraplane got together and decided to form a new band, with original Terraplane drummer, Gary James on board, with the addition of bassist Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst and guitarist/keyboard player Ben Matthews. The band's strongest support has always been in their native home of England, however, the band are also popular in Japan, where they have maintained a loyal following. Morley and Bowes met in college in 1975; at the time Bowes couldn't play an instrument if his life depended on it but managed to talk his way into a band as the lead singer.

The band called themselves “Nuthin' Fancy,” and got their initial start playing regular gigs in and around London, building a local following. When drummer, Harry James joined the band, they renamed themselves Terraplane. As Terraplane the band reached a higher status of recognition that earned them a slot on the 1982 Reading Festival. As a result they were signed by Epic Records, whom they put out two albums with. The band became frustrated with the label fairly quickly as they began to pressure the band to move more towards the pop orientated direction. The band began to think about other options; aware that there was a thriving rock scene at this time in the U.S., the band continued to pursue the sound they wanted. They signed with EMI and began working on their debut album, “Back Street Symphony,” this time calling themselves, “Thunder.” The album was a big success in the U.K., which was enhanced by their performance at the 1990 'Monsters of Rock festival' in Donington Park. As a result the band became and overnight success with fans and collected a whole new generation of followers.

The band's second effort, “Laughing on Judgement Day” appeared in 1992 and peaked at #2 in the U.K. Album Charts, in addition, all four singles released from the album charted well. However, the musical landscape was moving away from rock at the time and towards Seattle's grunge sound. The band went through a number of difficult transition years before emerging three years later with their third album, “Behind Closed Doors,” which peaked at #5 in the U.K. Album Charts. Shortly after the release of this album the band parted ways with EMI. A fourth album followed, “The Thrill Of It All,” and was released independent record label, B Lucky. The band followed up with a tour to support the record. A live album emerged in 1998, followed by the band's fifth studio album, "Giving The Game Away" in 1999 and an announcement that the band were to split and go their separate ways after a few final gigs in London and Japan in 2000.

Morley released a solo album, “El Gringo Retro” a year later in 2001 and by 2002, Morley and Bowes had reunited for the collaborative album, “Moving Swiftly Along,” in addition to a slot offered on the Monsters of Rock tour that year. 2003 marked the release of a new album for the band, “Shooting at the Sun,” which the band put out on their own label - STC Recordings. A second self-released offering, “The Magnificent Seventh” followed in 2005, which spawned the hit single, "I Love You More Than Rock And Roll,” peaking at #27 in the U.K. Singles Chart. The band went on to appear at the Monsters of Rock festival in 2006 at Milton Keynes, sharing the bill with Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Journey, Queensrÿche, Ted Nugent and Roadstar. The band released their eighth studio album, 'Robert Johnson's Tombstone” in 2006. A European tour ensued in 2007, with an opening slot on the Def Leppard and Whitesnake's co-headline U.K. tour in 2008.

Thunder released their ninth studio album, “Bang!” later that year, again through their own record label, STC Recordings. Another split was announced in 2009 so that the band members could pursue other interests. Morley re-emerged later that same year with Peter Shoulder to form the band, The Union, who released their first album in 2010 and second in 2011. Harry James did a stint as Magnums drummer, while Bowes performs as an 'occasional' vocalist for Kenney Jones's band the "Jones Gang," and Chris Childs joined the "Ultimate Eagles," an Eagles tribute band and toured extensively.

In February 2011, it was announced that the band would reunite for a one-off live performance, at that year's High Voltage Festival in July 2011, in addition the band played two sold-out Christmas Shows later that year. In 2012 Danny and Ben played a tour under the title of "Danny & Ben From Thunder" performing acoustic versions of Thunder songs, cover versions and telling stories of Thunder on the road.