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Thundertrain | Hell Tonite!

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Rock: 70's Rock Rock: Glam Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Hell Tonite!

by Thundertrain

Hard-hitting rock from Natick MA. Thundertrain began in 1974 and raised hell all over New England, New York and beyond for the next five years. The rowdy quintet drew inspiration from the New York Dolls, Slade, Black Oak Arkansas, the Stones and Johnny Winter to name a few. “Hell Tonite!” captures Thundertrain blasting-out a high-octane show at a biker bar in Peabody MA. The show was originally recorded & broadcast over WCOZ-FM in 1979 and is preserved here in all it’s glory. Liner notes are by Thundertrain frontman Mach Bell - who went on to sing with the Joe Perry Project.
Genre: Rock: 70's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Hell Tonite
5:28 $0.99
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2. Love The Way
2:53 $0.99
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3. Afterschool
3:25 $0.99
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4. Readin'Riotin'Rock'n'Roll
3:51 $0.99
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5. Counterattack
3:04 $0.99
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6. Forever & Ever
4:57 $0.99
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7. Dirty Water
5:16 $0.99
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8. I Gotta Rock
9:30 $0.99
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9. Cheater
4:58 $0.99
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10. Got Past You
4:29 $0.99
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11. Anything Money Can Buy
5:24 $0.99
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12. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
3:21 $0.99
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13. Hot For Teacher!
5:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This cd sounds amazing with it’s warm, thick and rich quality, it’s like you are there! In fact HELL TONITE! is simply...THE BEST LIVE ALBUM EVER!
- Rock'N'Roll Universe

The awesome live from 1979 Thundertrain "Hell Tonite!" CD. It's f'ing awesome!!!
- Glam Metal

Thundertrain had the name, the sound, the volume, the sweat and the aarrgh! Imagine if Aerosmith never got signed to Columbia and continued on as a big name local act retaining a lot of the Dolls/MC5 swagger they started out with, and you'll get an idea of where Thundertrain stands. - BTC

Why Thundertrain never clawed its way into the American adolescent consciousness back in 1977 has always been mystifying. This group, based in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts at the time, should have run up the middle,and through the hole Aerosmith blasted in the defense a couple years earlier. All leather and attitude, this band sat poised on the brink, a local hit album in its saddlebag and full support from the local media. But it just never happened. Fronted by the irrepressible Mach Bell, who took no lip from anyone and took command at every venue, Thundertrain peddled and pummeled its metal ditties of thigh school love and lust with a basic two-guitar, bass and drums attack that also, surprisingly, featured a generous share of hooks to hang a hit on. Their 1977 album Teenage Suicide sold handily and the band’s local gigs were standing room only, but still, no joy. Bell later sang in the final lineup of the Joe Perry Project and fronted a few Boston outfits afterward, but Thundertrain was always his main passion even after they broke up. The group eventually put it all together again for a string of reunion shows 30 years after the fact and managed to bring the magnificent noise out in full force. But even after all those years, it still seems like Thundertrain (and America) was robbed.
- Carter Alan

Thundertrain were featured on the seminal double LP "Live at the Rat" and had a hit in the U.K. with "Hot For Teacher!" the single taken from their 1977 Jelly/JEM album "Teenage Suicide". Thundertrain performed with many stars including Thin Lizzy, David Johansen, The Runaways, the Romantics and The Cars. Mach and Thundertrain played at almost every high school and college campus in New England as well as appearing regularly at famed clubs including Max's Kansas City, CBGB's, The Rat and the Cleveland Agora.

THUNDERTRAIN - HELL TONITE:
Recorded live by Starfleet Mobile Studio at the Summit Club in Peabody MA in 1979.
13 tracks re-mastered from the original master tapes.
Liner notes by singer Mach Bell.
Rarities and unseen photos.
The Standells “Dirty Water” and Slade's “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” both get a Thundertrain makeover.
The uncut stage introduction by hostess Leslie Palmiter of Boston's WCOZ FM

70’s rock’n’roll legends finally sets the record straight with this high energy free-for-all recorded live in a packed roadhouse:
***
Gulcher Records has gone back to the original Starfleet Mobile master reels via the help of Thundertrain vault keeper John Visnaskas. HELL TONITE! features two "lost" tracks that were cut from the original radio broadcast. The entire concert has been restored, mastered and is presented today in it's finest uncut form. The packaging includes recently uncovered photos and new liner notes from Thundertrain singer Mach Bell detailing the final days of the legendary Thundertrain. HELL TONITE! is the ultimate Thundertrain trip.

... they're at least generous enough guys now not to be upset that Van Halen probably ripped off their 1976 "Hot for Teacher!" in 1984.
- Chuck Eddy, The Village Voice

Straight off the airwaves, this is a great and terrible blast of the mighty 'Train, live from the Summit Club, in Peabody, MA. Live as fuck, even. Retro-reviewers often liken the be-scarved, satin-abusing Thundertrain to the New York Dolls and Aerosmith, which is largely a cosmetic issue. Musically, they had more in common with '70s arena boogie giants like Thin Lizzy and UFO, preferring the scorched-earth theory of pummeling hard rock with dashes of bloozy raunch, and on this blistering set, they are ON, banging out one stupendously dumb cock-rockin' hit after another.
- The Noise

This early 1979 Summit performance turned out to be one of the final Thundertrain shows.
Homemade tapes of the original Thundertrain "Hell Tonite!" WCOZ Playback program have been trading hands for decades now. Thundertroopers regard "Hell Tonite!" to be Thundertrain's holy grail. This is the real Thundertrain sound captured as everyone remembers hearing them at The Rat, CBGBs and a hundred biker bars and high school cafeterias throughout the northeast.
***
Thundertrain were not forgotten. In the wake of the band's break up, the Joe Perry Project scooped up lead singer Mach Bell and Van Halen nabbed guitarist Steven Silva's catchy song title "Hot For Teacher!". Bootleggers continue to press Thundertrain discs to this day.

I only really like two kinds of music - the kind you can fuck to, and the kind you can fight to. Thundertrain, in case yer mama never told you, were both kinds. So come get some.
- The Noise

FEATURE REVIEW:
So you all know who Mach Bell is, don't you? He's the dude that sang on the Joe Perry Project's Once a Rocker…Always a Rocker album (I've still got my vinyl copy). Well, the album may have shot Mach into the limelight, but his main gig was as front man and lead singer for Thundertrain in the 70s. The quintet, now reunited, was a no-frills, ass kickin' Boston rock and roll band that kicked the tail ends of New Englanders with a volatile mix of Rolling Stones swagger, New York Dolls attitude, and MC5 energy. Unfortunately, the band never really made it past the club circuit and missed out on that rocket ride to the stars that many of their peers got. Some of you may have had the opportunity to check out Gulcher Records' re-mastering of 1977's Teenage Suicide album (2002), complete with bonus tracks. The disc certainly gave you a taste of what Thundertrain was all about, but I'd most certainly have to recommend Hell Tonite! for those of you who want a bit more than studio treatments can offer; that being the stench of sweat and beer, and the strong scent of carnivores stalking a stage in search of prey. This particular collection of 13 songs is taken from a live WCOZ FM radio broadcast of the band's 1979 performance at the Summit Club in Peabody, Massachusetts. It turned out to be one of Thundertrain's last shows. The recording even includes deejay Leslie Palmiter's on-air comments and two songs that didn't make the original live broadcast. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality sound mix, one in which only faint moments of buzzing between songs are heard (certainly not a bother and it's actually kinda cool). There is something about listening to this broadcast that makes you feel as though you're a part of the show or at least listening to it in your Duster with a stack of 8-tracks piled on the seat next to you. You get a nice overview of Thundertrain music, including show-closer "Hot for Teacher" (no, not the Van Halen track!), "Readin'Riotin'Rock'n'Roll," "Afterschool," and "Counterattack." Also included is a very cool cover of Slade's "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" that wipes the floor with Quiet Riot's overly polished and unconvincing version. The band's rendition of "Dirty Water" is also effective as a mid-show groove rocker. And man those guitars are cranked on this sucker! Some of those solos are not only sharp enough to cut steel, but you'll wince at the ear-splitting squeals. On top of that is Mach's commanding stage presence; hell, I could tell he had it by just listening - I never actually saw the guy perform! His gift of gab is the icing on the cake, especially his rant about the modern day plague called disco, leading the crowd in chants of "Disco Sucks!" during an extended, ripping version of "I Gotta Rock." The funny part is that the radio folks edited out "sucks" - basically, a shot of static takes the place of the word; pretty damn funny actually. The performance is raucous, amplified, and full of strutting, blues-inflected rock and roll. It also sounds like those in attendance had a damn good time. Mach Bell fills you in with a vivid description of this Thundertrain chapter in the liner notes. The tunes here may not be ones that you'll hear on classic rock radio, but that's no reason to overlook this hidden treasure. It's all about that vibe baby!
- Scott Alisoglu, Electric Basement, 7/15/04

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Reviews


to write a review

Gaetano Fezza

Long live the legendary Thundertrain!
Disponibile da luglio il live “Hell Tonite!” dei Thundertrain, rock’n’roll band di primo piano della 70’s Boston scene (tornata on the road dal 2002 con la line-up originale) ed autrice nel ’77 del fondamentale “Teenage Suicide”, recentemente ristampato in CD dalla Gulcher Rec. ed in vinile dalla nostrana Rockin’Bones. Il CD presenta la band al top della forma, catturandola nella sua dimensione ideale durante uno degli ultimi live show dei 70’s, registrato il 1° Febbraio 1979 al Summit Club di Peabody (MA) per il programma radiofonico WCOZ Playback.

I nastri, ottimamente rimasterizzati, rendono finalmente giustizia al suono della band, che esplode in tutto il suo fragore (purtroppo “Teenage Suicide” era penalizzato dalla pessima produzione): torrido rock’n’roll suonato con carica, passione ed energia, sezione ritmica compatta, precisa e martellante, pregevoli intrecci di chitarra con la solista/slide di Steven Silva in grande spolvero, il tutto a conferma di come i nostri fossero una “Live Band” estremamente coinvolgente, con un “Cowboy” Mach Bell trascinante ed aggressivo come ci aveva abituato nelle performance registrate live al “Rat” di Boston. La presenza di 7 tracce inedite rende ancor più appetibile il CD: “Afterschool”, “Readin’Riotin’Rock’n’Roll”, “Counterattack”, “Got Past You”, “Anything Money Can Buy”, la cover “Dirty Water” degli Standells ed una grintosa versione di “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” degli Slade.

Non mancano ovviamente i loro cavalli di battaglia, da “Hell Tonite” che apre le danze nel modo migliore scaldando l’audience alla bellissima “I Gotta Rock”, trasformata per l’occasione in un autentico “manifesto” con Mach Bell che aizza il pubblico sfottendo alla grande il movimento “Disco Music”, scimmiottando bands come i Village People e facendo urlare a squarciagola all’audience lo slogan “Disco Sucks” ( frase prontamente censurata dai bigottissimi Americani con un fastidioso fruscio… bah…), da “Love The Way” e “Forever & Ever” fino alla conclusiva “Hot For Teacher!” dal vivo ancor più trascinante ed irresistibile. Senza dubbio un CD perfetto per i Rockers più duri ed incazzati, i Bikers ed i Southern Rock Junkies per una band che, citando la frase in chiusura delle sleeve notes, era: “Too polished for the punks. Too raw for the mainstream. Too bad it ever had to end. Long live the legendary Thundertrain!”. Parole sante ragazzi, parole sante...
Read more...

Maximum Rock&Roll

A TRULY BIC FLICKING GOOD TIME
(Henry Yu) - Proto-hair-band THUNDERTRAIN offers a 1979 hot live set on their Gulcher Records release “Hell Tonite!” Great sound and a great performance transcend the cock rocking genre of rama lama rock’n put-your-hands-together boogie to make for a truly bic-flicking good time. Cool cover of SLADE’S “We’re All Crazee Now”.
Read more...

CCNewz (UK)

...hell-raising rockers in the Alice Cooper mode.
Thundertrain, here caught performing live for a Pennsylvania radio show, one Saturday night back in '79, are hell-raising rockers in the Alice Cooper mode.  This CD captures the club atmosphere to great effect and is nothing less than a good-time thrash which will have your big-hair nodding till you get a head ache, but I must warn you, it will only do its business when played extreeeemly loud! 
Read more...

Village Voice

Van Halen probably ripped off their 1976 "Hot for Teacher!"
Thundertrain, who despite their current reissue imprint lived in Boston not Bloomington at the time, more likely preferred Rocks. And though their liner notes
suggest they were once major assholes (to teachers at school dances
they played, no less), they're at least generous enough guys now not to
be upset that Van Halen probably ripped off their 1976 "Hot for Teacher!"
in 1984. (Chuck Eddy 8/22/05)
Read more...

Electric Basement

Carnivores stalking a stage in search of prey.
THUNDERTRAIN-
Hell Tonite
(Gulcher)

By Scott Alisoglu-
Posted 7/15/04-

So you all know who Mach Bell is, don't you? He's the dude that sang on the Joe Perry Project's Once a Rocker…Always a Rocker album (I've still got my vinyl copy). Well, the album may have shot Mach into the limelight, but his main gig was as front man and lead singer for Thundertrain in the 70s. The quintet, now reunited, was a no-frills, ass kickin' Boston rock and roll band that kicked the tail ends of New Englanders with a volatile mix of Rolling Stones swagger, New York Dolls attitude, and MC5 energy. Unfortunately, the band never really made it past the club circuit and missed out on that rocket ride to the stars that many of their
peers got. Some of you may have had the opportunity to check out Gulcher Records' re-mastering of 1977's Teenage Suicide album (2002), complete with bonus tracks. The disc certainly gave you a taste of what Thundertrain was all about, but I'd most certainly have to recommend Hell Tonite for those of you who want a bit more than studio treatments can offer; that being the stench of sweat and beer, and the strong scent of carnivores stalking a stage in search of prey. This particular collection of 13 songs is taken from a live WCOZ FM radio broadcast of the band's 1979 performance at the Summit Club in Peabody, Massachusetts. It turned out to be one of Thundertrain's last shows. The recording even includes deejay Leslie Palmiter's on-air comments and two songs that didn't make the original live broadcast. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality sound mix, one in which only faint moments of buzzing between songs are heard (certainly not a bother and it's actually kinda cool). There is something about listening to this broadcast that makes you feel as though you're a part of the show or at least listening to it in your Duster with a stack of 8-tracks piled on the seat next to you. You get a nice overview of Thundertrain music, including show-closer "Hot for Teacher" (no, not the Van Halen track!), "Readin'Riotin'Rock'n'Roll," "Afterschool," and "Counterattack." Also included is a very cool cover of Slade's "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" that wipes the floor with Quiet Riot's overly polished and unconvincing version. The band's rendition of "Dirty Water" is also effective as a mid-show groove rocker. And man those guitars are cranked on this sucker! Some of those solos are not only sharp enough to cut steel, but you'll wince at the ear-splitting squeals. On top of that is Mach's commanding stage presence; hell, I could tell he had it by just listening - I never actually saw the guy perform! His gift of gab is the icing on the cake, especially his rant about the modern day plague called disco, leading the crowd in chants of "Disco Sucks!" during an extended, ripping version of "I Gotta Rock." The funny part is that the radio folks edited out "sucks" - basically, a shot of static takes the place of the word; pretty damn funny actually. The performance is raucous, amplified, and full of strutting, blues-inflected rock and roll. It also sounds like those in attendance had a damn good time. Mach Bell fills you in with a vivid description of this Thundertrain chapter in the liner notes. The tunes here may not be ones that you'll hear on classic rock radio, but that's no reason to overlook this hidden treasure. It's all about that vibe baby!
Read more...

THE NOISE

Amazing slices of '70s glam-damaged fuck rawk.
Sept. 2004 -by Sleazegrinder -
There is a good 90% chance that I actually heard this when it was originally broadcast, in February of '79, on local rock radio institution WCOZ (94.5---"Kick Ass Rock 'n' Roll"!). Seems like something I'd be listening to in my pre-teen Sleaze days. Either way, it sure the fuck is good to hear it now, in all it's ragged, long-haired, stack-heeled, denim-demon glory. Straight off the airwaves, this is a great and terrible blast of the mighty 'Train, live from the Summit Club, in Peabody, MA. Live as fuck, even. Retro-reviewers often liken the be-scarved, satin-abusing Thundertrain to the New York Dolls and Aerosmith, which is largely a cosmetic issue. Musically, they had more in common with '70s arena boogie giants like Thin Lizzy and UFO, preferring the scorched-earth theory of pummeling hard rock with dashes of bloozy raunch, and on this blistering set, they are ON, banging out one stupendously dumb cock-rockin' hit after another. The proto Dixie-stoner rock riff 'n' roll of "Forever and Ever," loaded to the tits with ham-fisted slide guitar and a whole Roadsaw album's worth of cowbell, is a particularly sleazy highlight, but the nearly retarded Slade rip-offs, "Readin' Riotin' Rock n' Roll" and "Afterschool" (to say nothing of their booze-fueled cover of "Mama Weer All Crazee Now") are also pretty goddamn amazing slices of '70s glam-damaged fuck rawk. Hell, besides the tepid cover of "Dirty Water" (a song that blows anyway), it's ALL flash and fire, even the gratuitous blasts of harmonica and jivey-jivey between-song banter like, "This song is gonna separate the rock 'n' rollers from the disco plague!" Listen, I only really like two kinds of music---the kind you can fuck to, and the kind you can fight to. Thundertrain, in case yer mama never told you, were both kinds. So come get some. Unless you like disco.
Read more...

RoughEdge

Live recording will thrill any fan of classic rock.
Hell Tonite! (Gulcher; 2004)
Reviewed by Snidermann
Thanks to bands like The Darkness, whose retro rock sound is currently all the rage, classic rock is a big ticket item right now. Not only are new bands forming to capitalize on this resurgence (such as Metal Blade's Starwood) but veteran bands are re-forming and touring at a fever pitch. Why the hell not? If you can still make money playing rock'n'roll, I say for go for it. 

When Thundertrain's "Hell Tonight" came my way, frankly, I had never heard of them. However, this live recording from 1979 pleasantly surprised me. There's no other way to describe it than it's a good rock'n'roll time. 

Originally broadcast over WCOZ Boston, this live recording will thrill any fan of classic rock. All the elements are here: style, talent and showmanship are evident throughout this recording. If late 70s and early 80s rock is to your liking, you'll enjoy "Hell Tonite." The band even covers Slade's classic "Mama We're All Crazy Now" (which, of course, Quiet Riot took to even greater heights).

Judging from the CD, Thundertrain put on one hell of a show in 1979. The band has re-formed and are on tour now. I liked this CD so much, I just might go see them if they come to my hometown!
Read more...

No Front Teeth - London

Like a blend of AC/DC, DEAD BOYS, SLADE, RAMONES, KISS, HEARTBREAKERS, ALICE COO
THUNDERTRAIN - 'HELL TONITE!' CD
This is a live radio-broadcast recording from 1979. The band’s name says it all... they are like a rock ‘n’ roll steam train that chugs huge guitar riffs that can be heard penetrating for miles around. The liner notes conclude with the line, ‘Too polished for the punks. Too raw for the mainstream’ because THUNDERTRAIN are right in the middle. They sound like a blend of AC/DC, DEAD BOYS, SLADE, RAMONES, KISS, HEARTBREAKERS, ALICE COOPER... pure rock ‘n’ roll with a gritty underground edge. This is rock with a total punk attitude and delivery. It’s the non-showbiz side... the real side. The ones that really live the life, not just for the media.
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Blastitude

Flaming wild trippy lead-solo axe attack by Steven Silva
#17 Nov. 2004 - What makes it different is a flaming wild trippy lead-solo axe attack by Steven Silva, actually comparable to the amazing axework Ross "The Boss" laid down with the Dictators just a few years earlier.
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Christopher, BTC- June 30,2004

"...Dolls/MC5 swagger..."
Thundertrain had the name, the sound, the volume,
the sweat and the aarrgh! as well...imagine if Aerosmith
never got signed to Columbia and continued on as a
bigname local act retaining a lot of the Dolls/MC5
swagger they started out with, and you'll get an idea
of where Thundertrain stands.
Anyway, this CD's taken from a 1979 FM broadcast.
...Thundertrain not only have the intelligence to do
Slade's "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" which not
only pays homage to a Thundertrain FAVE but also
cover the Standells classic "Dirty Water" if only out
of respect for home town Boston. The original stuff
ain't no slouch either, with heavy metal titles such as
"Readin' Riotin' Rock 'n' Roll" and "Hot For Teacher!"
(Van Halen stealing the title for a comparatively
substandard metallic shuck-take) pointing the way
towards great, raw and exciting live jamz. My fave
of the bunch just has to be "I Gotta Rock," a newer
version of the same track that closed out the wild
LIVE AT THE RAT double-disc set only a few years
earlier. This is the song where Thundertrain lead singer
and patented wildman Mach Bell does some mighty
rips on the then-current hit parade, mocking such
putricities as "You Light Up My Life" and the
Village People before screaming at the top of his
lungs what-else-but DISCO SUCKS!!! ...
If you have Gulcher's CD reissue of the Thundertrain LP
I reviewed in BTC #25 and liked it, make a point to
pick this one up. I think it's even better, mostly because
it proves that Thundertrain weren't just some studio
whiz project that probably sounded half-assed in a live
setting. This here is energy, and come to think of it
considering some of the lame musical acts we have to
put up with today don't you think we're in need of some
raw power NOW just as much as we needed it way back
in the energy-crisis seventies???
Read more...
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