Very Best Bonfire

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This comprehensive, entertaining collection is the ultimate retrospective of the famously unsung German metal band Bonfire. Over two discs and 29 tracks, the almost 20-year history of the band plays out, with each anthemic guitar solo accounted for and every triumphant melody in place. While the Scorpions usually get credit for carrying the mantle of metal in Germany, Bonfire might have become true challengers, if only luck had been on their side. Intra-band strife, lineup changes, and a failure to truly crack the lucrative American market all contributed to Bonfire's relatively ineffective career. But of all the European metal bands, Bonfire may have catered the most to U.S. audiences. Rockers like "American Nights," "Too Much Hollywood," and "Down to Atlanta" would be contrived in the hands of an actual American group, but Bonfire's delivery is so eager that the songs become entirely believable. There's even a good-natured cover of "Sweet Home Alabama" that no doubt brought the house down in Munich. This greatest-hits collection includes numerous alternate mixes for the card-carrying Bonfire fan; for everyone else, it's a delightful document of the hair band that never was.

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