I was bitterly disappointed upon first release that Bonnet got fired, and I couldn't help but think what he could have done for those songs. I was surprised Barden seemed...well, kind of disinterested or something; this album didn't seem to have even half the conviction of the MSG albums before it.
That said, the extended version of Rock WIll Never Die has fantastic renditions of those songs, and perhaps represented what those songs could have been without the softened, sorta MTV-friendly production (or whatever that producer was thinking) of the studio album. Just my opinion.
Dinosaur David B said:
Gary Barden lost his high voice after Budokan. Never came back. But I thought he did a great job on In the Midst of Beauty.