Continuing their work of combing through the vaults and reissuing the back catalogue of veteran British guitarist / vocalist Robin George, Angel Air Records now gives us George's debut album from 1985 entitled Dangerous Music. Remastered by Robin, this spruced up version contains the complete original album plus an additional five bonus tracks.
The fact that over the course of his career Robin has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Robert Plant, Phil Lynott, Glenn Hughes and Carl Palmer, to name just a few, I think speaks for itself as to amount of talent this guy possesses as a musician. However, for a myriad of different reasons George was never able to get his solo career off the ground back in the day, but it certainly wasn't for lack of tying. Which brings us to the matter at hand, the so called Dangerous Music (it really isn't) originally released back in 1985 and featuring the likes of Lynott, his Grand Slam band mate, keyboardist Mark Stanway, Dave Holland from Judas Priest, and session bassist Pino Palladino. Now you'd think that with a decent cast of players that George would have put together a real cracker of an album, but sadly this wasn't the case.
One thing that I've found both frustrating and puzzling about Robin's career is that for someone who can play the shit out of the guitar like he can, why the vast majority of his material is nothing more than keyboard driven, AOR fluff. Unfortunately it appears that Dangerous Music was the launching pad for more of what was to come. There are very few instances of hard rock fireworks on display here, save for maybe a few flashes of brilliance on "Heartline" and "Showdown". Instead the listener is saddled with a bunch of syrupy sounding, mid tempo tracks that reek of nothing more than a desperate ploy to get on the charts. As if the ultra cheesy "French Kisses" and "Shoot On Sight", coupled with the falsetto vocals employed on both "Spy" and "Stolen From My Heart" weren't bad enough in 1985, imagine how they sound twenty five years later. Another head scratcher here is that with someone like Dave Holland in the fold, surely a competent enough drummer, why then did George go ahead and use electronic percussion on about eighty percent of the album, it just doesn't make sense, even if it was the 80's and drum machines were all the rage.
I said it in another review but I still think the best album Robin George has made so far in his career is the RAW disc made with Pete Way and Chris Slade as Damage Control. That album in my mind best exemplifies Robin's skills as a songwriter, vocalist, but more importantly, as also one of the most underrated guitar players in hard rock. I can certainly understand the desire for diehard fans to want to pick up Dangerous Music, but really I have to think that this disc holds very limited appeal for everyone else.
3) No News Is Good News
4) French Kisses
5) Stolen From My Heart
8) Hit List
9) Shoot On Sight
10) Don't Turn Away
11) Space Kadett
12) Heartline (T.V.)
13) Spy (T.V.)
14) No News Is Good News (T.V.)
15) Heartline – Dangerous Mix
16) Don't Turn Away – Dangerous Mix