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Notorious: Radio Silence

One of the interesting things about specialist reissue label Angel Air is that a number of their releases are by artists who could be classed as "nearly men"; ones who almost made that all important breakthrough but for reasons of record company politics, management incompetence, poor timing or simple bad luck it never worked out. That could certainly be said of Notorious, the band assembled by Robin George and former Diamond Head vocalist Sean Harris who cut these recordings back in 1985 only to see them gather dust for two years by which time their moment had passed.

As George notes in the detailed sleeve notes of the bands history this is "one that got away" for Radio Silence is a direct attempt to hit the mainstream and the majority of the tracks are simply tailor made for 80's rock radio. Quite unfamiliar territory for Harris then whose vocals are some way removed from his days with Diamond Head as here he goes for an altogether more clean cut approach ("Arianne", "You Need More") backed up by George's funk rock groves ("The S'Walk", "Soul on Fire"). The stuttering title track is another riff heavy anthem and back in the days when singles were all important there are around five songs here that could effortlessly have graced the Top 40 on both sides of the Atlantic.

A really impressive package then and a tantalising glimpse of what might have been had the duo had the good fortune to have released this album at the right time.

Track Listing
1. Radio Silence
2. The S'Walk
3. Arianne
4. You Need More
5. Better The Devil You Know
6. Do Like A Man
7. Losing You
8. It's Energy
9. The Game's Up
10. Eyes Of The World
11. I Believe In You
12. Touch
13. Soul On Fire
14. Love Fades
15. Good Times

Added: November 7th 2010
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Label
Hits: 2367
Language: english

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Notorious: Radio Silence
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-11-07 13:25:35
My Score:

Notorious marked the first time, but not the last, that British guitarist / vocalist would collaborate with one of the singers from NWOBHM band Diamond Head. The year was 1985 and George was a rising young star getting a fair amount of face time in Kerrang! while Sean Harris' star was on its way down with the demise of one of the most influential bands to come out of the movement. On paper this pairing must have seemed like it would at least yield some decent musical fireworks. Now with this Angel Air Records release of Radio Silence, we are finally able to hear the results of their short lived union.

Save for the harder edged title track the majority of Radio Silence comes across as middle of the road AOR rock that at times veers off into half hearted stabs at funk and blues as well. Harris is fine vocally and with his ultra smooth vocal approach on the radio friendly tracks "You Need More", "Losing You", "Eyes Of The World" and "I Believe In You" so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the duo were doing their best to get their songs played on the radio. Even though George's remastering can't alter the fact that the production here sounds pretty dated (especially the 80's sounding electronic percussion) I have to say that a good portion of these songs do hold up reasonably well twenty five years later. I've gone on record as not being the biggest fan of the majority of Robin George's archive releases, so I was somewhat surprised to find that I enjoyed a good deal of Radio Silence.

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