ROBIN GEORGE – Dangerous Music II (2015)
British ROBIN GEORGE enjoyed a worldwide hit single in 1985 with ‘Heartline’ and his stock was high as he entered the studio to record a follow up to his critically acclaimed LP “Dangerous Music”. The album had the working title “Dangerous Music II” and was produced by acclaimed producer Gus Dudgeon (Bowie, Elton John).
By the end of 1986 the album was completed and ready to go but his management company went to market and because of the success of ‘Heartline’ sought ridiculous advances and as such, the new recorded album was never released – until now, hanks to British label Angel Air Records.
As you would hope for, the songs on “Dangerous Music II” follow the same formula as defined the debut: ’80s synth poppy AOR sound plus a successfully adding guitar crunch, along with his distinctive high end vocals.
However one thing is certain, with 17 tracks on this CD, this 2nd album should it have been released was going to be huge.
If you break this album down, there is a massive 2nd record here, although I personally wouldn’t want to choose the track listing, and then there are possibly 6+ songs already recorded that wouldn’t fit on a LP or Cassette, so would form the basis of the 3rd album.
As it is, all the tracks recorded for the 2nd album are here, and all of them are worthy of inclusion.
‘Dangerous Music’ opens the disc, full of Robin’s guitar playing swagger, far more rock than pop, this proves a serious challenge to ‘Heartline’. As lead track and I assume lead single from this album, there was even a video made to accompany this. That is a lot of faith put into a song that hadn’t even been released.
That faith is well justified, as this release proves time and time again Robin’s talents, and really shows you what one bit of bad luck within the music industry can do,.
‘Streetwise’ has a great guitar hook, a sing-a-long chorus and a blinding guitar solo, a great pop/rock crossover track that Robin does so well. ‘I Believed In You’ in an acoustic led track, with some great harmonies.
‘Heart To Heart’ heads into light AOR territory, and could certainly have been a hit had it been released as a single. Classic Robin George.
‘The American Way’ is typical of the musical style of the middle ’80s when syncopated drum beats mixed with a funk rhythm section created a soundscape on which to play guitar off.
‘Flying’ is a another light AOR gem track full of keyboard flurries and understated guitar runs by Robin, however just after half way through, we head into an amazing section with Robin playing some serious over driven heavy riffs backed by a glorious chorus section, then we close with an acoustic section. Amazing.
‘Don’t Come Crying’ picks up the pace, a great chorus line and a great soaring joint guitar/keyboard solo towards the end help drive this song along. Worthy of a repeat listen straight away. The pop duo of ‘Machine’ and ‘Computer Games’ add lots of electronics and synths, something for a Sci-Fi film soundtrack.
As you see, there is plenty of musical variety on here to enjoy.
‘Ace In My Hand’ is Robin’s poignant tribute to former workmate Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron. ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, ‘Chance Of A Lifetime’ with its brilliant guitar solo and ‘Red For Danger’ – a song recorded by Robert Plant – being stand outs.
The last track on here is ‘Johnny’, an absolute massive rock ballad, powerful and strong, starting with an acoustic intro, raising to a potent chorus and a soaring guitar solo, everything American radio as was playing at the time. This would have been a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic.
Listening to “Dangerous Music II” now, the fact that this recording was never released seems like a crime, this is the album that could have turned Robin George into a household name, as there are several songs on here that could easily have been huge hits for him.
Has this been worth the wait… if you have a copy of Robin’s first ‘Dangerous Music’ in your collection then you need part 2 as well. Classy poppy AOR rock with lots of synths and enjoyable melodies.
Often sequels don’t live up to the originals, luckily in this case that doesn’t apply.
01 – Dangerous Music
02 – Streetwise
03 – I Believed In You
04 – Heart To Heart
05 – The American Way
06 – Flying
07 – Don’t Come Crying
08 – Machine
09 – Computer Games
10 – Ace In My Hand
11 – Stop
12 – Tragedy
13 – No More Mr Nice Guy
14 – Chance Of A Lifetime
15 – Mona Lisa Smile
16 – Red For Danger
17 – Johnny
Robin George – vocals, guitar
Pino Palladino (The Who) – bass
Charlie Morgan (Elton John Band) – drums