I still remember listening for the first time "Heartline" on the radio back in 1985, the single from British ROBIN GEORGE, and I was greatly impressed. Taken from his first solo album "Dangerous Music", the LP didn't sold well initially, but after several months the song exploded and become a world-wide hit.
Several tours followed, including legs with REO Speedwagon and Uli Jon Roth, and in-between George recording a second album. But sadly, his record label broke and these tapes remained unreleased until this year (recently appeared as Dangerous Music II).
Despite its typical mid-eighties sound production - which I love - "Dangerous Music" is much more than a commercial rock&pop / AOR album. The songs are elaborated, with a songwriting and musicianship above the standard.
George's imaginative guitar licks (including synth guitar) and the lovely keyboard interplay handled by talented session musicians / arrangers, rise the '80s vibe of the songs into something that still sounds fresh and relevant today.
Talking about the musicians used for the record, we have some real stars here; Thin Lizzy genius Phil Lynott playing bass, as well monster Pino Palladino and Phil Soussan (Ozzy, Steve Lukather), drummers Dave Holland (Judas Priest) and Kex Gorin (Magnum), and keyboard players Mark Stanway (Magnum) / Adrian Lee (Mike + The Mechanics).
Last but not least, the exquisite Chris Thompson adds background vocals & harmonies.
And the songs... all are huge and catchy. Apart from the great "Heartline", just take the punchy pump of "French Kisses" driven by a terrific riff and superb guitar solo, the intriguing "Stolen From My Heart" and its 'oriental' keys, or the sublime AOR of ballad "Don't Turn Away".
"Showdown" is another highlight with a kicking melodic hard feel fueled by sharp guitars and heavenly harmonies, while "Shout" is a FM radio ready gem with synths all over.
As proof of the raising success of the album at the end of 1985, several extended mixes and 12'' LP were made, typical of the era with artists on the verge of commercial break-through.
All these are included here as bonus, plus three very well recorded TV performances, a B-side, two hot live versions of "Showdown" and "Heartline" which aquire another dimension (more 'edgy & metallic' I'd say), and a song discarded at the eleventh hour to be included on the LP entitled "Dangerous Music", curiously, the name chosen for the album.
All these tracks are NOT taken from the official remastered edition, all are ripped from my vinyls and personal rarities vault, 'remastered' by myself.
Great stuff for all '80s AOR aficionados / collectors.
01 - Heartline
02 - Spy
03 - No News Is Good News
04 - French Kisses
05 - Stolen From My Heart
06 - Shout
07 - Showdown
08 - Hit List
09 - Shoot In Sight
10 - Don't Turn Away
11 - Space Kadett (b-side)
12 - Heartline (Live at Tommy Vance Show)
13 - Spy (Live at Tommy Vance Show)
14 - No News Is Good News (Live at T. Vance Show)
15 - Heartline (Dangerous Mix)
16 - Don't Turn Away (Dangerous Mix)
17 - Heartline (12'' version)
18 - Dangerous Music (outtake)
19 - Hearline (Live version)
20 - Showdown (Live version)
Robin George: lead & backing vocals, guitar, synths, percussion
Pete Green: synthesizer, backing vocals
Pino Paladino, Phil Soussan, Phil Lynott: bass
Dave Holland: drums
Kex Gorin: percussion
Adrian Lee: keyboards, synthesizer
Mark Stanway: synthesizer
Chris Thompson: backing vocals
ROBIN GEORGE Dangerous Music [remastered + bonus]