Sunday, March 1, 2009

Robin George - Dangerous Music (Vinyl Rip)


Robin George is that rare thing amongst rock musicians – jack of all trades and remarkably adept at all of them. The fact that he hasn’t achieved the level of success he so richly deserves is one of life’s cruel injustices. On a number of occasions, this exceptionally gifted guitarist and song writer has seemingly been in the right place at the right time, only to have the rug pulled from under him. Consider this…

Just as his 1985 milestone release ‘Dangerous Music’ – a record that, in its scope and technical approach, pre-empted much of what was to follow in the latter half of the ‘80’s – was about to take off in major fashion, his label Bronze went bust, leaving Robin dazed and his career in limbo. And when, buoyed by enthusiastic support from A&R guru John Kalodner, the Notorious project (made with erstwhile Diamond Head vocalist Sean Harris) was cast adrift by Warner music within weeks of its release…well, let’s just say a pattern was beginning to emerge. Like ‘Dangerous Music’ before it, ‘Notorious’ was just a little ahead of it’s time and possibly more than people where ready for or could handle.

Having produced Diamond Head, Witchfinder General, Marshall Law and UK Glam rockers Wrathchild amongst others as well as producing his own work, Robin’s studio craft had been painstakingly honed and was – and is - highly regarded. He has written with and for Glenn Hughes and Robert Plant – indeed, his song ‘Red For Danger’ appears on Plant’s ‘Twenty Six To Timbuktu’ anthology release - and had his track ‘Go Down Fighting’ recorded and released by Ted Nugent.

Playing with The Byron Band – fronted by ex Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron – Roy Wood, Climax Blues Band and Magnum before opting for his own solo career, the man had paid his dues in the live arena as well. To add to all of this, he played alongside John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Don Airey in what was basically Asia by another name…and that is damn fine company to keep!

Having missed out on joining a reformed Thin Lizzy when Phil Lynott sadly died and turning down Duran (too pop) you could be forgiven for thinking that Robin was destined to be cursed with bad luck for the remainder of his professional life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Robin has continued to busy himself with numerous studio projects, a short-lived reformation of his previous band Life (with whom he had released an excellent but sadly overlooked album in the early 90’s) and a solo album in the shape of 2004’s ‘Bluesongs’ release. Now, in 2005, the man is back in the spotlight…

His most recent album, ‘Crying Diamonds’ is a finely crafted collection of modern hard rock songs that perfectly highlights Robin’s ability as a song smith. The title track itself is of particular interest, having been written with Thin Lizzy’s frontman Phillip Lynott just prior to his untimely death.

Robin has now formed Damage Control, the U.K.rock n’ roll outlaws featuring UFO bassist Pete Way, Quireboys vocalist Spike, and legendary drum powerhouse Chris Slade (Ac/Dc,).The self-titled Damage Control album will be released via Dingwall Music Japan on March 14th and Cargo records on March 19th. We can’t wait to hear that…!

So, as you’ll see, there are many ways to measure success. Many musicians who would consider that they’ve been successful would gladly give a week’s cocaine supply to have achieved a quarter of what Robin George can lay claim to. Not one to rest on his laurels, though, Robin will be keeping busy with plenty of new endeavours in the near future.

The style of UK-born guitarist/producer Robin George, despite his geographical origins, is pure US AOR. George began his career with his band Life, who released one single, "Too Late". The line-up also included Dave Holland (later of Judas Priest) and Mark Stanway (later of Magnum). He then played guitar in the Byron Band, fronted by one-time Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron. His fine guitarwork can be heard to good effect on their debut album, On The Rocks (Creole Records), in 1981, though after a year with them he left to pursue a solo career. He first signed to Arista Records in 1983, cementing the relationship with the release of a single, "Go Down Fighting", the melodic guitarwork of which quickly brought attention and a reputation as the UK's answer to Billy Squier. Despite this, Arista dropped him and he went on to work in a production capacity with Heavy Metal Records, helping various acts including Wrathchild (UK). In 1984 Bronze Records signed him, and the release of "Heartline" preceded his first full album, Dangerous Music - both releases were noted for their pristine production and the basswork of Pino Pallidino (Paul Young Band). Despite the good auspices, "Heartline" remained his only real success and was reissued in 1985, again selling well. He remained in production until 1990 when he formed a partnership with ex-Diamond Head vocalist Sean Harris in Notorious. This was an ill-fated project that advanced neither career, and they soon parted.

1. Heartline
2. Spy
3. No News Is Good News
4. French Kisses
5. Stolen From My Heart
6. Shout
7. Showdown
8. Hitlist
9. Shoot On Sight
10. Dont Turn Away


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