George Wilderness Review
With each new
release we are given an insight to some of the different
facets of Robin’s musical style, Wilderness is no
exception. It is
a musically hard hitting, lyrically inspiring collection
of songs. Robin’s typically original melodies are the
driving force of this powerful album which offers a
lesson in musical diversity and, more than others, tells
a story which is revealed in the 12-page Wilderness
Words book of rock poetry, included in this beautifully
packaged, eco-friendly CD.
The Eyeball Kid sees Robin storm onto the stage with a
full-on boogie romp. Dynamic doesn’t even come close!
Charlie Morgan’s magnificent, power drums provide a
solid rhythm to offset the structured yet wild guitar
riffs and thunderous bass from the mysterious Biron
Salcher, the solid rock bass for the whole album If this
doesn’t rock your socks, I don’t know what will! ‘Big
boys don’t cry’ and there ain’t ‘no painful kiss
Firefox Freddie is another
wild and wonderful track, telling a gloriously seductive
tale of outlaw lovers who won’t let the bastards grind
them down! You certainly need to take a breath and take
stock after this fast-moving track which culminates in
an explosive climax of thunderous drums and
Wild Eyed Woman, a driving
rock ‘highway to the stars’ thrills with heavy guitars
and a seriously catchy tune. Robin’s trademark choral
harmonies and strong choruses are indeed ‘born with
music of the universe.’ The humour, which pervades the
whole album, is encapsulated here with ‘what goes down
on tour stays on tour’… and those of you who have been
on a tour will understand the sentiment!
changes the pace, adding some shade to the blistering
heat of your Wilderness experience so far, and, in the
words of the song, offers sanctuary. A beautiful song to
‘set your spirit free’ with truly innovative guitar work
which will amaze and delight.
Heartbeat is a real rock n roll love story ‘smoking with
desire’ and packed with enticing lyrical references to
Robin’s immense back catalogue that will delight fans.
This song immediately powers up with some real dirty
riffs before Robin throws in some moody vocals then lets
rip with his guitar orchestra and plenty of harmonies.
Ridge is a sensual, heartrendingly beautiful song
harking back to an age of innocence and beauty with
glorious lyrics and musical magnificence. It is almost
cinematic in its scope and conjures up a fairytale world
of fulfillment and beauty with its magical fusion of
angelic harmonies, moody, bluesy, hypnotic guitars and
driving, melodic drums.
7. Cocoon is a
hard-hitting, melancholy song lamenting the cynicism and
superficiality of the music industry’s Wilderness.
There’s something Bowiesque about the silver-suited
Johnny Thunderbird; one of the many vibrant characters
that dramatize this concept album and tell their own
stories. Superb, soaring melodies are sprinkled with
haunting harmonies and female vocals add balance and
lightness. If this one doesn’t get into your head and
drive you mad, I don’t know what will!
8, Freedom is
a truly epic track. Opening with Robin’s throbbing
guitar which transforms into a menacing electric rage,
underpinned by Charlie’s mighty war drums; tribal and
primal, this is a dark and Dangerous song. The musical
union of these two brothers in arms is nowhere more
clearly sensed. The contrasting silken, yearning
harmonies singing their impassioned Freedom song shine a
light through this captivating, compelling masterpiece.
9. Rock n Roll
BusynessMan rocks in with a swirling guitar break before
the story begins, I say story but the lyrics are all
about the charlatans within the record industry and
anyone in the music world will certainly recognise some
of the song’s sentiments and may even understand the
inspiration for this rocking little tune. As with every
track, Charlie Morgan’s power drums are top drawer and
lay a solid bedrock for the song.
10, Belief is
musically full of harmonies and acoustic guitars,
lyrically telling a story of religious diversity. I
found myself enraptured by Robin’s words leading into a
calming middle eight, before being whisked back into the
deep, meaningful verses.
rocks on with Robin’s sliding bottleneck guitar; an
inspiring new genre of Rockleneck? Charlie’s marching
drums guide the hero home from the Wilderness ‘back
where I belong, rocking fields of clover’ to his love ‘I
missed you in your pretty dress’. It feels like the
final, joyous homecoming scene of a Technicolor Western
and completes the conceptual cycle of the panoramic,
cinematic world this bedrock shaking album paints.
World Magazine’ 2021
Roy Cooke and Debra Derryn
ROBIN GEORGE –
NOVEMBER 10, 2021
Released early this year, Wilderness was
the first album recorded as the world went into the
Covid pandemic, and Robin would follow it up with 3 more
albums since! He’s also edited and remastered 4 other
releases during this time, so the man has been very
busy! (All 8 releases available at his website). But
going back a bit, British guitarist / songwriter /
producer Robin George spent much of his career being
more known for the names he had collaborated with early
in his career – David Byron, Phil Lynott, Robert Plant,
Glenn Hughes, Roy Wood….. plus, he had a huge hit in the
80s with “Heartline” from his 1984 debut album Dangerous
Music. He remained busy, but his next solo album
wasn’t until 2001’s Rock Of Ageist. Wilderness is
the follow up to 2018 album Rogue Angels, and
it’s a good rock album, with lots of great guitar work &
mixes, lots of blues and groove throughout this album.
There’s a great feel to the songs via Robin’s playing
and the drumming of the legendary Charlie Morgan [Elton
John]. For me the album starts out rockin’ with “Eyeball
Kid”, and just gets better, with favorite tracks like
“Deadwood”, “Freedom”, the title track, and “Belief”.
Love the heavy riff that intros the outstanding
“Cocoon”, as well. Robin’s vocals are kinda in that Marc
Bolan style, which suits his songs, and there’s plenty
of smooth backing vocals which add to the overall
atmosphere, especially on the acoustic based tracks
“Belief”, “Bittersweet Heartbeat” and “Rainbow Ridge”.
Lots of stories told throughout these songs, with Robin
being a poet and storyteller. Am looking forward to
hearing more of his ‘Rockdown’ albums that followed
*Wilderness comes with a
12-page booklet of poetry and words.
Robin has a great pedigree
playing with amongst others. Phil Lynott, Robert Plant,
Roy Wood and Diamond Head. Dangerous Music 11 is clearly
an Eighties production, I can imagine some of the tracks
playing in scenes from Miami Vice, glossy synth pop
overladen with Robins guitar work.
ninebattles.com (April 2015)
ROBIN GEORGE -
A musician who has
collaborated with Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes, Phil
Lynott, and so the list goes on, should be a household
name in Rock circles. Yet for Robin George that
mainstream breakthrough never quite arrived. Yes he was
a Kerrang! cover-star and achieved a chart hit with the
wonderful 'Heartline', however George remains one of
those figures for those “in the know”, while being
hugely respected by his peers. In recent times he has
been revealing some of the gems from his past, this
release being amongst the most interesting.
Heading back to the period between
1979 and 1981 'History' is the debut album that never
was, recording sessions squeezed in during studio
downtime, drummer Dave Holland (Judas Priest/Trapeze),
bassist Pino Paladino (The Who/Joe Walsh) and
keyboardist Mark Stanway (Magnum) all dropping
everything when the phone-call came to tell them the
studio was free. Add in a guest bass slot from none
other than Phil Lynott and this really is a star studded
'History' opens the album, guitars
stabbing through the bass thrum, George showing what a
wonderfully engaging voice he had even at a young age.
The song would go on to be released as a 12” single, the
expectation being that Arista would follow up with the
release of the album. As so often happened back then,
things didn't work out that way, the album being shelved
for an amazing 33 years! An embryonic, less polished
version of 'Heartline' is a wonderful insight into where
George was at the time, the Lynott infused 'Showdown' a
heavier, yet synth driven joy, the Ted Nugent covered
'Go Down Fighting' a slow building melodic delight.
However these tracks are not alone in captivating the
imagination, the slightly funky 'Castles In The Sky' an
acoustic hit in the making, 'Tonight It Was Meant To Be'
a cross between what would go on to make Whitesnake huge
a few years later and The Eagles’ accessibility.
Remastered by George himself,
'History' has been kept as an honest appraisal of its
time, a little tape hiss and abuse of the sound limiters
still in evidence. However don't let that put you off
experiencing the ‘History’ of one of the UK's most
under-sung Melodic Rock songwriters in his most honest,
Steven Reid, Fireworks Magazine
ROBIN GEORGE ‘DANGEROUS MUSIC II’
Recent years have been very kind to
Robin George (he of 80s smash hit ‘Heartline’ fame)
fans, with the guitar, singer and songwriter regularly
teaming up with Angel Air to release a whole host of
previously unavailable, or deleted albums - and George
has more of both than most. Hot on the heels of
‘History’, which brought together a host of pre-debut
album recordings, comes ‘Dangerous
Music II’,a set of songs intended for a follow up
release to the album from which it takes its name.
The ‘Heartline’ single made George an
overnight sensation, TV appearances and live
performances galore, however
with time spent working with everyone from Phil Lynott
to Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes to David Byron, it also
disguised the true and respected talent he possessed.
The ‘Dangerous Music’ album, which spawned the smash
hit, was an album which keenly straddled the Soft Rock,
AOR and Pop market of the time; synth and guitar equal
bedfellows. So it should be no surprise that ‘…II’
follows a similar route. Now, nobody’s trying to pretend
that the seventeen tracks presented here aren’t demos
and as such, the sound isn’t always pristine (there’s
even a couple of sound
drop-outs as the songs progress). Yet with Charlie
Morgan (drummer for Kate Bush and Elton John) and Pino
Palladino (now The Who’s bassist of choice) contributing
to a number of selections, there’s also a serious Rock
pedigree. Key to that is George’s guitar work, which,
when it comes to the fore proves remarkably fiery and
precise as it belts you about the nether regions.
However for much of this collection, dated synth
sounds dominate, yet in a tasteful way which even at
times reminds of Peter Gabriel (‘Computer Games’).
Although for much of the album we are talking a far more
80s Pop vibe. That said, ‘The American Way’ is thumping
Funk-Rock-Pop, ‘No More Mister Nice Guy’ is classy,
glistening electro-AOR with a great guitar solo and ‘Red
For Danger’ is a busy piece of Soul infused Pop that you
can easily imagine Glenn Hughes thriving on. Many of the
tracks are George working alone and as such, it is drum
machine and synths which dominate, yet even here the
super AOR of ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ or ‘Heart To Heart’ shine
with a class few UK acts from the era could hope to
For Robin George fans this release is
a simple must have, although the liner notes, interesting
though they are, barely discuss the songs it contains.
Casual listeners may take a while to adjust their ears
to the sound quality and era these recordings comes
from, but good songs are good songs.
Steven Reid, Fireworks Magazine
Peter Haycock came full circle in 2013 when he
united with singer Robin George and saxophonist Mel
Collins to return to the classic Climax 1960s/70s blues
rock template. He suffered a fatal heart attack shortly
after, but his swansong reveal his virtuoso slide
playing was still in top order...a stinging cover of
'Lonely Avenue' and 'Gotta Get It Right' a smart riposte
to Climax's 1976 hit 'Couldn't Get It Right', are a
Uncut magazine (May 2015)
As for the two versions of 'Bluesong' (the clue is
in the title), it's easily the bluesiest track on the
album and we are treated to two versions: the original
version and the acoustic version, which is basically a
showcase for highlighting the band's respective talents.
All in all, a highly accomplished album and a fitting
tribute to the late Pete Haycock!
Music-News (April 2015)
Peter Haycock and Robin
George had worked together on the charity album Love
Power, then decided to make an album of their own in
2013. The duo assembled a band of well-respected
musicians to record the album with the idea to then tour
to promote it.
Bev Bevan (April 2015)The Move,ELO, ELO part 2,
This album has to be the
quintessential British buffet. What do I mean by that?
Everything individually scrumptious, but when put
altogether on one plate, a veritable feast. Having
fallen deeply in love and indeed lust with Dangerous
Music (The 1st) some 30 years ago, my expectations for
the “sequel” were high, and being able to hear little
snippets of tracks on YouTube and suchlike, piqued my
curiosity; although I was in no way apprehensive about
what I might hear. My instincts proved me right again
I’m glad to say (the benefits of being a middle aged
The title track Dangerous Music sounds as relevant and
fresh today as it did way back…..this classic is what it
is, with its down n dirty riff. No cause or need to
elaborate further! Immediately fell in love with
Streetwise….rocky, catchy, great melody and structure. I
Believed In You delivers a sexy raunchiness….put it this
way, it wouldn’t sound out of place being played in a
certain venue housing a steel pole, and I’m not talking
scaffolding! Heart To Heart has a sweet, light melody,
although the lyrics are sinister. Great combination;
reels you in; spits you out! Cool! The American Way….
one word. Funky! Flying. And genuinely, you feel you
are. Soaring and floating through the clouds on a
crescendo of a cool breeze. Don’t Come Crying. Opening
makes me think “Soundgarden”. Plus, listen closely to
the lyrics. Did you spot it? I did! Full marks to me for
that and to Robin George for another cracker. Machine
and Computer Games both a good surprise. They say
variety is the spice of life and both these tracks veer
down another pathway. Totally unexpected, but most
welcome. Ace In My Hand. 70s feel about this one which
makes me want to fist punch the air. Like it. Another
surprise with Stop with its almost reggae feel and
sound. Clever to incorporate rock with jerk chicken.
Tasty!! Tragedy…. Not to be confused with any other
versions. Appeasing melody and harmonies. No More Mr
Nice Guy, really like Robin’s vocals on this one. Really
soothing with a soothing solo midway to complement those
vocals. Chance Of A Lifetime, good, sound track. Upbeat
with a nice rock feel. Mona Lisa Smile. I think she
would smile if she heard this, a great big toothy grin.
DM II concludes with Red For Danger and Johnny, the
latter commences acoustically and then crescendos into a
full blown epic of a rock solo. An anthemic track and a
great place for the needle to stop.
It’s not easy to justify a collection as diverse as
this, not when there are so many genres in one place,
but with the staple undercurrent of what we know and
love about Robin George, and that’s his penchant for
rock! This album uses the medium of time travel as it
cascades you through so many different styles and
techniques….you have no clue which decade you’ll be in
next! I mentioned the good old British buffet earlier,
but it’s more than that. It’s a Smorgasbord of many
delicacies and I, for one, will be licking my lips every
time I play this album. Thank you Robin George for
continuing to write and record the contents of your head
for us. What comes outta your mind has totally blown
Definition of "History" - "There is properly no history,
only biography." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"History", by Robin George has, in my humble opinion,
brought Emerson's quotation to the fore....and then
some! Robin George has taken what he knows; enhanced,
amplified, twisted, softened, awakened and bedazzled us
with his interpretations of his classics. Robin has
shown that perfection can be challenged and has
surprised and enchanted with some very pleasing
arrangements. "Go Down Fighting",
dramatic......"Charlotte Starlight", simplicity with
This album is Robin George's biography; the story of his
musical career, the choices he made then and the
enhancements he made to those choices, producing an
album that makes you feel as if you are entertaining an
old friend....only this friend has lost weight, won the
lottery and is generally at peace with himself. Nothing
short of fabulous!
The world lost a classy, true talent
on October 30, 2013, when Pete Haycock, founding member,
lead guitarist & vocalist of the Climax Blues Band,
passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the young age
of 62. Just prior, along with well travelled
guitarist/singer Robin George, King Crimson alumni Mel
Collins (saxophone), drummer Charlie Morgan, bassist
Charley Charlesworth, and vocalist Jacquie Williams, a
new band was formed, simply titled Climax Blues, and
their debut album Broke Heart Blues completed for
Angel Air Records. Sadly, due to Haycock's death, this
will be their first and only release, but it's a good
one, an album filled with gritty blues rock, pop, and a
lot of soul.
Having three lead vocalists here really adds a nice
dimension to the album, giving each song plenty of
variety and flavors. "Gossip is Gold" is permeated by
Williams' lovely vocals, supported by some rampaging
guitar licks from Haycock & George as well as Collins'
searing sax explorations. "Blue Monday" and "Cruel" are
two of the harder rockers in the set, each chock full of
tasty guitar work, and "Miss You So" is a funky blues
rocker with no shortage of catchy hooks. The George
penned "The Rubicon" offers up heavier riffs and layers
of superb vocal melodies from all three singers, Collins
sneaking in some jazzy sax lines in spots to add a
majestic touch, while "Lonely Avenue" sees the band drop
into a bluesy boogie shuffle. Other highlights include
the laid back blues/jazz of "Bluesong", the raunchy
title track, the irresistible "I Feel So Blue", and the
scorching slide guitar workout that is "You Ain't Got
When Broke Heart Blues works, it's an album
that is really on point, delivering memorable melodies,
wonderful guitar work, catchy rhythms, and the always
classic presence of Mel Collins. On another hand, it
does suffer from perhaps too many songs (10 would have
been perfect here), as the listener can start to get a
little fatigued three quarters of the way through, but
the good clearly outweighs the lackluster. It's just
still so sad that Pete Haycock is no longer with us, but
he's left behind a monumental body of work with Climax
Blues Band as well as this enjoyable little album.
Dangerous Music II is, as if you hadn’t guessed is
the follow up to Robin’s impressive Dangerous Music
debut, an album that spawned ‘that song’. I will try not
to mention it’s title, as even though it is a great
track, Robin has a lot more to offer, as is evident on
this release, which due to Robin’s record company going
bankrupt, hasn’t seen the light of day in nearly 30
As you would hope for, the songs on this release follow
the same pop/rock formula as defined the debut, however
one thing is certain, with 17 tracks on this cd, the 2nd
album should it have been released was going to be huge.
If you break this cd down, there is a massive 2nd album
here, although I personally wouldn’t want to choose the
track listing, and then there are possibly 6+ songs
already recorded that wouldnt 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 this cd up, full of Robins
guitar playing swagger, far more rock than pop, this
proves a serious challenge to Heartline’ ( there, I’ve
mentioned it ). 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
offering up a great blend of 80’s synth pop and Robin’s
rock guitar playing. This release really shows you what
one bit of bad luck within the music industry can do,
Nik Kershaw became a household name, yet Robin never
did, despite the fact that Robin was better looking,
wrote better songs, and certainly played guitar better,
plus he was taller :-).
‘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
‘Heart To Heart’ heads back into pop/rock 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 late 80’s when syncopated drum beats mixed with a
funk rhythm section created a soundscape on which to
play guitar off, Prince was a great ambassador of this
type of songwriting, and Robin isn’t far behind here.
‘Flying’ is a light pop 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 overdriven 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 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’ do sound
dated, but that is mainly due to the very electronic
sounding synths. These would have been great on a 80’s
Sci-Fi film soundtrack.
There is plenty of musical variety on here to enjoy,
‘Ace In My Hand’, 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 standouts.
Listening to this now, the fact that this album was
never released seems like a crime, this is the album
that could have turned Robin 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 are a Robin George fan, than absolutely? Go out and
buy it, you will not be disappointed.
The Climax Blues's Pete Haycock’s sad death
in 2013 at the age of 62 from a heart attack is commemorated here by his
many friends, primarily Robin George, with passion and style. This is
busy, energetic blues rock which you can easily imagine filling a
stadium. Is it a blues album? Not entirely, but it has a rich blues seam
running through it. There’s a big, bold rendering here of the Ray
Charles classic, Lonely Avenue. Haycock’s presence graces these tracks,
too. His guitar soloing on Miss You So is never less than exciting.
There’s a big, brass-infused song with great lyrics, Gotta Get It Right,
which contrasts nicely against the smoother Bluesong and Broke Heart
Blues. The hefty riff on Miss You So would stir any guitarist’s blood.
All in all, this is a vibrant, driving assembly of songs by some of the
finest musicians. It has a kind of blues ‘wall of sound’ drive to it,
and frankly, by the time I got to the final song, track 14, an acoustic
version of Bluesong, I was wrung out. If you’re looking for blues rock
with drive, energy and unflagging commitment, then this is for you.
Good Blues to you
Blues Matters Magazine:
CLIMAX BLUES – Broke Heart Blues
Angel Air [Released 09.03.15]
This album is a collaboration between Robin George and Pete
Haycock (he was involved in the first ELO Part II line-up), one of the
founding members of the Climax Blues Band (note this CD I guess couldn’t
used the ‘Band’ tag as the band are still going!). This was recorded in
2013 and sadly shortly after completion Pete Haycock passed away in
It is an interesting mix of styles, as you have the blues
rock of Pete Haycock shining through on ‘Blue Monday’ and then on the
pacy ‘Miss You’, those hook filled choruses that Robin George does so
well work to great effect on a big blues riff.
Great to hear two guitarists having a blast (check out the
soloing on ‘Lonely Avenue’ amazing stuff), with the sax of Mel Collins
really adding to the soul/funk sound on a couple of songs. Jacquie
Williams is the album’s secret weapon as she adds oomph into the backing
vocals and gets the odd spot to show her vocal strength.
A fitting tribute for Pete Haycock and one for blues fans,
Robin George fans and anyone who likes a good dose of quality blues
music now and then. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
This features the late Pete Haycock, a
good man and great guitar player and founder member of the CBB, I had
the pleasure in being involved with Pete and Robin George on what is now
his last project "Broke Heart Blues" as Pete Haycock and Robin Georges
Climax Blues Band, and contrary to some nasty posts elsewhere I would
like to take this opportunity to set the record straight about Pete's
health, he hadn't been ill for a long period and was in good health and
was extremely enthusiastic about getting this cd and a tour underway and
was working on the project days just days before his sad passing.
Edits of Pete's last work can be heard at
One may argue if it was a good idea to launch CLIMAX BLUES
into parallel existence with the current CLIMAX BLUES BAND where no
original member is involved, but both bands founder Pete Haycock
demonstrated a belligerent stance coming up with the pieces such as the
slide-kissed “Gotta Get It Right” – an obvious reference to the old
line-up’s “Couldn’t Get It Right”- and finding a kindred guitar partner
Robin George. Unfortunately, in a
familiar twist of fate it became one more doomed project for the latter
who’d seen his efforts with Phil Lynott and David Byron grind to a halt
due to their passing, as Haycock died in October 2013, right before this
album was finished.
The tragedy made naming the record “Cruel” cruel, indeed –
even though a rocking piece with the same name has a life-affirming ring
to it – yet it didn’t make the tracks sad, no matter what their titles
may imply. So while a soft, if taut, cover of Ray Charles’ “Lonely
Avenue” hits the right spot, opener “Blue Monday” is a vivacious slice
of a heartbreak which sees guitars twinned with Mel Collins’ sax who
also soars on the “Gossip Is Gold” blues, thrown onto a heavy riff, as
Jacquie Williams joins in the chorus of the main men’s vocal clinch.
Her soulful pipes take the duet of “Miracle” beyond the pale,
whereas “Miss You So” offers an effervescent, brass-bonded swing, and
“You Ain’t Got The Right” picks up the original CLIMAX baton, too. But “Bluesong”
that signalled Robin and Pete’s first joint venture on the
“LovePower And Peace”
charity action, is present here in electric and acoustic versions, in
which the licks are being swapped and Haycock’s voice shines. Quite a
last will and a testament for true master for those who carry the legacy
Let IT Rock Magazine Let it Rock
- Dangerous Music II
Considering the timing, it seems almost unbelievable that
Dangerous Music II was never
released...until now (?!!). In 1985 Robin George had just experienced
incredible success with the single "Heartline" from his album
Dangerous Music. Riding on the crest of
that success, George and his band recorded a second album to completion.
But the album was doomed from the start because his management company
demanded ridiculous advances...and the whole project got shelved. No
doubt as a result of these tragic events, Robin and his bandmates chose
to break up and he went on to form the band Notorious with Sean Harris
(of Diamond Head fame). Hearing this now, the fact that this album was
never released seems particularly sad...because there are several songs
that could easily have been huge hits. The track that seems like it
would have been the perfect hit single is "Heart To Heart"...this one
could've been huge. Produced
by Gus Dudgeon, these tracks have a great big slick sound. Robin's fans
will certainly be pleased that this one has finally resurfaced.
had experienced worldwide fame as part of the CLIMAX BLUES BAND and
Robin George has enjoyed one
of the most varied and successful careers as guitarist/singer/producer.
Both had worked together on a charity project and the opportunity to
make an album together to tour was not to be missed. The duo assembled
in 2013 a cast of heritage musicians which resulted in Broke Heart
Blues. Unfortunately, Pete died of heart failure aged 62 on October 2013
having just completed the album.
Climax Blues presents us with a rollicking album boasting 14 meaty
tracks, some more bluesy, others more rocking, but all of them filled
with an unmistakable trademark sound. With the added talent of
Mel Collins on sax,
Charley Charlesworth on bass,
Charlie Morgan on drums, and
Jacquie Williams on lead vocals, things could
hardly go wrong! There’s plenty to chew on here and fans will not be
disappointed, courtesy of renowned mixing engineer
Opening track ‘Blue Monday’ offers some mean fare but it takes a while
before we get down to the real business. ‘Cruel’ is kick-ass blues ‘n’
roll, especially where the sax is concerned that blasts through oh so
Third track ‘Gossip Is Gold’ is filtered through with heady and menacing
riffs while the overall rhythm is punchy and jagged. ‘Miss You So’
sports funky grooves and a harmony-layered chorus, the arrangement is
benefitted by a real strong beat.
We go into groove with ‘The Rubicon’, a track that features Jacquie’s
vocals soaring above the band, and “there’s no coming back when you
cross the Rubicon”. The mood ranges from bittersweet to fever-level, and
Mel Collins coming in with a blazing sax leading up to a climactic
rhythm finale. We even get a quote from William Congreve…
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.
‘Lonely Avenue’ has bluesy riffs from the outset yet an altogether more
classic blues-rock sound. The melodious sax contrasts with stone-heavy
riffs. We get a true rollicker with ‘Gotta Get It Right’.
Title track ‘Broke Heart Blues’ echoes in some respects elements of the
Average White Band, albeit on tranquilizers but with considerable more
depth. ‘Miracle’ starts out like a dreamy rock ballad and the vocal
teamwork is catchy and memorable. It’s also a rather visual track that
would make a good music video. Really great is the smooth sax fade-out.
Jacquie’s vehicle comes next: ‘I Feel So Blue’ is rich and soulful and
highlights her fantastic vocal range. There is a change in pace when the
blues-guitar kicks in with a extended solo.
A favorite track on the album is ‘You Ain’t Got The Right’, a real
Delta-blues bottleneck affair - Mississippi Fred McDowell would have
liked this one. Real powerfully performed, with Jacquie once more
delivering the goods and belting out with élan!
By contrast, ‘Oxygen’ felt almost like an anti-climax. As for the two
versions of ‘Bluesong’ (the clue is in the title), it’s easily the
bluesiest track on the album and we are treated to two versions: the
original version and the acoustic version, which is basically a showcase
for highlighting the band’s respective talents.
All in all, a highly accomplished album and a fitting tribute to the
late Pete Haycock!
A New Robin George "World" Record
name Robin George in Rock and Blues circles and you will hear many
plaudits as to his prolific talent and output in a career that has
seen him record, write and perform with the likes of Phil Lynott,
Robert Plant, David Byron and not a few other greats. With the
acclaimed “Dangerous Music” and many more albums under his belt,
Robin George has emerged from the studio with this, his latest
thirteen song opus “World”. With a sublime contribution from the
late, great and much missed Climax Blues Band colleague Pete Haycock
in one of his final recordings, Robin has also fused his own guitar
craft and lyrical adeptness with the talents of Glenn Hughes, Ruby
Turner, Sean Harris, Jaki Graham, Nick Tart et al. Crank up the
volume or slip on the headphones and travel the brave new “World” of
Robin George in 2014.
Keith James Sinclair, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF], October 2014
Skipping Musical Dimensions
George is an eclectic musician, and a most underrated talent, from
his early daze he managed to blend different genres, and was the man
responsible for the Techno Aor Rock genre , here Robin re defines
another Genre, Lonesome daze is a brillian riffy Rock and Blues tune
with catchy pop undertones, which kinda henpeck your brain into
submission and leaves you humming the tune.
As well as the blues guitar rifts there are some beautifully layered
A well crafted song and a really enjoyable listen.
If ever an
artiste deserved more attention and recognition, then that surely must
be 'local boy done good' Mr. Robin George. His new track "Lonesome Daze"
is a broody yet bluesy appetizer of Robin's new album and suggests that
his music has not only matured, it has that rarity in the modern music
market -quality. Add to that the phenomenal artwork by Fiona Bond and
you have a digital single to put on repeat to keep the feet tapping and
ears buzzing in perfect alignment. On the basis of this effort, Robin's
new album is going to be classy. KJS@ELOBF 7/11/14
Living your dreams with a hole in your heart'
Released one year to the day
since his tragic passing, "Broke
Heart Blues" is
what turned out to be the final outing from the late, great and much
missed Climax Blues Band and ELO Part II co-founder
In many ways it is a perfect musical alliance with
and is a real return to
rock and blues roots. It really is the most apt and fitting of
farewells. Ably assisted by Mel Collins [Saxophone], Charlie Morgan
[Drums], Jacquie Williams [Vocals] and Charley Charlesworth [Bass], this
rebooted Climax Blues epic really impresses, particularly when legendary
saxophonist Mel Collins adds his classy contributions.
One can only imagine what this sensational six  piece would have
sounded like on the road. From the opening chords of "Blue
Monday", this album grabs your attention ... and
keeps it throughout! The vocals of
and Jacquie entwine perfectly and, when combined with the seamless
rhythm of Collins, bassist Charley Charlesworth and percussionist
Charlie Morgan, delivers a powerful punch.
Two great tracks underpin a strong release in
lead single "Bluesong"
and title track "Broke Heart Blues"
excelling on vocals and with his trademark guitar craft. An acoustic
version of "Bluesong" is also
included that totally enchants. There is solid rock here with
"Blue Monday", "Cruel"
"Miss You So" being prime examples.
There are Blues aplenty too with "Gossip Is Gold",
"Lonely Avenue" and
"You Ain't Got The Right" [complete
with Pete's superb slide guitar skills!].
It seems fated that this
final Climax Blues album
includes a track that perfectly updates what is widely recognised as the
most well known CBB song: "Couldn't Get It Right".
If there were any song title that summarises this LP, it is
"Gotta Get It Right".
and their friends did get it right with
"Broke Heart Blues".
Bring on the CD release! [9/10]
Track listing:  "Blue Monday" [4:15]; 
"Cruel" [3:31];  "Gossip Is Gold" [5:04];  "Miss You So" [4:11];
 "The Rubicon" [4:26];  "Gotta Get It Right" [3:16]; 
"Bluesong" [6:31];  "Broke Heart Blues" [4:17];  "Miracle" [4:30];
 "Lonely Avenue";  "I Feel So Blue" [5:06];  "You Ain't Got
The Right" [3:10]  "Bluesong [Acoustic]" [6:30]
Keith James Sinclair 5 star review
An explosion of pure talent
I am giving this a 5 star review as I honestly feel this is what it
deserves, I should admit that I have been given a pre release copy and
have played this many times.
Firstly the production and mixing are second to none.
The songs are some of the strongest I have heard for a long time on one
cd with some of the most versatile rock and blues you will hear.
Pete's vocals and guitar are exquisite, as are the lovely crafted guitar
and vox & harmonies from Robin
Jacqui's vocals are strong and both bluesy with hints of soul, while
Mel’s sax parts just FUNK, the bass and drums provide some serious
The songs cover a seriously wide spectrum, Blue Monday and Cruel are
like cars coming straight at you down to highway, Gossip is Gold has
plenty of melody and some blow you away harmonies, while Miss you so has
one of the best Sax sections I have heard in this genre and boy this
really grooves - if I had to choose a favourite this would be it.
The Rubicon redefines the genre as many of Robins songs do, this track
from Pete and Robin is pure rock poetry.
Which bring me to Got to Get it Right which follows the Climax blues
full circle and is the modern day Couldn't get it Right and is the
perfect pop song.
The next 5 songs, Bluesong (note Petes fantastic guitar work here) Broke
Heart Blues (with some great vox by Pete), Miracle, lonely Avenue (Ray
Charles) and Feel So Blue all lead us down the true Blues road.
You Aint Got the Right is a cheeky blues/pop song and takes you back on
The last track Blue Song acoustic is a poignant and tasteful reminder of
Pets sublime talent and a fitting end to a truly remarkable cd.
Broke Heart Blues is a magical mixture of
Pete Haycock’s true blues and Robin George’s rock rhapsodies. The result
is spellbinding. As we’d expect from the poet, Robin George, the lyrics
are profound, intelligent and evocative but take on a deeper, haunting
resonance, armed as we are with the heart breaking knowledge of Pete’s
sudden, untimely passing.
Superb musicians and masters of their craft, Climax Blues amazes
with the breadth of talent and the depth of feeling. Crescendos of sheer
brilliance erupt from the convergence of Mel’s sax with Pete’s slide and
Robin’s rock guitar, climaxing in solo sections unlike anything I’ve
heard before. In the same way the melding of Jacquie William’s
beautiful, soulful vocals with Robin’s unique, harmonious voice creates
a sound that merges and transforms into something truly inimitable.
Pete’s voice; warm, rich and silky, blends beautifully with the rock
solid, rhythm section and the result is alchemy.
This innovative yet final incarnation of Climax Blues is a
lasting and fitting tribute to Pete, as well as to the other superb
musicians who have poured their heart and soul into this breathtakingly
Fiona Bond 5 star review
When Robin was eight he became very
attached to a plastic BEATLES guitar, at 14 he joined a band and at 16
he turned professional. Soon he started his own band LIFE, and during
his career he has played with the likes of ROBERT PLANT, PHIL LYNOTT,
DAVID BYRON, GLENN HUGHES, JOHN WETTON and Mark Stanway of MAGNUM. Not
bad for a lad from Wolverhampton! “Dangerous Music” was originally
released on Bronze Records in 1985, and “Heartline” was chosen to be a
single. But things went sour when the company folded, and a planned
second album went missing in the aftermath. This was only one of many
set-backs that have befallen on this talented musician. How good is
“Dangerous Music” 25 years after?
“Heartline” opens this remastered edition. There
is something of hit pop about it, plucky keyboards and background vocals
was a sure bet 25 years ago. There are plenty of interesting musicians
contributing; Pino Palladino and PHLI LYNOTT share bass duties, Kex
Gorham (ex. MAGNUM) and Dave Holland (ex. JUDAS PRIEST) share the
drumming and Mark Stanway contributed keyboards. “Spy” is pop rock with
a hit refrain that sticks like superglue. Robin´s guitar still rocks no
matter the amount of pop refrains that has been applied. The thing I
have problems with is when the vocals are too high-pitched, e.g. “Stolen
From My Heart”. The best moments are Robin´s guitar in keyboard-laden
songs like “Shout”. There was no shortage of winning refrains. Robin has
always mixed his contemporaries with his personal older influences; “Hit
List” does not sound like a track from the eighties. The compulsory
ballad takes a while, but “Don´t Turn Away” encourages slow dancing with
full body contact without being overly sentimental. It feels sincere all
in all. The poppy “Space Kadett” closes the original album, a true
excess in Brit 80´s. The bonus tracks are three songs live at The Tommy
Vance Show; “Heartline”, “Spy” and “No News Is good News”, plus Robin´s
own mixes of “Heartline” and “Don´t Turn Away”. Live they sound less
80´s neon-colored plastic and more rock, as is often the case of melodic
hard rock from that era. Robin´s delightful mix provides new lease to
the ballad, while “Heartline” moves up the rock ladder. This makes it
altogether five extra reasons to purchase this excellent album. I
wouldn´t want to be without this splendid piece of British rock history!
Heartline, Spy, No News Is Good News, French Kisses, Stolen from My
Heart, Shout, Showdown, Hit List, Shoot on Sight, Don´t Turn Away, Space
Heartline (Live at the Tommy Vance Show), Spy (Live at the Tommy Vance
Show), No News Is Good News (Live at the Tommy Vance Show), Heartline
(Dangerous Mix), Don´t Turn Away (Dangerous Mix)
With the album excellently remastered and five bonus tracks
don't let 'Dangerous Music' pass you by as I did all those years ago.
Back in 1985 a good friend of mine bought a single with some
bloke with tousled hair and a moody stare on the cover. However when he
placed the 7" on the turntable, I was left with a real quandary. I loved
what I heard, however it just wasn't quite "Metal" enough for me to
admit it! Now when you are twelve and have a denim jacket with Kiss,
AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Status Quo patches on the back, these things
really mattered. "Rubbish" I proclaimed and my mate sheepishly agreed
(although I don't think he meant it either). So now some twenty five
years later thanks to Angel Air Records, I finally have a copy of the
album that song came from. The album is 'Dangerous Music' by Robin
George and the song was 'Heartline'. Of all the stupid things I have
done, disregarding 'Dangerous Music' with such ease must rank pretty
highly, as right from the first time I heard the hearty riff and
seductive keyboards of 'Heartline' after all these years, I immediately
remembered why I loved it first time round.
As with many artists, George's musical ability wasn't enough to ensure
success and even as 'Dangerous Music' looked set to become huge, his
record label, Bronze, went bust, the album disappeared from the stores
and another great set of songs was destined to go forgotten. Although
the album is very much a product of its time, the standard of song
writing and musicianship means that George's smart guitar work and the
wonderful keyboard interplay elevates the eighties vibe of the songs
into something that still sounds fresh and relevant today. It is easy to
see why he was on the verge of breaking huge with this album, as his
charismatic vocals and guitar playing married to the commercial FM Radio
synth work meant that the crossover appeal for his music was huge. It's
just as easy to imagine fans of Foreigner being mesmerised by these
songs, as it is teeny girls who had Nick Kershaw posters on their wall
(George's smouldering good looks wouldn't have hurt either). 'Spy', with
its acoustic strumming and great guitar solo, or the AOR gold of 'Don't
Turn Away', where the keyboards and the layered vocals are hugely
atmospheric and really should be in the collection of any music fan who
likes keyboard led rock where the guitars aren't frightened to elbow
their way to the forefront. With the album excellently remastered and
five bonus tracks (three from a TV performance and worthy alternate
mixes of 'Heartline' and 'Don't Turn Away') don't let 'Dangerous Music'
pass you by as I did all those years ago.
'Dangerous Music' was the debut album from George,
however with a cast list that included bassists Phil Lynott and Pino
Palladino (Peter Gabriel, The Who, Paul Simon etc), keyboard players
Mark Stanway (Magnum) and Adrian Lee (Toyah, Mike + The Mechanics) and
drummers Dave Holland (Judas Priest) and Kex Gorin (Magnum) it is
obvious that he had already built an impressive reputation in the music
Peace’ is an eclectic but somehow cohesive collection of songs put
together by Robin George and Angel Air Records in aid of charity.
the proceeds from its sales will go to the 3 charities of choice here.
George is joined by the great
and the good from the UK’s rock, metal and soul scenes, underground
movements all, but simply bursting at the seams with talent.At random:-
Daniel Boone, Ken Hensley, Pete Goalby, Pino Palladino, Pete Way, John
Wetton and Brian Tatler.
As you might expect, there
are several choice cuts from George’s back catalogue, plus reworks of
pop/rock standards. All in all, 17 cracking tracks.The real highlights
are the sinuous, soulful title track, sung by Jacki Graham and Ruby
Turner and ‘Pride’, a George/Turner co-write with a smouldering,
seductive groove, liberally sprinkled with Motown magic, again sung by
There’s plenty of room too
for George’s tech rock, though it’s unusual hearing Sean Harris singing
his very own version of ‘Cocoon’ and Charlie George singing ‘Bluesong’.
‘Wasted Time’ is an old Asia demo from the eighties, dug out and dusted
down by Wetton and George. They turn it into a deeply satisfying – if
slightly dated - Tech Rock / ELO pop hymn.
Elsewhere, Daniel Boone’s
achingly eloquent vocals wring out every ounce of pathos from ‘Another
Lonely Night’, a song originally written by Boone and George for Alvin
Stardust. But we won’t hold that against them. George’s breakthrough
song, ‘Heartline’ pops up again, densely constructed in the studio with
Nick Tart contributing a suitably hard rock vocal performance.
Ribboned with melancholy,
Phil Lynott’s tribute to Elvis,‘Kings Call’ gets another outing, an ode
from a giant of rock who went too soon to a giant of rock who went too
Charity albums are often an indulgence,
where unwritten excuses are made for second rate performances, but this
stuff is dynamite. An outstandingly good rock album in its own right.
And for the casual fan, a highly entertaining voyage of discovery.
The 3 charities are : Compton
Hospice in Wolverhampton; Haven House in Essex and the Birmingham Centre
For Arts Therapies.All
3 have websites. Take a look
Ladies and gentlemen, the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to…
Robin George’s Lovepower for LovePower and Peace, an album featuring
some of the most respected artists in the biz - with all profits
donated to several charities.
LovePower and Peace not only serves a good and noble cause (all
artists, studios, choirs, record companies and media folk involved
donated their precious time for absolutely free), it is also a
fantastic trip through an interesting mix of musical genres. From funky
soul to bluesy rock and hoot-it-straight rock, the album offers a
whopping 17 tracks oozing with originality and attitude.
It’s impossible to mention every single track, just as it is impossible
to mention every single artist involved, or we’ll be here till
Christmas. There are so many gems on this album (in fact, all of them),
so perhaps highlighting those that vary the most in style is the
obvious thing to do.
Opener is the title track, gloriously performed by R&B singer Ruby
Turner and Jaki Graham. Backing vocals are provided by northern soul
singer Jacqui Williams as well as Geri Minelli (founder of the ‘Women
In Music Festival’) and her choir, as well as a 200 choir from 3
schools. Oh, such talent! ‘Seven Golden Daffodils’ is another pearl,
sliding between hearty blues and narling guitar riffs. Leads here are
Jacqui Williams and Robin George, with Charlie George and Vix (of
Fuzzbox fame) on backing vox. In a similar vein is ‘Bluesong’ with
Charlie George on leads and with Steve Hunter from the Alice Cooper
band on solo guitar, backed by ‘The Love Power Band’.
It gets more complex with ‘World’ – indeed, it feels like the world is
involved here and it sounds like it too. Featuring Freya Copeland and
that flame-haired Vixen, plus Robin George and Arthur Brown on leads, we
are furthermore treated to ‘The Birmingham World Kids Choir’ (coached
by Vix), the ‘Women In Music International Choir’,
the ‘Love Power Rock Choir’ and ‘The
LovePower Band’! And now pardon me please, but I need
a coffee break…
That was tasty, but back to the album. Ironically, one of the most
brilliant songs on it is also the most simplistic sounding one, for it
is performed by the ‘LovePower Band’ alone and without any additional
artists. Having said
there are six in the band. ‘King’s Call’ (yes, we’re talking the Phil
Lynott classic) rarely sounded as enticing as here, with its
inspired blend of folk- and flamenco guitar. It’s also rocks of
course, though not nearly as hard as the Thin Lizzy original – although
it works almost better that way.
Things remain on a more simplistic and mellow path with ‘Tired Eyes’
and ‘Another Lonely Night’ before it gets almost ridiculous on ‘With A
Little Help From My Friends’. Make that “with big help from my
friends”! I won’t even attempt to name everyone involved here or it’ll
be you in need for a coffee break. However, some of the names are
Conny Bloom (Electric Boys, Hanoi Rocks, Jameson Whiskey), Eddie Clarke
(Motörhead), Spike (The Quireboys),
Sean Harris and Brian Tatler (both Diamond Head), Pete Way (UFO), Mel
Collins (Bad Company, 10CC), Chris Slade (Manfred Mann’s
Earth Band, AC/DC, Uriah Heep etc) and so the list goes on. Apologies
to those I failed to mention, you guys know you’re on it and I know
you’re on it. As for the song: well everyone knows how the tune goes,
After ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ and ‘Wasted Time’ it’s on to ‘Alice’… with
raspy-voiced crooner Spike and Robin George sharing lead- and backing
vox duties. For those who aren’t in the know-how: ‘Alice’ was
originally a track by UK-rock band Damage Control and consisted of
Robin George, Chris Slade, Pete Way and at one point also of Spike. So
yeah, it all makes sense and stays within the family so to speak.
Suffice to say the track sounds as you might expect it to sound -
cranked up and with seriously punchy riff work, equalled by Slade’s
One number that couldn’t be left out on the album is Robin George’s
signature song ‘Heartline’ and neither is his ‘Angel Song’, which is
also the closing track. While the former is pumping up the adrenaline,
the latter is a
restrained affair in comparison – with some lovely Dobro guitar play by
Pete Haycock (of Climax Blues Band fame) and bass by Pino Palladino
As mentioned at the beginning, 100% of all profits go to the following
charities: Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton, Haven House in Essex and
the Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies. Last but not least, credit
must also go
to Debra Sidebotham for the artist/charity liaison.
Imagine an album that has a cast list that contains among
many others Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), Pete Way (UFO/Waysted), Sean
Harris and Brian Tatler (both Diamond Head), Conny Bloom (The
Electric Boys/Hanoi Rocks), 'Fast' Eddie Clarke (Motorhead/Fastway),
John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson) Spike (Quireboys), Chris Slade
(AC/DC/Asia), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann) and Pino Palladino
(Genesis/The Who). Add to that list hugely respected soul singers
Jaki Graham and Ruby Turner and saxophonist Mel Collins (Bad
Company/10CC/Dire Straits), honestly I could go on, but you get the
idea by now...
Then add into the equation that all the artists who have contributed
to this album (over 60 in all!) gave their time for free, as did the
studios, the design team and in fact everybody involved in the
project, so that all the proceeds from the sale of the CD could go
directly to three fantastic and deserving charities (Macmillan
Cancer Support/Haven House/Compton Hospice). Then you'll begin to
get an idea of exactly what Robin George, who has recorded with
everyone from Robert Plant and Phil Lynott to Glenn Hughes and John
Wetton has achieved with 'LovePower and Peace'.
The resulting album is a glorious journey through genres and styles,
resulting in seventeen songs that have been painstakingly crafted
into perfect examples of everything from soul and blues, to AOR and
all out rock, without ever feeling like they shouldn't belong
together. In fact when the musicians involved are of the calibre
collected together here, the songs begin to transcend genre
stereotypes, instead just becoming phenomenal music.
Things move fast in
the Music biz and when guitar legend Robin George was touched personally
by the hospice movement and also saw your old scribe's piece about
Music therapy and the arts therapies
, he went into action. Opening his address book, which looks more like a
Who's Who of contemporary music, Robin pulled
together the critical mass of talent that now makes up the LovePower
project. A clever combination of studio time fitted around everyone's
busy tour schedules, with skillful drop-ins from those on the other side
of the world, result in a set of masters (you can't call them 'master
tapes' in the digital age) of musical excellence and diversity that
would add up to a masterful talent showcase even if there wasn't a
This is not the usual feel good,
conscience salving, Let's all get together and save
the world [while rejuvenating our flagging careers]
type outing, as the egos have been left at the door. The diversity of
talent is reflected in diversity of styles from riff driven rock infused
Alice to sweet soul of Ruby Turner and Jaki Graham.
the Love Power CD
the musicianship is impeccable, the performances stellar and the
songwriting has teeth. Unlike the gummy efforts of has beens who collect
expenses cheques from excursions like this, these folks don't need their
careers reviving, they don't need autotune and they gave their time for
nothing. The studios around the world gave their time for nothing, the
record company are making nothing and the musicians are making great
There are bitterseet ballads like
and Another Lonely Night
another ballad, simultaneously both melancholy and whimsical...
"Do all the tracks start with the
letter 'A' to keep 'em at the top of the ipod lists?"
suggest plebs, stage left.
begins with a 'B', obviously, although the first chord isn't B, the
title just starts with the letter. Sung by Charlie George, not the
legendary long haired Arsenal and Derby County player from the 70's
(spot your old scribe's cultural references), but the singer/TV
presenter who acquits herself well, despite the low expectations we all
have of 'personality' crossovers from TV to tunes! Furthermore, Steve
Hunter, the triple pick-up white SG wielding axeman from the Alice
Cooper band and mid 70s lou Reed, lays down the guitar part with aplomb.
This tune is stripped to the bone, minimal drum fills and simple
expressive guitar figures.
'C' is for
'Cocoon', one of Robin George's tunes from
his 'Life' catalogue.
'Pride', track 4, by Ruby
Turner could stand up as a motown great (reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's
productions). 'Kings Call'
invites comparisons with the Travelling Wilburys; written by Phil Lynott
and Robin George, it was an evolution beyond Thin Lizzy and deserved
more attention than it got at the time, so this release might do the
Help From My Friends?
Regular readers might expect the old scribe
to supremely cynical about yet another rendition of this
Lennon/McCartney classic, which is so often cheesily covered. This
straight cover avoids dairy product comparisons, sentiments are never
cheesy (a bad thing) and guitar solos never yogurty (good or bad
depending on context). A singalong classic that gets respectful
Ruby Turner, Jaki Graham & The LovePower Band:
Love Power &Peace
Seven Golden daffodils:
Seven Golden daffodils
Sean Harris & Howard Scarr:
Ruby Turner & The lovePower band:
Charlie george & The lovePower band:
The lovePower band & Friends:
The lovePower band:
David Byron & The lovePower band with Roger Flavalle:
The lovePower band & Friends:
Another Lonely night
The lovePower band & Friends:
With A littel Help From My Friends
Pete Goalby & Robin George:
Mona Lisa Smile
John Wetton & Robin George:
Damage Control with 'Fast' Eddie Clarke:
Marshall law with robin George:
Life with Nick Tart:
(sounds like a TV show title) Heartline
Robin George & Friends:
Next To You
Robin George & Friends:
If this had arrived as a compilation
showcasing the talents on a record company roster, from Soul greats like
Ruby Turner & Jaki Graham, and Jaqui Williams, to a roll call of
legendary rockers (including apearances from band members of Asia, Uriah
Heap, UFO, Bad Co., AC/DC, King Crimson, Qireboys, Hanoi Rocks, UK Subs,
Diamond Head, Trapeze, Magnum, Life, Notorious, Climax Blues Band, Tina
Turner, Giorgio Moroder, Manfren Mann, The Who, the God of Hellfire
Arthur Brown, Steve Hunter, Robert Plant and Jools Holland) and sax
breaks from the man whose solos have graced the Rolling Stones, and your
old scribe would have been well disposed to the content. Your old scribe
loves a good compilation and this is certainly that, and well recorded
despite having to be constructed from components in some places, because
of the impossibility of getting this line up in one place at one time.
Add some excellent songwriting and the
likelihood of a recommendation increases.
Forget every prejudice you have about
benefits gigs and albums. Actually musically most of those are better
completely forgotten. Cast them from your mind. This album leaves you
wanting more from each foregrounded artist.
One by-product of this album, quite apart
from the 3 excellent causes it supports (all close to your old scribes
heart) is that you might hear something unexpected that turns you on to
an unfamiliar artist. The many musicians, studios and producers involved
will make nothing from this album while Three deserving charities will
make everything from this CD.
If I didn't like this CD I would not have
written a review, to protect the worthy causes, but the CD is worthy of
recommendation on sound quality grounds and musical content. So there is
no excuse, buy it immediately as it is released on October 3rd 2011.
© Copyright 2011
Old Scribe - www.tnt-audio.com
And Peace’ is an eclectic but somehow cohesive
collection of songs put together by Robin George and
Angel Air Records in aid of charity. Uniquely,
the proceeds from its sales will go to the 3
charities of choice here.
joined by the great and the good from the UK’s rock,
metal and soul scenes, underground movements all,
but simply bursting at the seams with talent.At
random:- Daniel Boone, Ken Hensley, Pete Goalby,
Pino Palladino, Pete Way, John Wetton and Brian
As you might
expect, there are several choice cuts from George’s
back catalogue, plus reworks of pop/rock standards.
All in all, 17 cracking tracks.The real highlights
are the sinuous, soulful title track, sung by Jacki
Graham and Ruby Turner and ‘Pride’, a George/Turner
co-write with a smouldering, seductive groove,
liberally sprinkled with Motown magic, again sung by
plenty of room too for George’s tech rock, though
it’s unusual hearing Sean Harris singing his very
own version of ‘Cocoon’ and Charlie George singing
‘Bluesong’. ‘Wasted Time’ is an old Asia demo from
the eighties, dug out and dusted down by Wetton and
George. They turn it into a deeply satisfying – if
slightly dated - Tech Rock / ELO pop hymn.
Daniel Boone’s achingly eloquent vocals wring out
every ounce of pathos from ‘Another Lonely Night’, a
song originally written by Boone and George for
Alvin Stardust. But we won’t hold that against them.
George’s breakthrough song, ‘Heartline’ pops up
again, densely constructed in the studio with Nick
Tart contributing a suitably hard rock vocal
Ribboned with melancholy, Phil Lynott’s
tribute to Elvis, ‘Kings Call’ gets another outing,
an ode from a giant of rock who went too soon to a
giant of rock who went too soon.
Charity albums are often
an indulgence, where unwritten excuses are made for
second rate performances, but this stuff is
dynamite. An outstandingly good rock album in its
own right. And for the casual fan, a highly
entertaining voyage of discovery.
The 3 charities are :
Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton; Haven House in
Essex and the Birmingham Centre For Arts Therapies.
All 3 have websites. Take a look
Review by Brian McGowan
Just about every charitable issue gets a music project, or a
single these days. But here ROBIN GEORGE has gathered no less than 50
artists of various genres for a good cause. Members and ex.members of
bands like URIAH HEEP, UFO, DIAMOND HEAD, QUIREBOYS, and ASIA, to
mention but a few, have all contributed. The main material comes from
Robin´s back catalogue, but there are also added specials, and specially
written songs. As further evidence of dedication all profits will go to
BCAT, Haven House and the Compton Hospice.
Those who expect only hard rock or thereabouts will have to reconsider,
the main object here is musicianship, and not distorted guitars. The
title track maybe gentle rock with a message, but it is also proof of
Robin´s dedication and the generosity of the artists involved. The
voices of Ruby Turner and Jaki Graham add dimensions and the refrain
could go on forever. It is fascinating to hear Robin´s old chestnuts in
new or at least slightly different versions. Anyone not penchant to
“Cocoon” or “Heartline” ought to see a doctor. Choirs of famous
musicians and over 200 schoolchildren add credibility to the cause, and
seldom has “With a Lilttle Help from My Friends” sounded so true. Or on
his own with the LovePower Band, as they excell in a very emotional
"King´s Call". I personally fancy the “return” of David Byron (R.I.P) in
the soft and very suitable “Tired Eyes”, as well as hearing one of his
successors to the Heep, Pete Goalby, make the most of “Mona Lisa Smile”.
The aspiring rocker will probably like “Alice” and the MARSHAL LAW track
“No Justice”. Most people will enjoy the album. It is a good thing that
enjoyment is also giving a helping hand here. The album is a solid four,
the cause is a solid 5/5.
www.festivalphoto.net Mikael Johannson
Those with elephantine memories will remember Robin George
from his 1985 debut album ‘Dangerous Music’, possibly the greatest
soft-rock album ever written; or maybe from the ‘History’ EP which
preceded it, or from Ted Nugent’s cover of ‘Go Down Fighting’; or maybe
from his production credit on Diamond Head’s second single. Whichever,
the guy’s a genius with a lengthy track record although has never really
focussed enough on any one direction to gatecrash the big time.
George’s latest offering ‘LovePower And Peace’ is a charity
album with a split personality. The first ten tracks are a mix of
originals and covers and feature the LovePower band – Robin George
(guitars and vocals), Jacqui Williams (vocals) Pete Haycock (guitars),
Mel Collins (sax), Charley Charlesworth (bass) and Charlie Morgan
(drums) – aided and abetted by a host of luminaries including Ruby
Turner, Ken Hensley, Sean Harris, David Byron and Morgan Fisher. Amongst
the scattergun of rock, blues and soul, the pièce de résistance is
undoubtedly the eight-and-a-half minutes of ‘With A Little Help From My
Friends’ which allows the guest guitarists (including Brian Tatler, Dom
Brown, Eddie Clark and Conny Bloom) to flex their muscles. The LovePower
Band’s take on Phillip Lynott’s ‘Kings Call’ is a worthy effort too, and
it’s great to hear David Byron on such good form on ‘Tired Eyes’.
After that come another seven cuts featuring just Robin
George and assorted guests: Marshall Law romp through their own ‘No
Justice’; the Pete Way/Robin George composition ‘Alice’ sounds like a
track from ‘Dangerous Games’ as remixed by Kurt Cobain and features
Eddie Clarke once more; and yet another version of George’s greatest
solo hit ‘Heartline’ pops up, although the reworking and vocals courtesy
of Diamond Head’s Nick Tart don’t really do it any favours this time
All profits go to Compton Hospice, Wolverhampton, Haven
House, Essex, and the Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies, and the
album has such broad appeal there’s bound to be something on there
you’ll like. So go buy a copy now.
Whilst Robin George may not have become the
household name he surely deserves to be, a quick glance at the amount of
names willing to offer their contribution to this album goes a long way
to showing just how much respect he has in the music world. His latest
album for Angel Air Records LOVEPOWER AND PEACE was recorded and
released with the intention to give one hundred per cent of the profits
to three charities which is a fantastic effort really considering just
how much work has gone into creating it.
The actual songs themselves are a mixture of older Robin
George tracks, some stuff he recorded in various projects along the way,
some more recently written material and a handful of covers too, but
each has been meticulously re-created with a ridiculously long list of
guest contributions. Let’s reel a few of them off then shall we? ….
We’ve got David Byron (URIAH HEEP), Chris Slade (AC/DC, DIO), Darrell
Bath (UK SUBS), Conny Bloom (HANOI ROCKS), Dom Brown (DURAN DURAN),
Eddie Clarke (MOTORHEAD), Mel Collins (KING CRIMSON), Ken Hensley (URIAH
HEEP), Steve Hunter (ALICE COOPER BAND), Pete Way (UFO), John Wetton
(ASIA) and many, many more, There’s also a couple of really good female
soul singers involved in Jaki Graham and Ruby Turner, a full male choir
and a full 200member children’s choir too. Basically hundreds of people
were involved in the making of this album, which could have been a
disaster really but the songs speak for themselves. Everyone involved
with this project gave their time for free, including the art team,
studio producers, photographers and record label too, now that’s quite
impressive too really in an era where the adage “time is money’ has
never been so relevant.
With a long tracklist of seventeen songs there’s definitely a
couple of tracks here and there that aren’t as good as the rest, but
close to the cream of the crop would probably be the one-two punch of
opening tracks LOVEPOWER AND PEACE and then directly after it SEVEN
GOLDEN DAFFODILS. BLUESONG, MONA LISA SMILE, George’s best known song
HEARTLINE and the mellow ANGELSONG are also more than worth looking out
for too. My personal favourite moment of the album however is a truly
awesome star studded cover of WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS which
manages to combine the original BEATLES version with the more moving JOE
COCKER version. It doesn’t sound completely like either version and
really is a great individual rendition.
As far as value for money goes, hey you get seventeen songs
that feature a ridiculously large amount of talented people, but you can
also feel good in knowledge that every cent you pay for this album will
go to helping people in need. I can’t think of a more worthy album in a
long time as LOVEPOWER AND PEACE, everybody that has an interest in any
of the people involved in this project should go and buy a copy
Written By ZeeZee myglobalmind.com
Rating : 10/10
This has been a labour of love over the past
couple of years for Robin George as he has assembled a set of top draw
musicians and vocalists to appear on this charity album. Before you even
mention the guest musicians, the LovePower Band itself features such
names as Pete Haycock (Climax Blues Band/ELO Part 2), M People’s Jacqui
Williams and respected saxophonist Mel Collins, who has worked with Bad
Company, Camel and the Rolling Stones amongst many others.
The songs on here come from all of Robin George’s solo and band output
to date including Life, Notorious, Damage Control and Marshall Law are
present with ‘No Justice’, as Robin George produced one of their albums.
Even those that are sadly no longer with us like David Byron, have their
original vocal backed by a modern band recording.
Highlights? Being totally honest the whole damn album! But to cherry
pick a few great top hear Pete Goalby (ex-Uriah Heep) again on ‘Mona
Lisa Smile’. There is a mini-Fastway reunion on ‘Alice’ with ‘Fast’
Eddie Clarke hooking-up again with UFO’s Pete Way – Spike of the
Quireboys shares the lead vocal on this one with Robin. There is a
superb run through ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ where Robin is
joined by Sean Harris (ex-Diamond Head) and Jacqui Williams (boy can she
hit the high notes!). Former Mott The Hoople man Morgan Fisher and Conny
Bloom (The Electric Boys) are amongst the backing musicians. ‘Seven
Golden Daffodils’ is worth a listen for the sublime harmony vocal parts.
Finally, ‘Heartline’, Robin’s biggest solo hit, gets a reworking with
current Diamond Head vocalist Nick Tart singing on this one. At first it
sounds very strange but it soon grows on the listener and gives the
original a good run for its money.
A winner in two ways – a good resume of Robin George’s work to date and
all the profits go to three worthy charities.
Classic Rock/Jason Ritchie Review
A master guitarist reaching out for his address book and for
the listeners’ hearts – in the memory of "the good and the gifted we
lost too soon" and for the tragedy not to strike again.
You can’t blame
Robin George for his
desire to play safe after two of his promising endeavors have been
thwarted by ailing singers, David Byron and Phil Lynott who chose
substances-fuelled deaths over life. Both are present here, on the
guitarist’s star-studded project from which all profits fuel three
British charities -- all in the name of life.
There’s Lynott’s spirit in the LOVEPOWER BAND’s take on his
Elvis’ tribute "King’s Call", in George’s hands a moving, acoustically
framed lament for THIN LIZZY’s singer himself, while Byron’s own voice
carries another twilit ballad, "Tired Eyes". That highlights the
leader’s MO: a careful use of existing tracks for additions and
overdubs. Yet it never sounds like a recycling, as DIAMOND HEAD’s Sean
Harris breathes fire in LIFE’s
Jacqui Williams’ voice completely transforms old chestnut "Seven Golden
Daffodils", rough in DAMAGE CONTROL’s
version and totally
transcendental now. One of the latter group’s recordings, "Alice", forms
a part of the bonus section of the CD, "Friends of LovePower" alongside
gems from Robin’s archives featuring, among others, more URIAH HEEP’s
members, Pete Goalby and
but the bulk of it rides on the back of new songs.
It starts with
a title cut which
grows from an acoustic roll into a gospel hot-air balloon soaring on
Ruby Turner and Jaki Graham’s soulful belting and floating with Mel
Hammond and a mighty choir. The same package lies in the foundation of
the grooving, slide-smoothed "World" where Arthur Brown joins the
"Emmerdale" actress Freya Copeland Vix and Robin George at the
idiosyncratic mic. And, of course, there’s his shining guitar in the
center of it all, but the veteran’s only happy to share the spotlight
even in these stakes, so "Bluesong" cradles Steve Hunter’s solo. What
with the seriousness of it all, "Pride" is a jolting slab of funk to
shake up one’s mood, and "Another Lonely Light" harks innocently back to
the early ’60s. Perhaps, "With A Little Help From My Friends" seems a
bit hammy as a closer to the main part of the for more veterans – from
MOTORHEAD, MOTT THE HOOPLE and more - and, in the end, it is what it
does when an artist calls for the indifferent kindred spirits to get
there for the right reasons. Listening is taking part in this one
success of an endeavor.***
Dmitry Epstein http://dmme.net
Unlike some charity 45s, LovePower and Peace actually boasts a
worthy song for a worthy cause. A sweet melody, heartfelt vocal and
a rousing refrain that leaves no excuses not to dig deep and help
Macmillan Cancer Support
by BUYING NOW
Tim Jones Record Collector
Superb musicianship, magnificent vocals from Ruby Turner and Jaki
Graham and an excellent cause. Love Power & Peace deserves to be a
monster smash.Gary Bushell.
For Online reviews of LPP single click:
Sea Of Tranquility Review
Dmme Review Express
and Star Review
Notorious – Radio Silence
Robin George is one of those nearly men, both in the sense that he has
collaborated with some of the biggest names in rock and metal (Phil
Lynott, Glenn Hughes, John Wetton, Robert Plant, David Byron) and also
in the sense that a lot of the projects he’s been involved with nearly
got an album released! In recent years Angel Air Records have made it
one of their goals to collaborate with George to allow much of this
hidden and unreleased material to see the light of day.
The latest in this line comes in the shape
of ‘Radio Silence’ by Notorious, which was the name for George’s
collaboration with the at the time just departed lead singer from NWOBHM
legends Diamond Head, Sean Harris. George had produced the song ‘Sweet &
Innocent’ on the Head’s classic ‘Lightning To The Nations’ album, so
when Harris departed the band it didn’t take long for the pair to pool
their talents and record the quick fire set of songs that make up ‘Radio
Instead of, as they were advised, releasing the album
straight away in its rough and ready state, two years were wasted going
from studio to studio and through countless producers trying to make the
songs absolutely perfect. Perfection though never appeared and the
chance was gone, with these fifteen songs ending up gathering dust for
twenty five years.
So with George’s blessing ‘Radio Silence’ is
silent no more and what a surprising mix it is. I suppose with the
electro-AOR sound of much of Robin George’s solo material, I shouldn’t
be surprised that there are many of those same influences on show here,
but I had expected Harris to bring a more metal based edge to
proceedings. On the strength of the opening title track, that proved to
be the case, with a gritty riff and some excellent layered vocals, it is
a rip snorting beginning to the album. However it all goes off at a
tangent from there, with everything from Richard Marx and INXS, to The
Police and the drum sound of Fine Young Cannibals being evoked across a
set of songs that never quite lives up to the harder hitting, more
straight forward approach of the opener. George is superb, if a little
too deep in the mix and Harris brings more commercial sheen to his
delivery than his previous work had ever suggested, with the mix of
rock, AOR, funk and eighties synth, being an obvious attempt to gain
some chart success. In truth, I’m not sure that these songs are really
quite sharp, or smart enough to have broken Notorious big, but they are
enjoyable enough, even if very of their time.
Whilst not essential ‘Radio Silence’ is a
further interesting chapter in the colourful story of Robin George’s
vast and eclectic musical journey and for that alone, it is well worth a
Steven Reid Fireworks
(the archetypal nearly man) recorded this album together back in 1985.
George's outstanding solo
album, 'Dangerous Music' had gone under with its bankrupt record label.
Harris had just broken with Diamond Head.
Young, ambitious, tenacious,
they aimed to "revolutionise the world of rock".
The cruel historical fact is
that it didn't. But the truth is that it could have.
They laid down 15 tracks full
of raw emotion, searing imagery and two performances from the heart.
This original recording was just brimming over with great songs and
The Record Company execs
wanted a more polished, pristine sound. As is often the way, the many
recording sessions in countless studios emasculated the duo's original
sound, resulting in a stillborn version of the album.
25 years on,
Air have given George and Harris the opportunity to let the world
experience their original vision, with the release of that first
And what an album this is.
Harris is an absolutely outstanding vocalist. His voice has such an
emotional range. It can soothe, it can rip up the scenery. It can
do rugged, it can do seduction. It can do rock, pop, funk.
George's sturdy, sinuous
melodies, frequently set to thunderous riffs and wailing axes are
perfect for Harris's dynamic, dominant vocals. The title track,
inherits George's Tech
sound, while the magnificent
might easily have been the prototype for INXS's funk/groove/rock
recordings that filled dance floors and dominated Top Forties in the
eighties and nineties.
By the time you get to third
a commercial poprock monster of a song - eerily echoing Lloyd Cole - you
wonder why the execs ever thought any of this needed fixing.
The sweet, wordy
'Better The Devil You Know'
has an air of innocent wonder, full of jangling guitars and oohing,
aahing bgvs, borrowed from the fresh, immediate pop of the sixties, and
there won't be many whose pulse isn't quickened by 'It's
booming, arena friendly hook.
The sudden swing to the
thumping Westcoast rock'n'soul of
'Do Like A Man'
might be a little hard to take, but at a minimum it demonstrates this
And that notion clearly
pulses loud and proud at the heart of this album. Two young musicians
with enormous talent who can turn their hand to anything.
It released to enormous
But guess what?
Within the year of release,
the label folded and the album was deleted.
Thank God for visionaries
Air, exposing us to the fleeting genius of Notorious.
Brian Revelationz Mazgazine
silence may come after defeaning thunder - and two heavy stalkers
provide it here in exquisite spades.
Another album marked by a
curse, which means it sunk on the original release to be ripe for
rediscovery and revaluation two decades on. This time the guitarist's
partner in crime was Sean Harris from DIAMOND HEAD whom George produced,
but what the pair delivered had a pronounced commercial edge. Perhaps,
not too commercial for the late '80s to make it big time, though the
bubbly shuffle of "The S'Walk" was a neat chart-biter with its P-Funk
gloss instead of metal one could expect from its masterminds, while "You
Need More" is an upbeat, if airy. ballad up there with the best from the
hairy royalty of its decade.
re-sequenced and expanded, the songs punch the bag from the title cut,
that has a bluesy slide lick squeezed between the funky jive and harmony
choruses, to the swaggering closer "Good Times" that sums up the hour
spent with this album. Even when the flow is loose, like in the
bass-shaking and harmonica-riding "Do Like A Man", it goes straight to
the nerve as does the silky, strings-wrapped blues "I Believe In You"
which showcases Harris' soft spot rather than hard place - but "The
Game's Up" recycles the "All Right Now" riff for the umpteenth time,
while "It's Energy" feels too generic to ripple a soul. The
Philly-sounding brass and guitars mix of "Soul On Fire" rectifies that,
yet "Radio Silience" still remains a product of its time, a nice one
Let it Rock DME music site
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.
||NOTORIOUS made headlines
straight away. Robin George (DAVID BYRON, PHIL LYNOTT etc.) joined
forces with Sean Harris (ex. DIAMOND HEAD). Two song writers met and of
cause Robin handled production duties. Rock is the right word, and the
single “The S´Walk” even echoes of DURAN DURAN. One thing that there is
plentiful of here is musical ability. Robin modernized his sound a bit
here, and Sean steered clear of heavy metal, as well as his previous
band´s increasingly progressive sound. The sophisticated “Arianne” is
augmented by Sean´s sensitive vocal style. This is the original mix of
the album, the one that even their manager opted for, but. Alas, not the
one the suits of the record company released. They get down to a cosy
ballad with some pepper added in “You Need More”, which is one of my
favourite moments. Old rockers tend to favour funk, and NOTORIOUS do a
DEEP PURPLE in “Do Like a Man” and “Touch”. The strength of the album is
soft rock songs with strong refrains, and it is all very typical of its
day and age. I am impressed by the genuine craftsmanship of tracks like
“It´s Energy” and “The Game´s Up”. If I hadn´t heard this way back I
would never have guessed it was Sean Harris on vocals, not with the
sweet soft velvety voice, as in “Believe in You”. There are too funky
and soft moments here too, e.g. “Eyes of the World”. That track was
awarded the fast forward button, but that is it on this album. If “The
S´Walk” was aimed at the charts I bet “Soul on Fire”, complete with
brass and all, was even more so. In the early nineties I was strictly
against this, but now almost 20 years later this is (mainly) highly
enjoyable melodic rock. If there hadn´t been so many if´s I believe the
“Good Times” would have rolled and NOTORIOUS would have reached heights
far beyond what they actually achieved.
||Notorious was a project put
together by guitarist Robin George (Phil Lynott, David Byron, Magnum)
and vocalist Sean Harris (Diamond Head) back in the late 80's and became
caught up in record company politics eventually seeing the band getting
dropped and the album deleted a matter of weeks after its original
release. The duo went into the studio to knock out a melodic rock record
but the album was mixed, remixed and, with the changing of the sounds,
the music lost the duos original intent. Now for the first time, thanks
to the guys over at Angel Air Records we are presented with the
digitally remastered and expanded edition of the albums original demo
recordings, that finally allow us to hear exactly what Robin and Sean
had in mind.
Most of the songs have stood up well to the test of time, showcasing the
songwritting quality that Notorious bought together.
There is a great mix of melodic rock styles presented here, from the
riff driven Radio Silence, to the funky groove of songs like The S'walk,
to the bluesy commercial tracks like Arianne and You Need More. Robins
guitar work is amazingly versatile, providing Sean Harris with the
perfect platform to let his voice really shine. Sean himself sings with
a crisper cleaner style than his previous work with Diamond Head.
A Great album that could have been a massive comercial success had it
not been for the politics at Geffen records back in the day. Well worth
checking out, Very highly reconmended.
Byron, Magnum, Phil Lynott, Robert Plant, Diamond Head, Sean Harris,
Life and Roy Wood are just some of the artists that Robin George has
worked with over the years.
Angel Air have pulled together this timely 2 disc set from George's
archives that features studio album Crying Diamonds and live release
Dangerous Music from 1985 (where he is joined by a band that includes
original Magnum drummer, the late Kex Gorin).
Crying Diamonds showcases some of Robins greatest songs including “Learn
The Dance”, which he co-wrote with Byron, a fiery “Judy”, and the
reflective yet deceptively powerful pair “Yesterday’s News” and “Thanks
For The Memories” along with "Crying Diamonds" a track that he Co-wrote
with Phil Lynott himself!The second CD.
Dangerous Music Live ‘85, sees Robin on the road, playing some of his
best tracks from across his carear to that point. Not the greatest of
live recording, more akin to a good quality audience recorded bootleg
than a pro recorded live album but it does capture the sets atmosphere
well.This double cd set is a great introduction to one of the most
versatile and talented writer / performers / producers that the Uk has
- Dangerous Music
Although he has only achieved cult status in the United States
at this point in time, Great Britain's
Robin George is legendary in his home
Although he's probably best known as a backing guitarist for a variety
of well-known British superstars, George is very much a songwriter and
musician in his own right. And now...25 years after it's original
release...his debut album is once again being made available to the
public. Dangerous Music is a
very slick commercial album.
But George was one of those artists who was able to balance commercial
appeal with artistic integrity...and thus his music was very appealing
to both communities.
The album features plenty of Robin's tasty guitar work (of course)...but
it also presents many songs that, in a perfect world, would have been
This disc features the eleven tracks that appeared on the original vinyl
release plus five cool bonus tracks.
This is an excellent album that unfortunately got lost in the blur of
the 1980s most likely because the original record company (Bronze)
folded soon after the initial release.
This reissue will hopefully make more people aware of this talented
fellow's early recorded work. Killer cuts include "Spy," "No News Is
Good News," and "Don't Turn Away." Top pick.
- Cocoon (CD,
Reissue of Life's 1997 album (actually recorded in 1995 but released in
1997) remastered...with bonus tracks. This band was the project
spearheaded by guitarist/vocalist/producer Robin George working with
vocalist Nick Tart (from Diamond Head). Cocoon has a big, thick, arena
rock sound that incorporates elements from 1970s progressive rock with
1990s heavy metal. Plenty of big keyboard sounds and fast noodly lead
guitars here. Fifteen tracks including "Dangerous Music," "What Goes
Around Comes Around," and "The End of the Line."
Damage Control are a power trio formed by
Robin George…what you get on Raw is good old fashioned blues rock. One
of the joys of the album is, as the name implies, the raw sound of
George’s guitar; its rough edge dominating this classic sounding album.
Classic Rock Society Magazine
Formed by Robin George, with Pete Way and Chris Slade, this
powerhouse trio rocks the blues.
Only a moron would dismiss an album that
pools the pedigree of Robin George (ex-Thin Lizzy), Chris Slade
(ex-AC/DC) and Pete Way (ex-Ozzy). The three warhorses of Damage Control
stare defiantly from Raw’s back cover with snarls and sunglasses.
Needless to say these guys can all play- George’s beefy, British
sounding guitar, in particular would thrill even if he was playing Three
British Rock Supergroup, Damage Control produces an album of bluesy hard
rock..although at times the sound takes on a surprisingly grungy edge.
three musicians involved are all undoubtedly skilled veterans of the
rock scene and Robin has plenty of nice licks up his sleeve.
Robin George, then a young guitar slinger,
first used for his debut single in 1980 and revived this four-letter
word in the early '90s when, having gained a great experience as a
sidekick for THIN LIZZY's Phil Lynott and URIAH HEEP's David Byron and a
producer, he came up with a band of his own in the company of Nick Tart
on vocals. The group toured intensively recording this album along the
way, but in the times of grunge reign this kind of melodic hard rock,
fashionable half a decade earlier, didn't find a listener, yet now, in
expanded form, it proudly stands its ground.
strong work, the George-Tart co-write "The Language Of Love" boasting a
catchy blues jive and a lot of funk, whereas the titular song is
gospel-tinged and "Oxygen" flows as a soulful ballad. Some songs on the
record had obviously been in place before the band came to be: the
opener, "Dangerous Music", riff-rich and adorned with John Young's
keyboards, originally was the title track for Robin's 1985's album, yet
here it has much more grit - which must have made a live favorite - and
provides the base for the more loose "Don't Come Crying". Still, while
the leader's guitar playing is excellent throughout, tracks like "Losing
You" are strictly of their era and today sound dated; at the same time,
"Let It Burn" and "Rush" rage very contemporarily.
LIFE's life wasn't long - "The End Of The Line" bids farewell on an
exquisite acoustic passage - but with George still active and Tart
fronting DIAMOND HEAD, "Cocoon" has both historic value and emotional
zip to be viable in this day and age.
With an album entitled Cocoon
we might have expected the
project to make their first release on the
"Oh no!" groan
plebs, stage left,
"the old scribe's CD reviews are prompting
Robin George, the guitarist and driving force behind this
project, has produced or remixed many of the Angel Air releases and
notably played on the Damage Control supergroup project. A lifestyle
more workaholic than rock and roll seems to have overcome middle aged
rockers as their greater experience and increased skill makes possible
those ideas they may have carried half-formed for years. naturally the
psychological aesthetics of the middle aged
writers and performers are more likely to strike a chord with middle
aged listeners like your old scribe. This is good news for such
performers as we're a disc buying public not a file sharing public and
we tend to demand the higher quality that journeyman honed skill
creates. Another winner is Angel Air Music who are a small independent
record company not a multinational entertainment conglomerate who would
be more interested in the reality show quick buck.
In addition to being a skilled producer Robin is a versatile
first call guitarist who seems to be able to produce any style and any
tone at will. This is what has kept him earning and perhaps what has
kept him safely away from becoming public property; guitarists with a
one-trick sound often become more famous with the record buying public
who recognise the style as a brand and dislike anything new or
different. A public whose loyalty to those types of players is not
unconditional; such superstar fan loyalty is 100% dependant on the
artist sticking to familiar product, even to the extent of shouting
'Judas' in one famous Manchester Free Trade Hall
incident incident suggesting religious mania seizing those who demand
the same old stuff from performers. Robin George doesn't offer that at
all; in 1988 I had the same reaction to Jeff Healey the first time I saw
him perform (at Nottingham's Rock City) that he was too versatile to
become a guitar hero and was more a music lover's musician than the
potential object of a musical personality cult. The chameleons of sound,
who can match their playing to any material sound fresh every tune but
can't be predictable enough to inspire mindless worship. This rambling
preamble is to prepare you not to expect the same as
Damage Control or Robin's work with
(hence nor of Uriah Heap), so what should audiophiles expect of this new
Robin plays safe with the opener by using
Dangerous Music, title track of his '85 album and
possibly the least challenging track on this album, described as "a
typical cheesy intro" by my 15 year old son. The second track guitar
sounds like so like Free we
have to ask what kind of deal Robin struck at the crossroads... and if
Robin George has much of the deceased Koss about him, singer Nick tart
is scarily comparable to the probably still alive Robert Plant,
emphasised by Robin's production which does at time resort to
emphasising this resemblance.
"This is a REAL STEREO website"
challenge plebs, stage left,
"Track by track obsessions are surely the province of
Music Nerds and their ilk."
There are tracks equalling the best of Red hot Chilli Peppers
(comment by 17 year old son) or Alice Cooper (ditto), but it's not that
he's too generic; the opposite is true, Robin George is almost not
generic enough (the 17 year old's view again). This is an album without
Cocoon lacks a consistent identity
(perhaps your old scribe was brought up on too many concept albums) it
also lacks fillers. Despite the handy remote control there's no
temptation to skip.
This CD holds the listener's attention with consistent
musicianship and sound quality until the closing track; perhaps too much
compression on individual instruments for audiophile tastes, overall
compression is much less than typical these days. The final
The End of the Line
track is well cranked up, relying on production skill for
dynamic shading, and succeeding.
Cocoon is immaculate and I'm beginning
to suspect Robin George has OCD in the control room, an occasional
mistake might roughen the texture like Viktor Schlovsky's Ostranene.
The moniker LIFE was first used in 1980, when guitarist,
vocalist and song writer ROBIN GEORGE released a single on a small
label. Back then the band consisted of the likes of Robin (of cause),
Mark Stanway (Later of MAGNUM fame) and Dave Holland (ex TRAPEEZE, later
JUDAS PRIEST). Robin himself had served time in bands with Roy Wood and
David Byron, before going solo with “Dangerous Music”. He was also part
of a very late incarnation of THIN LIZZY. Robin has played with and
produced with a number of famed musicians without really getting into
the spotlight himself. In 1992 Robin formed a band with Nick Tart, later
of DIAMOND HEAD, bassist Chris Cliff and keyboard player John Young.
Today Robin is involved in bands/projects like DAMAGE LIMITATION and THE
LOVEPOWER. But back to 1992, and the first real official release of
LIFE, I hope there is still life in the project.
First out is “Dangerous Music”, and it works nicely in true British
fashion from the first chord on. They place themselves in a genre of
rock, 80´s and hard rock without becoming AOR. Apart from that “The
American Way” is gentle, with a penchant for JOE LYNN TURNER. The bluesy
and somewhat crawling style is back again in the title track. Too bad
that very track feels less inspired than a lot of others on the album.
“Freeride” echoes more of the 60´6/70´s than of the nineties, but is
part o a kind of core of the album, a core of thirty years of Brit rock.
The lighter ballad “Oxygen” would no doubt have brought in millions of $
for a hair metal band back in the late eighties. But now it has been
overlooked in spite of velvety vocals from Nick, and a heartbroken
guitar courtesy of Robin. I remember Robin as a younger talent with
old-fashioned style, and “What Goes Around Comes Around” confirms my
memories. It sounds way older than the date of this album. The album is
filled to the brim with good times rock on one hand, and heart-felt
relation problems on the other, as in “Losing You”. The blues in songs
like “I Believed in You” was probably an obstacle to get a record
contract in 1992, the album was too cheerful for its day, plus that GARY
MOORE had sort of trademarked the blues at the time. Another issue is
that the gems are too scarce. There are “Dangerous Music” (of cause),
“Oxygen and few more but they are among the bonus tracks (“Let It Burn”
and “The End of the Line”). The latter is a really stylish closer
||When Robin was eight he became
very attached to a plastic BEATLES guitar, at 14 he joined a band and at
16 he turned professional. Soon he started his own band LIFE, and during
his career he has played with the likes of ROBERT PLANT, PHIL LYNOTT,
DAVID BYRON, GLENN HUGHES, JOHN WETTON and Mark Stanway of MAGNUM. Not
bad for a lad from Wolverhampton! “Dangerous Music” was originally
released on Bronze Records in 1985, and “Heartline” was chosen to be a
single. But things went sour when the company folded, and a planned
second album went missing in the aftermath. This was only one of many
set-backs that have befallen on this
talented musician. How good is “Dangerous Music” 25 years after?
Heartline” opens this remastered edition. There is something of hit pop
about it, plucky keyboards and background vocals was a sure bet 25 years
ago. There are plenty of interesting musicians contributing; Pino
Palladino and PHLI LYNOTT share bass duties, Kex Gorham (ex. MAGNUM) and
Dave Holland (ex. JUDAS PRIEST) share the drumming and Mark Stanway
contributed keyboards. “Spy” is pop rock with a hit refrain that sticks
like superglue. Robin´s guitar still rocks no matter the amount of pop
refrains that has been applied. The thing I have problems with is when
the vocals are too high-pitched, e.g. “Stolen From My Heart”. The best
moments are Robin´s guitar in keyboard-laden songs like “Shout”. There
was no shortage of winning refrains. Robin has always mixed his
contemporaries with his personal older influences; “Hit List” does not
sound like a track from the eighties. The compulsory ballad takes a
while, but “Don´t Turn Away” encourages slow dancing with full body
contact without being overly sentimental. It feels sincere all in all.
The poppy “Space Kadett” closes the original album, a true excess in
Brit 80´s. The bonus tracks are three songs live at The Tommy Vance
Show; “Heartline”, “Spy” and “No News Is good News”, plus Robin´s own
mixes of “Heartline” and “Don´t Turn Away”. Live they sound less 80´s
neon-coloured plastic and more rock, as is often the case of melodic
hard rock from that era. Robin´s delightful mix provides new lease to
the ballad, while “Heartline” moves up the rock ladder. This makes it
altogether five extra reasons to purchase this excellent album. I
wouldn´t want to be without this splendid piece of British rock history!
The secret weapon of British guitar army shoots with both his
Mostly known as a sidekick to the stars,
it's on his own that
Robin George gets a real kick out of the music he plays; it's
not vanity, though, it's the fact that the guitarist's own voice - not
pretentious but pleasant vocals - doesn't distract from his instrument.
Here's the whole package, then, on these two discs, with 10 years
between them, the studio and concert one.
The earlier, "Dangerous Music Live", has a
period charm but transcends it thanks to the angular riffing and fiery
solos, so the commerical gems "Heartline" and "Showdown" come
counterbalanced with spiky groovers such as "Spy", which Robin would
re-cut two decades later with his new band, DAMAGE CONTROL, that picked
up where DANGEROUS MUSIC left off with this set. It rocks hard, bonus
tracks underlining the power of "No News Is Good News", where the rhythm
section, RENAISSANCE's Jon Camp and MAGNUM's Ken Gorin, propel the main
man's axe to rage wildly together in "History", with the title track and
"Go Down Fighting" packing the best punch.
"Crying Diamonds" is much more mature work,
infused with a sense of tragedy from losing two friends: URIAH HEEP's
David Byron, the guitarist's partner in shaping up the muscular bluesy
funk of "Learn The Dance", and Phil Lynott who George co-wrote the
titular Beatlesque song with and whose "King's Call" he re-imagined
acoustically to make it a valediction to the THIN LIZZY man. But the
memorable chorus of "Face To Face" bubbles with vitality, while
"Cocoon", the soulful would-be axis of Robin's next band's album, sees
the master foray into the Brian May harmonic solo territory. Unlike many
other guitarists who made their names in the '80s, Robin George, also
known as a skilful producer, never overplays, and his work is tasty on
each of the 14 tracks, plus four additional cuts including a couple
recorded in his own time by Robert Plant; yet there's no classic rock
slant to the record, what with the alternative edge of "Whatever Goes
Around Comes Around" that presages the due recognition its author is
getting now. A little classic.
DMME.NET - CLASSIC ROCK AND BEYOND
The David Byron Band
This is enjoyable rock; great vocals, great guitar and good keys
feature…A little slice of history.
Classic Rock Society Magazine
David Byron Band
- Lost and Found
Most of us only know
David Byron as
the lead vocalist in the 1970s progressive rock band
that is most certainly what he is universally remembered for. David's
high range wailing was one of the trademarks of the Uriah Heep
sound...along with the ultra-big keyboard sounds of
After several years of major success with Heep, apparently Byron and
Hensley started having interpersonal problems...and David ended up
leaving the band. Sadly, in 1985 he ended up dying from what were
apparently complications related with alcohol consumption.
Lost and Found
sheds light on Byron's post-Heep music. The double disc set features
material recorded from 1980 to 1982 with
The tracks on this album are much more like direct shots of rock and
blues than what was offered by Uriah Heep. This is an interesting
snapshot showing what
could've been if David
had survived. In addition to studio tracks, the second CD also includes
eight cuts recorded live in Liverpool in 1980.
Baby Sue Rock Reviews
Boasts great guitar lines from Robin George
and might be today regarded as a minor classic if only it had been
released at the time. An interesting release I certainly enjoyed
David Byron Band – Lost And Found
- Angel Air
The late David
Byron deserved a better lot in life, but like too many others before him
he died of a lifestyle; succumbing to his battle with
alcoholism in 1985 only a month after his thirty eighth birthday. Byron
of course made his mark as the charismatic front man for Uriah Heep who
between 1969 and 1976 churned out ten albums which included such
classics as Demons & Wizards and The Magician’s Birthday. However by
1976 his problems had escalated to the point where Heep were forced to
sack him. Without the security of Heep, and more importantly without a
strong songwriting partner like Ken Hensley or Mick Box, Byron’s various
post-Heep projects and solo career never really got off the ground.
Lost And Found is double CD re-release from
Angel Air Records that gathers together David’s demo recordings,
rehearsals, and portions of a live show recorded in Liverpool in 1980.
Disc one concentrates on original recordings from 1982 and features the
young baby faced guitarist Robin George trying his best to rev up what
unfortunately amounts to a bunch of tepid sounding rockers, although
Byron does turn in a very poignant vocal on the final track “One Minute
More”. The second disc only fairs slightly better, as it begins by
taking the listener through a rather ragged sounding London rehearsal
from 1981.The set concludes with the energetic Liverpool show, which
sees the band, which in addition to George also featured sax man Mel
Collins, concentrating primarily on new material from his then yet to be
released On The Rocks album. Songs like “Bad Girl” and “Start Believing”
definitely comes across better in the live setting, and in general the
material here has more of an edge to it than the studio versions. Byron
doesn’t abandon his past entirely either as they offer up a couple of
Heep classics in “July Morning” and “Sweet Lorraine” to keep the punters
happy. Is it enough to make this collection a worthwhile purchase? Well
I’d say if you’re a casual fan then you can probably afford to take a
pass on Lost And Found. If on the other hand you’re a diehard fan of
both Heep and David Byron’s solo work, then you’ll probably want to add
this one to your collection, even though it definitely feels like it’s
aimed at the completist.
Unearthed from the personal archives of
guitarist Robin George, Lost and Found
covers the era of the David Byron Band from the early 80's and is issued
as an expansive two disc set via Angel Air. Disc One offers the bands
demos from 1982 for an album that never ultimately saw the light of day;
the charismatic Byron was clearly still singing well even at this point
in his career and in Robin George he had found an ideal guitarist to
give the material a more contemporary edge. George contributes some
smooth blues based riffs and "Bad Girl" and "Fool For A Pretty Face"
would both have made ideal singles. Disc Two is split between band
rehearsals from 1981 and eight songs from a live show in Liverpool in
1980. The latter is of particular interest as an example of just how
tight the band were at the time and inevitably the Uriah Heep classics
"July Morning" and "Sweet Lorraine" are the highlights and made all the
more memorable by some sprightly sax from Mel Collins.
Detailed sleeve notes and previously unseen
photographs make this a very worthwhile package and one which hold
significant appeal for fans of the golden age of Uriah Heep and provides
an excellent reminder of what a star performer David Byron really was
and how much he is missed.
ROBIN GEORGE – guitarist, producer, band leader
and vocalist. In his various guises he has worked with the likes of
ROBERT PLANT, DAVID BYRON, PHILIP LYNOTT/THIN LIZZY – and WITCHFINDER
GENERAL! Rock and pop are mixed in his rather soft output. Celebrity and
fame have eluded him in spite of many years in the business. I am rather
schizophrenic about him myself. Robin has a fantastic guitar sound, a
fine and easily digested voice – but also a penchant for pop.
“Crying Diamonds” opens with “Learn the Dance”, which was co-written
with DAVID BYRON. The album breathes gentle classic rock, not least in
the contagious “Face to Face”, a song that BON JOVI would have squeezed
a lot of $ from. To me, a typical ROBIN GEORGE song is like “Flying”.
It´s well arranged, has a good refrain, neat guitar work, a fine chorus,
but it is also a bit thin of muscle and soft. The title track off LIFE`S
“Cocoon” also gets an overhaul, with a result that reminds me of THE
BEATLES. “Haunted” was co-written with Daniel Boone (alias PETER GREEN),
and GLENN HUGHES has covered it. You can tell that Robin´s influences
range from PETER GREEN, JOHNNY WINTER, ERIC CLAPTON etc. Most of the
songs have a ring of earlier decades. Robin´s era with PHIL LYNOTT is
hailed with the title track (which was co-written with Phil) and Phil´s
ELVIS tribute “King´s Call”. They are not ordinary rocker´s but a title
track inspired by THE BEATLES and an emotional ballad. These two types
of songs suit Robin best, the rock part is best represented by the solo
of the title track, and mostly there. Another typical Robin track is the
bluesy “Yesterday´s News”. The mix of soft rock, blues and an excellent
arrangement is easily recognized. There are four bonus tracks; “Chance
of a Lifetime” was co-written with ex. URIAH HEEP man Pete Goalby and
oozes of the eighties. “Machine” and “Red for Danger” are quite
straightforward pop, but were covered by ROBERT PLANT.
Live in 85´ was Robin with a totally different band; guitarist Huey
Lucas, who later on played with Adrian Smith in UNTOUCHABLES, bassist
John Camp (RENAISSANCE), keyboard player Alan Nelson (who played with
the Troy brothers in STRATUS), and drummer Kex Gorin (ex. MAGNUM). It is
decisively more rocking with the opening pair of “Showdown” and “Shoot
on Sight”. But “Spy” was a sign of things to come as it is disguised
pop. The eighties at its best is displayed in “In the Night”, complete
with a keyboard frame. There are quite a few similarities with MAGNUM
actually, but without copying, as the guitars are strictly THIN LIZZY.
“History” follows the pattern; the opening sequence was probably brought
in by Kex as it has a very distinct MAGNUM touch. Towards the end the
hits pile up; “Hitlist”, “Heartline”, “Dangerous Music” and “Go Down
Fighting”. I would have been in a good mood that night too! Four bonus
tracks here also, recorded either at Tommy Vance´s Friday Rock Show or
by the BBC at the Paris Theatre. They might not feel as personal and
sweaty as the fist twelve tracks, but the sound quality is better.
All in all Robin´s guitar is ubiquitous. He sings softly and has gone
softer/into pop more and more over the years. I am almost totally
convinced that this will become my personal favourite style as the years
Wow, what a line up this is! On Damage Control's second album we
have guitar hero
UFO & Waysted bass legend
Pete Way; and former
Uriah Heep, AC/DC, Asia, Manfred Mann’s
Earth Band, and The Firm drummer
Together they form a self confessed "unholy trinity" brought to life by
the need to whip up some of the best, full on, "in your face",
uncomplicated rock I have heard in many a misspent night.
Putting their album Raw into
your CD player is like lighting the blue touch paper and not having the
sense to retreat back to a safe distance. This is everything the album
title suggests with Damage Control living up to their promise of serving
up some “cruel, hard, and brutal”, yet “fun” rock.
The pedigree is self evident and their instinctive understanding gels
like some dangerous concoction. It smokes, it fizzes, it smolders and
it’s in danger of setting the place alight. It’s gritty, it’s raunchy,
and it’s downright dirty. It’s full of sleazy riffs. It’s
and it’s right up my street!
Okay, let’s talk about that pedigree. In 1985 Robin George released an
excellent solo album called Dangerous Music.
It fulfilled much of that potential that would see him working with the
Phil Lynott, and John Wetton. He even recorded separate projects with
Glenn Hughes and Robert Plant both of which were destined to remain
unreleased for many years.
Robin’s career also saw the release of the superb
Rock Of Ageists
album and a growing reputation as a producer working with Diamond Head,
Witchfinder General, and (here’s the connection)
bass player Pete Way’s band Waysted.
Wayward Way was, and is once again, the mainstay bassist in UFO the band
he left to form Fastway with ex Motorhead guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke.
Then came a spell with Ozzy Osbourne before he finally reunited with
This isn’t Damage Control’s first album. In 2006 they released their
self-titled debut which featured the
own Spike on vocals. Now with Raw they set about recording something
that “did not have a single effect on the whole album, no echo, no
reverbs, no aural embellishments whatsoever”.
So Raw was born. It hits all
the targets with a relentless stomp of quality British hard rock riffs
that has the vocals covered this time by Robin and Pete. This pairing
comes together brilliantly on “Bitchin’ Blues” which sees Robin take the
chorus from Pete’s verses.
“Slaughtered” comes with a large slice of country blues. It's sung by
Robin and includes the great line, “I like a lot of whiskey with my
Meanwhile, the track “Damage Control” has one of those aforementioned
down and dirty riffs. The sleazy blues of “Victim”, leads nicely into
the sultry smolder that is “Seven Golden Daffodils”.
Other highlights include the seductive opener “Raw”, the infectious
pairing of “Alice” and “Savage Song.” The grinding “One Step Closer”
just demands to be replayed time and again. “Selfish” teases us down, as
does the excellent stand out “Redundant”, both of which radiate all the
raw quality that you could ever want.
This band is a three headed monster that seizes you by the throat and
throttles you into submission. With a line-up like this, and the
understanding they have, Raw
just cannot fail to produce something attention grabbing.
Jeff Perkins EuroRock
David Byron Band: On The Rocks
There's a certain irony in naming an album On The
Rocks whose star was in the depths of alcoholism
during its making and reliant on the organisational capabilities of
friend, collaborator and workaholic, Robin George. Written over a year
in David Byron's studio at his Surrey mansion, this album was a
fraternal labour with contributions from musicians known to the
songwriting pair, eventually forming the David Byron Band as heard here
and the later '83 release
Lost and Found.
Bad Girl got its first airing among the
8 tracks of the original vinyl On The Rocks,
recorded between two studios in England and Scotland and the extra 3 on
this CD from the later of those sessions with drummer Stevie Bray
replacing John Shearer. Once again Robin George has given it some 21st
century polish at his Spanish
Damage Control Music Studios.
Byron's solo journey, post Uriah Heap,
starts here but only reaches Lost And Found
before Byron's untimely death in '85.
Sound quality avoids the excess polish of most 80s rock
productions. There's an odd muted quality to the sound of Byron's voice
on the opener
Rebecca, however his voice still
demonstrates its power, beginning to wane on his later recordings. The
dynamics are all there in
Bad Girl, a classic subtle rock build up
to vocal and guitar (Robin George again) fireworks. There's enough 70s
rock style on the whole album to keep anyone happy who enjoyed Bob Ezrin
productions (70s Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss etc).
The surprise that makes this a keeper is the funky feel that
keeps the pace way upbeat of heavy 80s ponderosity, although the most
Never Say Die is in the wrong place and
doesn't fit. The following track has enough diversity of musical
influence combined with adolescent lyrics to stand up with any of the
rock greats and this is the perfect album for tennis racket air
Formed in 2006,
Damage Control were put together by three veterans of the UK Hard Rock
scene, namely vocalist / guitarist Robin George (solo artist, Phil
Lynott, David Byron, Magnum), bassist Pete Way (UFO, Waysted) and
drummer Chris Slade (Asia, AC/DC, Uriah Heep). Raw
marked the trio's debut album and now receives a re-release via
specialist label Angel Air, whose catalogue boasts a treasure trove of
long forgotten gems. The songs here are slick and melodic with their
roots heavily in the blues rock scene of the 70's where all three first
plied their trade. George delivers some polished solos and riffs and his
earthy vocal delivery perfectly suits the vibe with Way and Slade laying
down a solid groove and they strike a good balance between up-tempo
rockers, ballads and moody blues tunes of which "One Step Closer"
provides a real highlight.
A second album from Damage Control remains a
possibility albeit Pete Way's recent health problems may prevent this
from happening in the near future. As it is we are left with this debut
effort to enjoy a solid blues-based hard rock album from these
illustrious musicians. This was an album that was released too little
fanfare when it first appeared but is worthy of re-appreciation and the
three really gel to give a tantalising glimpse of the potential therein.
The last hurray from the former URIAH HEEP
front man disproves the "spent force" myth in fine style.
Rock music and drink go hand in hand
but in the case of David Byron they went too far. Thrown out of the band
he threw his lot with in 1969, the singer didn't succeed solo and with a
group he created with
ROUGH DIAMOND. Maybe it was because Byron's pipes needed a special
composer, someone like
to shape up the songs where David could deliver in his flamboyant style.
And he found such foil in another guitarist, the young
also a skilful producer.
This capacity of George helped him solidify
the warbler's performance for the NWBHM era and filled their output with
big infectious riffs and choruses which zip the skin from the boogie of
"Rebecca", scratch it deliciously with the groovily romantic "Piece Of
My Love", the most HEEP-ey track on offer, and release the catch only
with the silky closer, "Little By Little". Little by little is the way
this album works: it swishes superficially past you on the first spin
and makes your feet tap relentlessly on the third one, Mel Collins' sax
easing the slide in and out with soul inflections. But David's voice has
it all too in the Philly funk of "Start Believing" and the "Bad Girl"
blues where Robin lays down the Chicago groove. Then, there's the raging
"How Do You Sleep?" that switches between the grit and caress and shows
the full power of the band, as does "Safety In Numbers", one of the
bonus cuts recorded for the second album. It never materialized, though:
on the rocks in all senses of the expression, in a few years, David
Byron was dead and gone.
Damage Control is a UK based band formed in 2006,
consisting of veteran drummer Chris Slade (Manfred Mann's Earth Band,
Asia, AC/DC, The Firm, Uriah Heep, + quite a few others), veteran bass
player Pete Way (Ufo, Waysted), English AOR musician Robin George and
former Quireboys vocalist Spike. They released their debut album in
2007, and since then vocalist Spike has left the band, and they have
decided to continue as a trio with Way and George taking over vocals.
"Raw" is basically a remake of their self-titled debut album, with 10
tracks from that one and two new compositions recorded with the band as
Musically we're talking blues influenced rock on this release. The album
kicks off with a trio of hard rock tunes with noticeable blues
influences, and then steadily evolves towards a more purified blues rock
style until the album ends with the gritty, slide guitar dominated tune
"Bitching Blues". People with more experience of the genre than me can
probably point to influences left and right here, personally I only
identified one; ZZ Top as they sounded in the early 70's. Not an all
tunes, but three tunes in particular would not have been out of place on
an album by Texas' finest; namely "Damage Control", "One Step Closer"
and the aforementioned "Bitching Blues".
The opening hard rock tunes do set this release apart from others in the
blues rock field to some extent, but more importantly the guitar sound
of Robin George; highly distorted and fuzzy, still slick, distinct and
very melodic, creates a trademark sound for this band. Slade is an
experienced drummer, and utilizes his skill and experience cleverly here
to create driving and interesting rhythms as the backbone for these
tunes, and Pete Way does a swell job here too.
The songs as such are a tad varied in quality as I hear them though.
Especially the more heavily blues influenced tracks to become a tad
anonymous. It takes great skill to make something sounding interesting
in a style that has been explored for so many years by so vast amounts
of artists, and although never bad these many tunes doesn't shine very
brightly either, with "Seven Golden Daffodils" and "Bitching Blues"
"Alice" is my top pick from this release though, a slick tune with nice
grooves and a very catchy chorus. Opening tune "Raw" and "Savage Song"
are other strong tunes worth checking out.
Fans of blues based hard rock and blues rock will probably love this
release, and I feel quite safe in recommending this release to fans of
these types of music.
Rating: 7,5 (out of 10) Reviewer: Olav Björnsen copyright
'Raw' Angel Air (2009)
This is a total reworking of an album released back in 2007 which
featured Spike of the Quireboys on vocals. For this album the musicians
remain with Robin George and UFO/Waysted's Pete Way handling the vocals
and Chris Slade (Uriah Heep/Asia/AC/DC) on drums. The classic power trio
The production is as the album title suggests raw and live sounding.
Interesting idea to record the same album in two different styles and
having enjoyed both, this one just pips it for me as Spike's vocals
didn't always seem to fit well with the music. Highlights? The awesome
slide blues playing on 'Bitchin' Blues' and for more hard rocking blues
try the title track. 'Seven Golden Daffodils' is the single on the album
lending itself to airplay. 'Spy' from Robin George's excellent solo
album 'Heartline' gets a radical makeover as well, dropping the acoustic
feel for a rawer sound. Not a song I took to staright away as I enjoyed
the original so much but given a few plays it clicks with the listener.
This has been available through Robin George's website but full marks to
Angel Air for giving it a full release. High quality blues rock and no
mistake. With any luck this will lead to some live shows and a second
album. **** Jason Ritchie
News & Reviews Editor Get Ready To Rock!