Angel Air 2015
Diamonds that time forgot: dusted-off dainty from Wolverhampton’s six-string-slinger.
With his pop melodies and heavy bent, Robin George was a perfect guitar hero for the ’80s, one that the likes of Robert Plant, another Midlands lad, kept in high esteem. But not so high, perhaps, as Robin’s own management who, inspired by the success of his 1985’s single “Heartline,” wanted too substantial an advance for the follow-up to its parent album, "Dangerous Music". Bronze Records, who George had been signed to, went bankrupt, and other labels didn’t want to bankroll the artist’s sophomore effort, despite the strength of the material and a couple of cuts produced by Gus Dudgeon. Still, demos as they are, these 17 tracks retain their potential even after almost three decades of shelf life.
Some of them would be familiar to George’s fanbase – he fashioned a new take of the skank-tinctured “American Way” for 2004’s “Bluesongs” and the romantic “Mona Lisa Smile” for the "LovePower And Peace" project, while the aforementioned ZEP singer laid down the soft funk of “Red For Danger” – yet there’s more vibrancy to the original versions. More so, there’s a hint at a concept running to the latter piece from the catchy opener “Dangerous Music” which shoots its threat with a dance groove. The rhythm spills over into the rock ‘n’ roll riffing of “Streetwise” whereas the D-word pops up again further down the line in “Don’t Come Crying” that sounds a tad dated – albeit not as much as “Machine” – until it comes to the guitar roar. And when it comes to pop agenda, nothing on this album beats the choruses of “Johnny” or “Tragedy” with their anthemic, asking for brass, six-string orchestra.
Had weaker songs been left over, the stronger ones would have made a great album back in the day. They still can, if Robin George decides to bring the best moments up to today’s standards and get it all together once and for ever.