STREETHEART – Dancing With Danger [Rock Candy remaster]
The other title from Canadian melodic rockers STREETHEART remastered by Rock Candy Records is their more mainstream LP “Dancing With Danger“, regarded by many as one of the best rocking albums produced by a Canuck band during the first half of the ’80s.
Revered as a Canadian musical institution, this five man melodic rock band carved out a reputation second to none during the early ’80s maple leaf music scene. Brandishing a sound that fused gritty hard rock with lashings of melody, they crafted instantly memorable songs and were fronted by one of Canada’s most lauded and capable vocalists in Kenny Shields.
Despite notching up a string of gold and platinum selling albums in Canada they were virtually unheard outside their homeland… something that needed to be seriously addressed.
“Dancing With Danger” was Streetheart’s final studio album, recorded with renowned American producer Spencer Proffer (Quiet Riot, Kick Axe, WASP) in Los Angeles, done around the same time he was working with his commercial breakthrough with Quiet Riot.
It was a record that was supposed to focus on breaking into the lucrative US market by employing a smoother sound, tighter arrangements and more accessible melodies.
The band had already been forced to replace guitarist John Hannah with Jeff Neill due to illness and now it was felt that drummer Herb Ego wasn’t a big enough hitter for the bombastic style they were heading in, with the band picking up Denny Carmassi’s brother Billy at the end of his touring stint in Aldo Nova’s band as his replacement.
With Proffer’s powerful approach there’s no doubt that “Dancing With Danger” is Streetheart’s best produced and most mainstream album. Proffer’s treatment of drums and bass giving the title track, the pacy jumpin’ AOR of ‘You’re Not The Only One’ and the exuberant ‘Too Hot To Stop’ an almighty kick, and his sense of space benefiting Gutheil’s quirky synth work, while Jeff Neill played his ass off with sizzling guitars riffs and solos.
Then we have the ultra melodic ‘Comin’ True’ (where they sound as Autograph) and the early ’80s sounding ‘Midnight Love’, very melodic and FM-radio ready.
A very balanced album, “Dancing With Danger” has moments of extreme subtlety in the ballad ‘Don’t Let Her Leave You’ and the hypnotic closer ‘Have It Your Way’, but in parts rocks harder than they ever did.
Originally released by Boardwalk Records, a label formed by former Casablanca Records owner Neil Bogart and home to Joan Jett and Night Ranger amongst others, the album sadly underachieved not because of its quality but primarily due to the untimely death of Bogart and the subsequent winding down of the label.
In Canada the album fared well, achieving Gold status, housing a number of well played radio-singles including the title track which was later covered by former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley on his ‘Second Sighting’ album.
For more than twenty-five years, Streetheart’s “Dancing With Danger” was one of the more sought after melodic hard rock records from the ’80s.
This is the first official release on CD remastered from the original tapes by Rock Candy with great results. Dave Reynolds’ sleeve essay on the 16-page booklet are an interesting read about the history of the album, and Jon Astley did a great job behind the desk.
Except the two albums recently remastered by Rock Candy (and a compilation) none of the other Streetheart records have been officially released on CD (all available are bootlegs). There’s plenty of scope for additional re-issues by this criminally overlooked band.
“Dancing With Danger” is a great slice of Canadian & American Melodic Hard Rock / AOR with a typically ’80s polished sound.
01 – Dancing With Danger
02 – Comin’ True
03 – You’re Not The Only One
04 – Don’t Let Her Leave You
05 – Midnight Love
06 – Underground
07 – Too Hot To Stop
08 – Night Writer
09 – Leave Me Alone
10 – Have It Your Way
Kenny Shields – lead vocals
Daryl Gutheil – keyboards, backing vocals
Spider (Ken Sinnaeve) – bass, backing vocals
Jeff Neill – guitars
Billy Carmassi – drums, percussion
BUY IT !