ALCATRAZZ – Dangerous Games [Deluxe Edition remastered +8]
Continuing with the extensive reissue campaign drawn across Graham Bonnet’s career, Cherry Red / Hear No Evil released as well ALCATRAZZ‘s “Dangerous Games Deluxe Edition“, the band’s third and final studio album (both previous presented here) fully digitally remastered and including a very rare and previously unreleased live recording from Long Island, captured in November 1986 on the Dangerous Games tour.
After achieving worldwide recognition fronting Rainbow in 1980, Graham Bonnet returned to his solo career for 1981’s “Line-Up” (also available on this blog) followed by a very brief stint with The Michael Schenker Group for 1982’s Assault Attack, before forming Alcatrazz in 1983 with Swedish guitar maestro Yngwie J. Malmsteen.
Alcatrazz released a total of three studio albums; No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll in 1983, Disturbing The Peace in 1985 where Malmsteen was replaced by former Frank Zappa alumni Steve Vai before he in turn left to join David Lee Roth, and be replaced by ex-Alice Cooper and Rick Derringer guitarist Danny Johnson for this 1986’s “Dangerous Games”.
Capitol Records wanted Bonnet and Co. to incorporate outside songwriters for what would go on to become “Dangerous Games”, but the band resisted and instead agreed to include, for the first time, a couple of covers.
Therefore the album opens with a good, if unspectacular, version of The Animals “It’s My Life”, while also seeing the band beef up (a little anyway) “Only One Woman”, a UK hit Bonnet had with The Marbles many years before. In truth neither really set the heather on fire, still leaving Johnson with the pressure of providing the bulk of the material.
The title track, which the guitarist wrote single handedly, is undoubtedly a highlight, while his co-writes with Bonnet and keyboard player Jimmy Waldo on “Undercover” and the moody “The Witchwood” don’t let the side down.
Overall, the album moves in a more commercial direction than the two previous, without the flashy guitar pyrotechnics and focused in Johnson’s deeper, bluesier melodic six-string style.
This Deluxe Edition features a very rare and previously unreleased live recording from Long Island, one of the few shows Alcatrazz did before split.
Included are unique, if rough and ready versions of Alcatrazz classics “Island In The Sun” and “God Blessed Video”, as well as Rainbow hits “Since You Been Gone” and “All Night Long”.
If you’ve never heard Alcatrazz before, then start with the also recently reissued Vai infused Disturbing The Peace or the more Rainbow-esque Malmsteen led No Parole From Rock ‘n Roll to really hear what all the fuss was about.
However, “Dangerous Games” is better than many would have you believe, a good melodic hard rock album and does stand the test of time reasonably well.
01 – It’s My Life
02 – Undercover
03 – That Ain’t Nothin’
04 – No Imagination
05 – Ohayo Tokyo
06 – Dangerous Games
07 – Blue Boar
08 – Only One Woman
09 – The Witchwood
10 – Double Man
11 – Night of the Shooting Star
12 – Island in the Sun [Live]
13 – It’s My Life [Live]
14 – Undercover [Live]
15 – God Blessed Video [Live]
16 – Double Man [Live]
17 – Wire and Wood [Live]
18 – Since You Been Gone [Live]
19 – All Night Long [Live]
Bonus Tracks: Live at Long Island, NY, USA, 29th November 1986
Graham Bonnet – lead vocals
Danny Johnson – guitar, backing vocals
Gary Shea – bass
Jan Uvena – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Jimmy Waldo – keyboards, backing vocals
Jay Davis – vocals
Jimmy Haslip – bass
BUY IT !