“Uncle G” Remembers…UK (the band) (2013 Column)

07 March 2013 (04:20 PM) – Classic Rock Radio (UK) Facebook Page

Cruise To The Edge Series: # 08
Master of Ceremonies: Jon Kirkman

Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews
Spotlight: UK – Danger Money (1979)

By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
GaryBrown@garyunclegbrownarchives.com

I grew up a progressive music rock fan. For me, that experience provided lots of positives. I got to know some exceptional musicians over the years. This version of the band UK contained three of them; Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, and Terry Bozzio. Except for Jobson, I got to see the other two perform in live settings. They are simply outstanding at what they do.

UK’s Danger Money is an album that came out in the year, 1979. Strike one, you’re out. Just a few years before a group containing one of these very same UK members, struck gold; Asia. They changed the formula; no more 3-minute guitar solos. Instead, it was only moments at a time, in which the spotlight shined just on an individual. Everyone being a team player, made the grade. But what happened to the progressive rock band, UK? Point blank the two studio albums they put out made them one of the best prog bands in the later part of the 1970s. Yet they remained a best-kept secret. Lots of things happened. One reason was that it was all of the sudden in fashion to mock and ridicule those rock musicians who processed in many cases, way more talent than they did. The average punk band guitarist was lucky if they could tune their own guitar, yet here they were catching headlines calling established bands and musicians; “dinosaurs”. Took a while for things to improve again.

For those who missed UK’s Danger Money, let me tell you a few things about it. Enough so you’ll at least play with the notion of capturing it to place in your own CD collection.

Think of yet another progressive rock band; Emerson, Lake & Palmer. This is them on steroids. Six songs coming in at a tad over forty-two minutes. Starts off with a minute and forty seconds of instrumental music. A wall of sound; keyboards, drums, and a bass that you can feel if playing on a real stereo. A solid tempo. Keyboard leading the way, but in a more goth almost way. Then comes John singing; “Danger Money”. One of his best performances on any of the studio material he’s done, and that’s saying a lot. Jobson’s keyboard work can’t be any cooler. He’s in the ranks of Keith Emerson, Larry Fast, or Patrick Moraz. And Terry Bozzio is one of the most solid drummers in rock music and has been since his days with Frank Zappa. Danger Money (the title track) is eight minutes of prog heaven. The same thing could be said for the entire production.

As previously reported, I have seen John Wetton perform the second track of the album; Rendezvous 6:02. His solo act. Had Billy Liesegang on guitar. Back in ’97. For a mellow tune, it’s really catchy. A nice combination of vocal and modern rock instruments.

The Only Thing She Needs” is where these guys really rock out. I love the up-tempo material. That explains why I love this album as much as I do. Much of it is get-up-and-go tunes. Have I mentioned Eddie Jobson can play with precision, the violin? Add that in with the mix; holy shit. Unique enough to catch your attention, that’s fer sure. Next comes instrumental rock madness. This is a beat you can seriously screw too. For those who indulge in such activities still.

The next song keeps the beat going; Caesar’s Palace Blues. A favorite right off the bat for me. Everyone’s work stands out; Eddie on the violin…I so would dig him doing this in concert. Bozzio’s keeping a pounding pace. Wetton’s bass work is some of his hardest rock-sounding.

I imagine the next song, Nothing To Lose, to be a very radio-friendly sounding song. Very positive; upbeat. Not too progressive to where those with lower IQs could become distracted. Really sounds pre-Asia in a way. Comes in at under four minutes as well.

The album concludes with the very prog-rock sounding; Carrying No Cross. Again, the wall of sound Jobson creates is inescapable. Then a kind of King Crimson groove with Wetton coming in on vocals. Slower paced than what I mostly dug on this album, but good nevertheless. On stage, one needs those quieter moments to catch one’s breath. In the beginning, they achieve that and then another adrenalin rush. Peaks and valleys with sound. Nice rockin’ piano solo. Overall the composition is a solid connection to the rest of Danger Money, and a cool song to close the band’s second studio album with.

I‘ll finish the column by saying that I truly enjoyed re-visiting this album today. If it’s been a while, or maybe you missed out until now, I recommend giving it a spin. Several for that fact. Also and I don’t mention it much, but the lyrics to these songs are actually pretty good poetry. The album has a good overall sound to it as well. Produced well.

Cruise To The Edge

One of the most unique things about the entertainment on this particular cruise is that the band UK will be playing. Welcome back, guys!!! In the last few years some activity out of Eddie Jobson, and his performing UK music, in a live setting. Then it happened; in 2012 with Terry Bonizo and John Wetton again. Any live date by UK is special, let alone one out on the high seas. The folks on this cruise are going to be in for a real treat, for yours truly predicts UK STEALS the show.

Let’s not forget — easy enough to with all this great music being offered — an eight-day cruise to beautiful destinations; Georgetown, Grand Cayman/Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Leaving less than one month from now. Departing from Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades, Florida. All lovely destinations. Defined as a once in a lifetime experience, because it will be. Limited seating is available. This is it…grab a spot while you can. The cruise people will be talking about for years to come, again…takes off in less than a month.

Helpful Web-Links:

Cruise To The Edge:
www.cruisetotheedge.com

Eddie Jobson Fan Community Facebook Page:
www.facebook.com/EJ.UK.fanpage

John Wetton Official Website:
www.johnwetton.co.uk

Terry Bozzio Official Facebook Page:
www.terrybozzio.com

Bonus – From the Gary “Uncle G” Brown Classic Rock Autograph Collection – Eddie Jobson and John Wetton signatures (thanks to Jon Kirkman for securing them for me)

End of Story

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