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DANGER MONEY

UK

Eclectic Prog


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4 stars Not as tight and perfect as its predecessor, this one's still a top-notch prog-rock album. Sadly missed: Allan Holdsworth, who put his stamp on the first album but parted company straight after.

Bill Bruford had gone too, and Bozzio does a decent job here, but it's not the same any more...

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Send comments to pyxxel (BETA) | Report this review (#7545)
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2003 | Review Permalink
Dan Bobrowski
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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I finally bought on CD. I got the original on vinyl when it was first released. I was shocked at the commercial feel to many of the tunes. The lyrics on "Danger Money," with it's 007 theme, are rather hokey and embarrassing. "Ceasar's Palace Blues" shows Bozzio's chops and power. "Carrying no Cross" is keyboard heaven. I would still rate this higher than the first Asia album.

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Send comments to Dan Bobrowski (BETA) | Report this review (#7547)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2003 | Review Permalink
maani
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Founding Moderator
3 stars With Bruford and Holdsworth gone, Jobson and Wetton get a little but self-indulgent. Still, there is some really good stuff here. Rendezvous 6:02 is among Wetton's best ballads, and The Only Thing She Needs is a nice extended mish-mash of prog-rock tricks. Worth having in one's collection.

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#7548)
Posted Tuesday, January 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars Second and final studio album from this short-lived super group, which had already faced one major overhaul by seeing the jazzier members (Bruford and Holdsworth) quit and thus leaving this AOR "dream team" of Wetton and Jobson alone at the helm, having to hire the excellent ex-Zappa drummer into the fold. Coming with an horrible and laughable artwork supposed to illustrate the alum's title, this album has not aged well at all, especially after hearing the duo's next adventures (Tull and Asia) and it is exactly this type of album that had most punk a aficionados cry its hate over AOR-ish "prog"

Right from the opening lines of the opening never-ending (8-mins+) title track, you can feel the false heaviness of the propos, as if they tried to mimic early Mahavishnu crossed with Crimson, the group's credibility is shot by the AOR-ish Asia-like that overstays its welcome by at least four or five minutes. Jobson's keyboard choices are very disputable (been so ever since his Curved Air days), but nowhere is this more evident in this opening track. The following Rendez" Vous At 6:02 doesn't fare much better, feeling like it could sit on Asia's debut album and get lost in the shuffle. I never understood why such a wimpy track got so much attention from fans. The side-closing never-endinf 8-mins Only Thing She Needs' ridiculous title (for such a long track) can't hide the vaccuousness of their music, this kind of track meriting some of Journey or REOS worst (meaning more popular) albums, except that the trio musical abilities easily surpass all of these groups. Bozzio's brilliant and infernal drumming and Jobson's organ playing are somewhat saving this song, but can't convince with such a title looming over it.

To show us how the group's vacuous ideas are ghastly and flat, Ceasar's Palace Blues has Wetton telling us about his Vegas-ian adventures over Jobson's electric violin, which sounds so poor next to Ponty's grandiose achievements during the same late 70's. Both that Blues and its successor Nothing To Lose are about as ridiculous and are leading one's thoughts towards Asia's first few albums. Wetton's terrible AOR vocals are definitely not helping me dispel this thought either, even if the 12-mins closer allow the trio to let steam off, but then again the limited songwriting abilities is evident as are the group's instrumental limitations (they're only a trio, despite being brilliant at their respective tracks), and in this case sounding like ELP (Wetton's voice is closest to Lake as anyone else's), which might needed the song to beef up Love Beach of that same year.

Clearly, Wetton's career never recovered from Crimson' closure. Jobson never being brilliant in the later 70's, even if his tenure with Curved Air was not exactly stellar at a particular point in his career (IMO), being one of prog's most over-rated instrumentalists. If the first self-titled album is still brilliant in place, DM does not have the same "luck". Although you can still hear the worn diamond blade's edge and ancient gem-like instrumental prowess here and there, this album is best avoided unless one actually like Wetton's AOR penchants.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#7549)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars regressive rock in every detail. I wouldn't mind but when you get non-stylish rather poor ideas mixed with an old style production it appears as collection of sensless sounds 'cos everything was said before and UK should rather discover new path of progressive rock.

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Send comments to l-s-d (BETA) | Report this review (#7550)
Posted Friday, March 05, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars UK were always one of those bands that came so close but in the end just didn't finish off. "Danger Money" was an excellent album from UK featuring the bass and vocals of John Wetton, the drumming of Terry Bozzio and the keys and E-bow of Eddie Jobson. Without a question the final track "Carrying No Cross" is one of my favourite prog rock tracks from this era and worth the admission on its own. I always wished the full album was in this vein ! Like all UK output "Danger Money" blends elements of light prog-pop with harder jam-like attitude and interludes. I have always been a fan of Wetton so it is easy for me to love this album. Of course this album also features the track "Rendezvous 6:02" which is one of the more popular UK tracks. Overall a very good album of progressive like charm and offeres some very good musicanship and creative collaboration.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#7528)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars OK here you find such a dangerous presence of one pop hit such as "Nothing to Lose", but the rest is wonderful and deserves a "4 stars and an half" score at least!! Above all I like to point out my enthusiasm for the incredible track "Carrying no Cross", characterized by one of the best solos at the keyboards by Eddie Jobson, the creative and technical drumming by Terry Bozzio and the stunning vocals by John Wetton at his top, before choosing the mainstream music path, traced by the band ASIA. A special mention for the title track , whose mood is in the vein of "Red" by KING CRIMSON and naturally the original "The Only Thing She Needs" enriched with fantastic instrumental excursions.

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#7530)
Posted Sunday, April 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really love this album, even more than the previous one (also excellent).. And the reason is there is no guitar... so Eddie Jobson was plenty of space to showcase his tallent. This record is a serious contender to ELP top records. In all departaments the musicians were equivallent... Jobson was as good as Emerson was. Wetton was so strong and melodic as Lake was, and Bozzio was so energic and inventive as Palmer was. The sum is one of the most interesting and beautiful Prog rock album of all time.. Carrying no Cross, The only thing she needs and last but not least Rendevous... Are AWESOME. Complex melodies, intrincated tempo changes and unusual rithym patterns leads the listener to a very progressive experience! A must have to any Prog rock fan!!

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Send comments to fredfontes (BETA) | Report this review (#7531)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is UK's sophomore studio album. It is still very progressive, and less fusion that the previous one. Jobson's keyboards still have futuristic elements and they are sometimes intense, dramatic & floating; Jobson also uses here an omnipresent vintage organ a la ELP or Triumvirat, so that the overall sound is less modern than on the previous album. There is no more guitarist, and Bill Bruford is replaced by Terry Bozzio on drums. The sound is less crystal clear than on the first album.

The catchy "Rendez vous 6:02" has excellent piano & moog parts. "The only thing she needs" has organ parts sounding a bit like on the Steve Hackett's "Highly strung" album. The refrain on "Nothing to lose" surprisingly has a bit the Asia's style. The epic "Carrying no cross" starts with an impressive electronic effect applied on a piano; the first part of the track has a mellow & futuristic ambience, while the second one contain fast, complex and flamboyant organ & piano parts a la ELP.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#7551)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
jrw899@msn.co
4 stars Worth buying for the song "Carrying No Cross" on its own. One of the best pieces of ELP style music ever created. Jobson's keyboard and violin skills are put to superb use. Indeed it is Jobson who dominates most of the album but never to the extent of blurring the parts of Messrs Bozzio and Wetton.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#7533)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars UK become a three peice and make no secret of their ambition to be the ''new ELP''.Pretty impressive in places although the songs are arguably not as strong as on the debut album.However my personal prefernce is for this.Terry Bozzio is a real heavyweight on the drums and it's great to hear Eddie Jobson weilding the Hammond impressively.4.5 stars.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#7537)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Eddie Jobson invited another former member of Frank Zappa`s band (they played together in that band too), Terry Bozzio, to join U.K. for the recording of their second album. Some songs of this album were played by the first U.K. line-up during their 1978 tour (as some concert recordings show). This "Danger Money" album is a good album, but it begins to show the conflicts between Jobson and Wetton about the musical style for the band:Jobson wanted a more Prog Rock style with long instrumental sections; Wetton started to be more interested in writing short Rock songs, more in the Pop Rock style. So, this album has songs with a mixture of both styles, with "Nothing to Lose" and "Caesar`s Palace Blues" being the most "commercial" songs in this album, but both are good songs. This album was composed and produced by Jobson and Wetton. But Bozzio plays very good in this album, being a very good drummer.The most Progressive Rock songs in this album are:"Danger Money" (with a lot of keyboards) and "Carrying No Cross" (with long solos in the electric violin and in the keyboards by Jobson). "The Only Thing She Needs" has a brief drums and percussion solo by Bozzio."Caesar`s Palace Blues" is a song played with electric violins and without keyboards. I remember that after I bought this album in mid 1980, I saw very few copies which had a different photograph of John Wetton in the back cover (looking in the photo like he was playing his bass guitar). I don`t now why this happened, but I consider the back cover of my copy as the "standard edition", because the majority of the L.P. copies that I saw years later had this back cover (and I think that the CD has it too, but I`m not sure because I don`t have the CD version of this album).

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#7538)
Posted Tuesday, February 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
heavym9@yahoo
4 stars This one was the last album i heard of UK. After listening to night after night and the first album (UK), i thougth this one would be the worst or will be less espectacular. I was wrong. Bill Bruford is one of the best drummers of all times, but terry bozio here really did a great job. Allan Holdsworth is an excellent guitarrist too and made a great, great, great job in the first UKīs album, in this one you donīt really miss him, Jobsonīs arregaments make all the good job for the record. The only thing she needs is a masterpiece, this song worth the album, but the rest wonīt dissapoint you. You should have this one as a prog fan.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#7541)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can't help it, I really like this album/CD. Excellent prog rock, even with the shorter pieces. Sure, it has a slight "pop" sound, but what's wrong with trying to make a little (danger) money with your music? These guys did a great job balancing their art. This album came out in 1979, yet I can listen to it today and enjoy it just as much as the first time. How many albums can you say that about? Not dated at all, and all the string/violin work adds a freshness to the prog rock feel along with the keyboards. Much like Jean Luc Ponty did for jazz fusion, Eddie Jobson does for UK. Bozzio does an admirable job replacing the outstanding Bruford. If you like prog rock, ala ELP, Triumvirat, Nice, King Crimson, etc... get this CD now!

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Send comments to OldSchoolProg (BETA) | Report this review (#7552)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having impressed the remaining prog audience and the most open-minded musical press of the late 70s, the combined forces of symph prog and jazz rock stopped being allies and became mutually incompatible while the band was touring. It was clear then that the most unsatisfied parties - jazz purveyors Holdsworth and Bruford - had to leave, and so they did. That left Jobson and Wetton in charge of determining UK's direction, and that trend was focused on an ELP-ish bombastic symph prog with an incorporated powerful melodic aspect - ELP-ish albeit neither cloning nor ripping off. The trio was completed with the entry of drummer Terry Bozzio, who unfortunately couldn't afford to let his particular magic develop within the band's artistic confines, which had already been determined by Jobson and Wetton as more restrained, in order to wash off any remains of the jazzy grandeur that the estranged alumni had provided for the band's debut album. On the other hand, "Danger Money" turns out to be a more cohesive album, indeed, and anyway, Bozzio can still manage to dispose of some room to display his own percussive skills now and then, appropriately bringing his peculiar sense of energy to the band's overall sound. IMHO, 'Caesar's Palace Blues' and 'Carrying No Cross' stand out as the album's most accomplished gems. The former is a hard rocking tour-de-force, featuring Jobson's most explosive electric violin performance ever: the powerful rhythm anchor provided by Wetton and Bozzio proves crucial in order to sustain an appropriate articulation for the incendiary, electrifying fire that keeps itself constantly burning at white-hot level. The latter is an amazing old-fashioned prog suite that dates back from the days of the "UK" album touring. Performed now by the power trio formation, it successfully conveys a solid variation of motifs and moods with robust fluidity. Both gems are showcases for the trio's ability to interplay masterfully. I find tracks 1-3 less impressive in comparison, but still they are great tracks. 'The Only Thing She Needs' is an up tempo piece that comprises some of the best drumming provided by Bozzio: the way he uses his kit as a vehicle for dialogue with Jobson's keyboard harmonies is awesome, and so are the successive violin and organ solos performed by the latter. Meanwhile, Wetton plays his bass lines as a bridge between his two partners. 'Rendezvous 6.02' is a melancholy ballad that conjures images of a lonely pub before the first light of dawn: the romantic atmosphere is delivered with absolute elegance and the complex rhythm patterns are structured with a deceitful air of simplicity - actually, there's a bossa-nova vibe in it that makes it subtly complex in many passages. Oh,and those eerie synth adornments and ambiences during the interlude are simply delicious. The post-apocalytptic lyrics, which set a portrait f solitude among ghosts, adds to the music's ethereal sadness. The namesake opener is the least impressive to me: it certainly is powerful and catchy - that's undisputed - which makes it an effective opener, but in terms of compositional creativity it turns up to be less satisfactory than the other two aforementioned numbers. Now, let's talk about 'Nothing to Lose'. What can I say? It's a favourite prog guilty pleasure of mine. This prog-pop showcase contains a beautiful violin solo and a clever alternation of 3/4 and 4/4, which makes it quite dynamic; it also comprises an inventive series of keyboard orchestrations that makes the song rise above the 'intended single' status. But those silly lyrics and those corny backing harmonies. my God, how they ruin what could have been just a nice prog tune, taking it dangerously closer to ABBA-meets-The Wings territory, instead. What was supposed to be a celebration of self-determination ends up a trivial sing-along about whatever. All in all, my specific objections regarding this particular song (which, as I stated before, I happen to enjoy) won't stop me from labeling "Danger Money" as an excellent album, a very valuable successor of the amazing debut.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#7553)
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
kirklott@comc
4 stars UK's second and final studio album, 1979's "Danger Money," features tight, straight- forward prog rock, with long tracks, tricky rhythms, and lots of really cool keyboard solos. Danger Money is a big improvement over the band's debut album, and features an astonishingly big sound considering the band had slimmed down to a trio (keyboards/bass/drums). The first half is flawless: the martial title track, the romantic "Rendevous 6:02," and the wild musical ride of "Only Thing She Needs." The second half isn't quite as strong, but offers solid highlights as well. If you're a fan of Emerson Lake and Palmer, or any prog rock, this album is highly recommended.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#7554)
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1979's DANGER MONEY was UK's second and final studio recording, and, while not quite as strong as its self-titled predecessor, it is still a tasty slice of late-70s progressive rock. By this time, two of the mainstays of the original lineup, Bruford and Holdsworth, had left to pursue other projects. (Two such inventive and sought-after musicians would never lack for work.) For my ears, much of what was best about the initial incarnation left with them. The fusion-esque flavourings that Bruford and Holdworth had brought to that heady mix are absent -- Holdsworth has not even been replaced: there is no guitar on this disc - jazz-inflected or otherwise. Also, as good a drummer as Zappa alumnus Terry Bozzio unquestionably is (I can find no fault with him, except to say that "he's not Bruford"), his sound is not immediately identifiable like Bruford's, nor as grounded in classic prog. Yes, Bozzio does a fine job, but who could really replace a Bill Bruford? That's a very tough act to follow!

Thus, inevitably, with such a major change in membership, DANGER MONEY is a somewhat scaled-down version of its "older brother," but it is nevertheless a very worthy addition -- and swansong - to UK's regrettably diminutive catalogue. Some of the material to be found here is a trifle more commercial and less challenging than that of the terrific first effort, but the disc still well merits a place in the dedicated prog fan's playlist.

The album gets off to a rousing start with the title cut, which portrays a hired assassin musing about - and cynically justifying - his unorthodox vocation. Jobson's driving organ -- ably buttressed by Bozzio's pounding drums -- dominates the mix, and this one begs to be played loudly. It's eight minutes of pure fist-pumping, arena-rocking power prog!

Things slow down for "Rendezvous 6:02." This lovely, bittersweet song has long been a favourite of mine (I'm a sucker for sentiment). Jobson's simple but effective piano melodies are beautiful, and nicely complement Wetton's vocals, which (going back to his Crimson days, and songs like "Exiles," "Book of Saturdays" and "The Nightwatch") I've long found to be especially well-suited to ballads and softer, more understated selections.

Next up is the frantically-paced, multi-part and jam-packed-with-prog-tricks "The Only Thing She Needs." The infectious organ is at times highly reminiscent of Gentle Giant (at others of classic Purple) and the drums and violin are notably good on this one, which also demands the old high-volume treatment. Wowie zowie, progholes - crank it!

"Caesar's Palace Blues" is another strong rocker that starts off sounding like "Danger Money, Part 2," but soon establishes its own identity as a superb vehicle for Jobson's thrilling violin work. The final section really RAWKS - don't touch that dial!

Track five, "Nothing to Lose," at just under four minutes, has "attempted single and Asia forerunner" written all over it, but it's not a bad song, if a bit formulaic. (Still, there's arguably "nothing to lose" if you decide to skip this rather undistinguished number.)

Finally, "Carrying No Cross" brings the album to a compelling close. At over twelve minutes, this piece gives the band abundant room with which to weave some varied prog spells, but the time seems to fly past -- a sure indicator of strong songwriting. I find the powerful drums and keys-driven main section to be evocative of ELP, and fans of that important and influential "pomp" prog band should especially enjoy the epic qualities so masterfully displayed here.

Well, I may (just) prefer the former album with Bruford and Holdsworth on board, and I therefore initially contemplated giving this one only three stars, but upon re-listening as I write (and in view of the descriptors which accompany the ratings on this site), I can only conclude that DANGER MONEY is essential for the UK fan, and would be "an excellent addition to any prog music collection." No, despite what some may tell you: it wasn't quite "all over" for progressive rock at the end of the 70s, and DANGER MONEY provides resounding proof of that. Don't let the album's title or year of release scare you -- your precious prog dollars would be safely invested here!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#38004)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
scottandpenny
4 stars As much as I like Bruford and Holdsworth, I've always thought this album with the 3-man lineup was superior. Tighter, harder, more confident, and better production. This is "commercial" prog at its best. No cheese, no sellout a la Asia or GTR. Too bad Wetton and Jobson grew to hate each other, and apparently refuse to work together anymore.

Great keyboards, powerful vocals, strong melodies. "Carrying No Cross" is a classic epic, not to be overlooked in the prog canon. This band was a bit ahead of its time; if they had come along 5 years later, they might've made it. But they came out during punk and disco and fell by the wayside. By the mid-to-late 80s, Rush and others were doing this kind of stuff and making millions. One of the great sleeper bands of the prog genre, and this is their best album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#40731)
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I wondered what would happen to UK after Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth had left the band. When Terry Bozzio (ex-Zappa) turned out to be their new drummer, my expectations were high due to the format of a trio that was created. This would match more to florish for the ambitious Eddie Jobson I analysed and I didn't like the guitarplay from Allan Holdsworth (although his work on the album from the new band K2 sounds great to me, more flowing and sensitive). So and then there were three, UK down to a trio, what had Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Terry Bozzio to offer on their new album, released in 1979?

1 - Danger money (8.12)

The first part contains a slow rhythm with soaring keyboards, than a mid-tempo and a bombastic climate featuring powerful organ, soft synthesizer flights and the distinctive Wetton vocals with inventive overdubs at some moments. Halfway it becomes more bombastic with heavy organ play and a fat synthesizer sound from the impressive Yamaha CS80. The second part features great sounding synthesizer flights and a powerful, very propulsive rhythm-section, Mr. Bozzio has passed his examination 'cum laude'!

2 - Rendezvous 6.02 (5.00)

The first and final part delivers a dreamy climate with sparkling piano, a warm bass sound and a bit melancholical vocals. The mid-section is one of the most exciting musical pieces ever played on a single: gradually the sound becomes more lush with splendid build-up piano work, great drumming and a sensational eruption with the mighty sound of the Yamaha CS80, HISTORICAL!

3 - The only thing she needs (7.53)

This track starts with powerful beats from Bozzio and then culminates into excellent work from the trio, what a stunning interplay and exciting keyboard - and violin excertitions! Then a mid-tempo with powerful organ runs and pleasant Wetton vocals, followed by a splendid break featuring again stunning interplay from the trio, what a harmony and what a power! The piano sounds very sparkling, Jobson is a such a versatile virtuosic. It culminates into a swirling violin solo with a pumping bass and dynamic drumming, ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS ON THIS ALBUM!

4 - Caesar Palace blues (4.42)

First a distorted violin sound and a propulsive rhythm-section, some violin flageolets and then a bombastic climate, build upon an almost screaming violin sound, JOBSON FLORISHES!

5 - Nothing to lose (3.57)

This catchy mid- tempo pop-song is saved by a sensational break delivering a swirling violin solo. JOBSON FLORISHES AGAIN!

6 - Carrying no cross (12.20)

The intro has a kind of percussive keyboard work and turns into a dreamy atmosphere with melancholical vocals and soaring keyboards. Then an accellaration featuring bombastic piano and propulsive drum beats, culminating in a mid-tempo with powerful organ runs. The interplay from the trio is very exciting and blended with spectacular sounds from the Yamaha CS80 synthesizer and Jobson his violin. Gradually the climate becomes more and more bombastic featuring sensational keyboard work, including a long and mindblowing organ solo, JOBSON FOREVER!!

Although this album has some weaker, poppy-like moments, I prefer "Danger money" above the eponymous first record because of its dynamics, stunning interplay and amazing work from Jobson on his keyboards and violin. A MASTERPIECE!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#42216)
Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
pelaoavila@oo
5 stars What a masterpiece!! Really... many prog fans consider teh first UK album as the best of the band, but I think that DANGER MONEY is so much better than UK-SAME.

My reasons: I love Bruford's work and style but I think Terry Bozzio gives to the band new power and ideas, facing the bored 80's with this album plenty of prog and symphonic songs. Nothing to say about Mr. Jobson and Mr. Wetton. In this album they really make a great job. Both of them sounds so free and inspired...

Now, the songs. "Danger Money" is a song that begins with a jazzy introduction, in the stuff of UK-Same. But suddenly turns into an almost-neo prog song. Great lyrics and little drops of pop mixed with some prog scales. Maybe the only song that don't deserve 5 stars. "Rendez-vous": A classic. one of that prog-ballads that yopu will never forget. Wetton's voice in his total expression. "The only thing she needs": A fantastic prog song with an extraordinary drum introduction and superb work on keyboards and violin of Mr. Jobson. A piece of collection to every fanatic of real and original prog.

"Caesar's Palace blues": Another classic. I really love the live version of this songs which appears on de "live" LP. But in this case, we found maybe the jazziest song of the album. Very-very good. "Nothing to lose": Another prog classic of the late 70's at least for me. A great compostion, again with the spectacular keys and violin of Mr. Jobson. "Carrying no cross": 12 minutes of pure prog. Really a masterpiece. Bozzio, Wetton and Jobson gives one of the most perfect and beautiful prog songs of the late 70's. Dark lyrics, incredible piano and keys solos, terrific crescendos... a constant prog cavalcade...

Five stars, no doubt... You have to listen this album...

Total Time: 42:02

Line-up

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#74451)
Posted Saturday, April 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The more I play this record the more impressed I get. I didn't realize what a brilliant musician Mr.Jobson was (is). I keep hearing things I didn't notice before with his playing. Of course there is a bit of a pop element here, but having said that this is also a progressive feast, lots to chew on for the progheads.

The first song "Danger Money" starts with drums and synths, it becomes quite spacey and then John comes in singing the chorus before 2 minutes. Pretty cool. This is a catchy tune with some excellent proggy sections. "Rendezvous" has some beautiful piano melodies to open, synths, drums and sad vocals follow. I like the melancholic atmosphere to this one. Cool song. "The Only Thing She Needs" is all about Bozzio having fun and being very busy. From 4 1/2 minutes to the end this trio puts on a really good show instrumentally.

"Caesar's Palace Blues" is where Jobson takes his turn to shine. First on the keyboards and then after 1 1/2 minutes on the violin. The drumming and violin play late are fantastic ! "Nothing To Lose" is the kind of song that keeps playing in your head whether you want it to or not, quite catchy and poppy. Violin before 2 1/2 minutes and organ ends it. The final song "Carrying No Cross" is quite mellow and low keyed for about 4 1/2 minutes, then boom ! For the next 61/2 minutes we have Wakeman-like keyboards and some great, great interplay. It's a real high just to listen to these guys play ! What a song !

I love to focus on the amazing playing of these three guys and I do prefer this a lot more to their debut, even if Holdsworth isn't on this one. This band as a trio just sound way better to my ears and I feel moved quite often. Great record !

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#89303)
Posted Friday, September 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Since couple of days ago I have enjoyed rock and prog rock music from cassette. Sometime I need to do so because it reminds me to the days when I first knew rock music, I could not afford to buy LP because it's too damn expensive for a little boy like me who lived in suburb city of Madiun, East Java, Indonesia. So, the only format of rock music that I could persuade my mom buying me was in the format of cassette tapes. I started to play Led Zeppelin 2, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fire In Harmony, and this morning I played UK "Danger Money". I purchased the cassette in 1984 and until now (23 years later) the sonic quality is still excellent (I mean it!) and I play it LOUD.

I then realized that I have not reviewed this "Danger Money" album. I already got the CD format but this time I do enjoy through the cassette tape format. It's so enjoyable listening to this album using a cassette tape format.

This is the second album of UK as a follow up of their self-titled debut album in 1978. Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford were gone and Terry Bozzio joined the band on drums and percussion. Gone were the howling guitar solos 'ala Holdsworth which had been unknown in prog rock music style. The departure of the two top notch musicians impacted significantly to the music of UK. The most critical shift is on the use of keyboard instead of guitar solo at debut album. But the colors of UK's music is still here as John Wetton's vocal is unique and the dynamic work by Eddie Jobson with keyboards and electric violin.

Music composition is excellent for all tracks offered in this album. This is I believe due to the band members ability to perform tight songwriting. "Danger Money" (8:12) is a good track opener with soaring keyboard sounds coupled with dazzling drum and Wetton's unique singing. "Rendez-vous 602" (5:00) is great ballads with keyboard heavy composition. This track was quite famous as regular playlist in some FM stations in Bandung when I took engineering college at ITB. "Caesar's Palace blues" (4:42) is also another excellent track. Another great track is "Carrying no cross" (12:20) which has beautiful multi-layered keyboard work.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Music composition is excellent, coupled with tight songwriting and excellent performance. Those of you who like UK, you would love this album as well. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#124190)
Posted Friday, June 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of the best and colorfull albums ever, to me if not for you. A high class recording by these 3 fabulos musicians. I think they were to good and well skilled for many listners in the late'70, thats why they never made it worlwide, and they don't hit the big tame. After this introductoin, let's talk about music here. What we have here is beyond ear candy, and only who has a good backgroud in music will appreciate this effort as it deserve. This is an absolute masterpiece, and Terry Bozzio gives to the band new power and ideas, even for many the first album is better. UK's second album, Danger Money, features tight, straight- forward prog rock, with long tracks, tricky rhythms, and lots of really cool keyboard solos. Similar bands no one because they are unique, strong tracks all. In the end on this album are no fillers just killers. Get it, Danger Money is among the best in prog history. 5 stars

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#124979)
Posted Thursday, June 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars UKīs second album is very different from the first. With guitarrist Allan Holdsworth and drummer Bill Bruford gone, also is the jazz- rock/fusion leanings. Danger Money is very much John Wettonīs and Eddie Jobsonīs baby. Newcomer Terry Bozzio (ex Frank Zappa), an execllent drummer, was little more than a sideman (Holdsworth was not replaced). The music now is much more classic prog in the vein o ELP, with some commercial touches here and there.

Actually both records are so different in style that is difficult to compare. I think progheads will like this one more, although some radicals will bark at the pop tendencies of one or two tracks. But overall the music is very good, with some great keyboards passages, fine drum fills, some good violin solos and Wettonīs bass and voice at top form.

UK never develped their full potential, only releasing two studios albums. Nevertheless they are both very good and certainly will please fans of keyboards driven music. 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#130323)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With departure of Bill Bruford and Alan Holdsworth things turned different. In songs like “Rendezvous 6.02” and “Nothing to Lose” one can notice future ASIA pop-hits; on the contrary, 12-min long closing “Carrying no Cross” maybe the best Prog epic from the second half of 70s!!! “Danger Money” wasn’t my favourite in the times when I heard it – I simply cannot believe there’s Rock without guitar! Fortunately, it has grown on me, and every track here have been my earworm from time to time. Honourable mention gets “Caesar’s Palace Blues” with stunning violin performance from mr. Jobson: extremely great!!! Terry Bozzio is also astonishing; UK were still a supergroup and it’s a shame they haven’t managed to survive longer. I can wholeheartedly recommend this album – you won’t regret a second spent on listening to it!

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#132622)
Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Despite the group's change of personnel, this is yet another progressive rock masterpiece. Danger money is an exciting fusion of rock, jazz, and rich electronic sounds. If you liked the first album, you won't be disappointed. The second-album lineup is: Terry Bozzio, John Wetton, and Eddie Jobson. Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford left UK after the first album, U.K.: an undisputable progressive rock masterpiece. Terry Bozzio was a fine choice to replace Bruford. Among Bozzio's most notable collaborations is that with Frank Zappa; Bozzio is a fine musician. He has since played music from many different genres. Complex rhythms are no challenge for this drummer, but he does not display his full talent here. He seems reserved, but powerful in his performance. Wetton's bass and vocals are in fine form; such a voice comes along very rarely. Most outstanding is the performance of Eddie Jobson, with really forceful keyboards and electric violin. I have yet to encounter another group with such skill, talent and as high aims in this category. This album is slightly less strong than U.K., but not enough to diminish the rating. "The Only Thing She Needs" really points to all the potential that lies undeveloped. One last point: U.K. seems a bit miss labeled as symphonic rock.

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Send comments to convocation (BETA) | Report this review (#135893)
Posted Sunday, September 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars UK - Danger Money (1979)

Late symphonic prog of early neo-progressive rock?

This must have been the bright spot of the year 1979, a technical yet catchy key-focussed prog album with great compositions. Of course the band-members were all known prog musicians. John Wetton played bass in Roxy Music and King Crimson, in the latter he was also the vocalist during KC's progressive metal period. Terry Bozzio is a known drummer from the jazz-rock scene and Frand Zappa. Eddy Jobson also played in Roxy Music, but yet had to become a famous keyboardist with his central role in UK.

Now the cast has been discussed, the style of the music becomes self-evident. We get to listen to modern sound progressive rock with a focus on keyboards and a lot of technical jazz-rock influences. The chord progressions of Jobson are spectacular at times and his synthesizers sound surprisingly acceptable with the eighties in sight. His electric violin is also a reason to get interested in this record. His skills are amazing and the amplification makes it fit into the modern music. The drums sound a bit to polished for my tastes, but the contribution to the music is quite big because of the small line-up. The bass-playing of Wetton is also polished and I would have loved to have seen some King Crimson influences in his style. His vocals are gentle and catchy throughout.

Danger Money, The Only Thing She Needs, Carrying no cross are focussed on the progressive side of the music with interesting compositions, lot's of ideas, harmonic inventiveness and an intelligent rhythmical approach. The music is a bit too up-tempo to call it neo-prog, but the sound of UK can at least be seen as a big leap to it.

Nothing to Loose and Rendez-Vous are the reason this lp can be found for cheap prices on a lot of different places. The 'hit' potential of these songs was big. Still the songs are full of inventiveness and nice catchy (but intelligently harmonic) vocals of Wetton. They are just 'good' songs on the albums, though Rendez-Vous has some really sticky melodies that can be enjoyed even after the record is finished (in your own head that is).

Conclusion. We've found ourselves another nice record for the shelves. Known musicians playing great symphonic/neo progressive music with both technical and emotional elements. My one complaint is the polished production that has little fantasy and their are few atmospheric parts. Four stars for this one!

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#157297)
Posted Monday, December 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One could make a case for UK being the last of the Golden Age prog acts. As such, they barely were able to make two albums before they fell apart, but they did remain true to the prog spirit while they were recording.

Here are the essential differences between Danger Money and the self-titled UK album.

1. The atmospheric keyboards that hold the UK album together and give it a unique and distinctive sound are missing in Danger Money.

2. Jobson spends a lot more time on his violin than he did in the first UK album.

3. The alternation between slow and majestic keyboard chords with languid lyrics and full ensemble technical rock has been abandoned. Things lke In The Light of Day and the first parts of Thirty Years and Mental Medication are things of the past.

4. No Bill Bruford on Danger Money, but we get an acceptable, if more heavy handed replacement in Terry Bozzio.

5. No Alan Holdsworth on Danger Money, and instead of a replacement, Jobson tries to hide his absence under a torrent of violin and keyboard notes.

Of those changes, the one that really damages this album is the last one. Holdsworth gave an amazing performance on UK, reminding me of Fripp with his technical accuracy and the imagination and independence he brought to his solos. Bozzio may not be Bruford, but he is a good drummer in his own right and he fits right in.

As for the music, most of it is in the vein that UK established with their first album. It's a bit more catchy here, and some of it is not as complex, but it's obviously still the same brand. The two highlights here are The Only Thing She Needs, which returns to the percussive-like ensemble playing that UK explored in In The Dead of Night, and Carrying No Cross, which is UK's sole excursion into the epic, and a worthy excursion it is.

Now to rate Danger Money. This is a tough one, as it falls right at 3.5 stars. I'll round down to 3 stars, but this is the best of the albums that I've reviewed that hasn't earned 4.

EDIT: Time ameliorates all things. I've thought about it and thought about it, and I have to give this four stars. Unlike the first UK album, there's some crap in here. There are a few flaws. But and excellent example of progressive rock this is. Get it.

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Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#159364)
Posted Sunday, January 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Out goes Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford and in comes Terry Bozzio on drums and percussion. No new guitarist was drafted. Even though Allan Holdsworth played some great solos on UKīs debut album you donīt really miss him on Danger Money as UK was never a guitar heavy band. Terry Bozzio is a great replacement for Bill Bruford even though I prefer Bruford. Bozzio is a much heavier drummer and not as subtle as Bruford. Bozzio knows his tricks though which isnīt strange as he played with Frank Zappa for a couple of years in the late seventies. Zappa was known for his notorious perfectionism and you couldnīt play with him if you were not the best.

UKīs brand of symphonic synth driven prog rock is continued here on their second album Danger Money. Eddie Jobson plays the most fantastic things on his synths and keyboards and throws in the occasional electric violin solo as well. The man is a genious in my eyes. Very seldom do I listen to keyboards that soothe my ears like these. The music is very eighties sounding, especially the choruses in songs like Danger Money and Nothing to Lose.

Donīt let the eighties thing scare you away though. There are plenty of exciting instrumental things on Danger Money that you would never find on an eighties album. Listen to The Only Thing She Needs, Caesar's Palace blues and Carrying no cross. Rendez-vous is a fantastic keyboard/ piano driven song with John Wetton singing some ok vocal lines.

Wetton! Yes Wetton is again like on the debut my biggest problem here. I dislike his voice and thatīs a big problem throughout a whole album. He is a great musician, and I donīt question that, personally I just donīt like his voice.

The sound quality is good, but not as good as on the debut. Especially the drums have a more murky sound.

This is a very good album and even though I donīt particularly like John Wettonīs voice I can live with it. I gave the debut album from UK 4 big stars so I will rate this on 4 small stars as it is excellent, but not as good as the debut. Itīs very recommendable though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#162138)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars A supergroup made up of progressive stalwarts forms in the late 70s and decides to play...progressive rock?! What chutzpah! While the band must be given credit for such a subversive if short-lived idea, it would have helped if they focused more on the electric violin and less on the Emersonian organs and Crimson vocals. Even there, Jobson had exploited the violin in Roxy music some years before. So there is nothing new here whatsoever, just retread utilizing the improved technology in a somewhat more accessible form.

The highlights are the opening two tracks, "Danger Money" and "Rendezvous 602", even if the latter is oddly similar to "99" by Toto in parts. "Nothing to Lose" is an excellent pop-prog tune with soaring Jobson violin. It hinted at a viable expression for prog as it entered the 80s. But "Carrying no Cross" is the sort of track that prog would have best dispensed with during its heyday. Simply too derivative of ELP and some of the other dinosaurs. That wouldn't be so bad if Wetton didn't waste time trying to sound like Greg Lake, as he does on the frenetically mundane "Caesar's Palace Blues". Other groups that were carrying more of a synth oriented progressive torch as the decade ended, like Saga, are also reference points even if the development was contemporary rather than plagiaristic.

I can understand while this thrilled the die-hard prog heads given its timeline, but it is actually a fairly standard set which sacrifices listenability for technique a bit too often. For something along similar lines from the same period but more truly modern and less self indulgent, try "Black Noise" by FM. 2.5 stars, rounded down.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#164796)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok goodbye for Holdsworth and Brufford! If you are not crazy you may think that any band would suffer so much just to lose two of the best players of the world in his respective instruments, but it wasnīt! Oh no, this record represents the victory of the simple trio unit style. Here Wetton, Jobson and the fantastic mr. Bozzio are plenty of space to showcase their own abilities, and what powerful this incarnation was!! This trio unit had the happiness to achieve three of the most interesting prog rock compositions: Carrying no cross, Danger Money and The only thing she needs. Even the ballad (Rendevous 6.02) is one of the finest Wetton offerings! Eddie Jobson keyboards and electric violin are awesome throughout the record. Another specific highpoint of this record is the addition of Bozzio on drums, Iīm not a big fan of Mr. Brufford style of playng, prefering the most intense and flawless powerhouse drumming of Bozzio. Wetton bass lines never were too complicated as in this album, and one other good point is the absence of Alan Holdsworth. In my opinion Mr. Holdsworth guitar work is depleted of any sense of good form melody, lacking sensibility in spite of his virtuoso technique. This incarnation of UK was more interesting to me than the previous one, and donīt forget to mention that all of this was achieved under an intense crunch of egos (Jobson X Wetton) which would to split the band soon after (one year or so)

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Send comments to fredfontes (BETA) | Report this review (#175088)
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars 01. Danger Money A shadowy keyboard with the battery, several synthesizers along the way, starts apocalyptic. Vocals well placed on the melody of keyboards (which dominates the opening of the disc), the verse is sung upon a time quebradíssimo, and then we remember the voice of Wetton (Asia). Soils and the style of Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and many Vocalizations along the music.

02. Rendezvous 6:02 Piano melody and low making (somewhat broken), and the voice of Wetton (very nice by the way) enter on the scene winning the spotlight. There is a kind of balance the track until two minutes early reminding a bit of a bay. After entering a tunnel near the memories and images (at least for me) where I remembered a lot and pesei enough. Some go around Vocalizations verses on top of a line of low sensational (which is good reading my releases I already noticed that I am always bassist then give special attention to the lines below).

03. The Only Thing She Needs Top of the battery la Neil Peart (Rush), but it is only the beginning because the sequence reminds me of Gentle Giant (and quebradeiras) and then then Genesis for sure, especially the line of battery and timbre. (Our pot of influences that amazing, huh?). I am not exactly sure who sings the backing vocals with John, but surely were excellent in all tracks. This song reminds me a bit what Asia has made some years later (just a little more sophisticated). Among the verses of the various sentences battery Terry show in shape. In the end turned into a 4 / 4 electric very well footprint, the bottom row without equal and the violin solos / keyboard sensational.

04. Caesar's Palace Blues The 'second hand' begins with a title liar (laughter) because it is not a blues, but more an ass of battery, this introduction gives you hear some of guitar chords (which I do not know who he played), and more legal violins are the music while the voice a little torn enter on the scene. The time (for change) could not be more broken. Certainly they did not want to make life easier for anybody who wanted to play the songs on the disc. (more laughter). Final all in 'code' and across the track with many of sensational violins Jobson.

05. Nothing To Lose I guess I was wrong! That comes out in the style of 'Asia' (natural since Wetton was one of the founders of the group), certainly reminded me very much. Trebled the vocals are very nice. I love 'coral'. It has a nice chorus and a solo almost 'disk' which reminded me a sound and I can not remember exactly what. And just to vary the line of low Wetton that part is wonderful. Nothing to lose, nothing to lose, nothing to lose ...

06. Carrying On Cross That would be the epic song of the disc? I have the impression that, yes, and as it is epic all by parties, one by one these parties will become a changing and growing. Starts shy, enigmatic, enter the voice and sings to the heart of people who go to the few among the melody in the ears and minds. When we started to settle in, everything is changing little by little so that no one is traumatized by a sudden change, everything is done to the few and easy, like a bird that constructs its house with branches of trees and the patience of the wise. Behold, but now it's time for change (and even then it is no natural way to realize that), some lights, Keith Emerson again, a melody and it looks amazing and we are only half (battery masterful here). An exclusive party for the piano almost unbelievable change in a rough, the band back many broken and returns and look what we have in 1979 the world was no longer used. Back to the topic and then the beginning, almost a circle vicious, the snake that swallows its own tail.

The disc (and also the band) saw the light of day in a difficult season for the progressive, the end of the 70s. Still the band is great and this disc is certainly well above average.

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#197371)
Posted Monday, January 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Mixture of forms, styles, signatures and themes. vocal is not perfect but it's OK and acceptable indeed. I found some free influenced point by Gong, Genesis and Grobschnitt on this album and i like it! all Drums are heavenly perfect played!

my favorite tracks on this album are: Danger money: Made me presentiment by perfect keyboard played and it's a gracious feeling! Caesar's Palace blues: After a nice psychedelic prelude, a not so familiar groovy rhythm begins and goes on and prepared the music for lovely Psy. Violin sound!

Not a masterpiece (!) but I love This Album just for freely sliding between styles, Keyboards and drums!

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Send comments to leechburton (BETA) | Report this review (#213739)
Posted Monday, May 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars An American in UK

The line up of UK that made their excellent self-titled debut album consisted of four people. Only John Wetton and Eddie Jobson stayed for this follow up while Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford left. Bruford was replaced with Terry Bozzio on drums but Holdsworth was not replaced, reducing the band to a trio. Bozzio's presence is a bit ironic considering the band's name since he is an American.

The loss of Allan Holdsworth on guitars made it necessary to fill the void with more keyboards and violin. This put the sound of UK a bit closer that of Emerson Lake & Palmer, but Danger Money is in my opinion as strong as the self-titled debut and also up to par with most of the better albums by Emerson Lake & Palmer. The keyboards are very Keith Emerson-like on many parts. While this is quite different from the debut, it is still very much UK partly due to Wetton's very distinctive vocals and bass guitar play and Jobson's violin work. These were some of the things that made UK special.

Wetton once again wrote some great songs for Danger Money and there are hardly any weak moments. The album has only six tracks and all are very good. I would even say that Wetton's career was at its peak when he was in UK. This is even more true of Eddie Jobson. Despite having played with many prominent Prog groups, Jobson's best work was right here with UK in my opinion.

As I said, the two UK albums are quite dissimilar but both are excellent additions to your Prog collection. And since they are different from each other you need both of them!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#226712)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Toward the end of the seventies a to-hell-with-this-till-death-do-us-part-stuff musical promiscuity broke out within the extended progressive rock family to the point where it seemed like every related cousin and in-law was jumping into bed (metaphorically speaking, of course) with whoever caught their fickle fancy right and left. It was a fog machine-fueled free-for-all and U.K. was just one of a horde of bastardized, ill-fated unions that emerged from the orgy. Bill, Alan, Eddie and John shacked up just long enough to make a debut LP, and then Bruford & Holdsworth got cold feet and moved out of the love nest in an indignant huff. (Contractual commitments at that period of time were about as binding as a modern-day fist bump, evidently.) Eddie Jobson and John Wetton didn't shed a tear or take very long to go trolling and find another willing swinger and, obviously ignoring any petty restrictions implied by the group's moniker, seduced a youthful-but- charismatic California stick boy by the name of Terry Bozzio into leaving Frank Zappa's band and relocating from sunny Marina Del Rey to the balmy beaches of Britain. Considering the patch-it-up-on-the-fly circumstances that led up to the recording of the group's second and last album, it's a surprisingly engaging effort that's smarter than your average bear.

When one takes into account the abilities and experience of the personnel involved, one would expect the musicianship and composing skills to be top shelf and they are but, as in far too many cases in the prog genre, the lyrics are about as thought-provoking as a Hallmark birthday greeting card. Personally I'd rather be perplexed by the abstract poetry of Jon Anderson or Pete Sinfield than to wallow through the kind of inane shmuck presented hereupon. I can accept that not everyone's a Gabriel or even a Townshend in this subjective area but when I feel patronized and taken for granted by simply reading over the words printed in the liner notes it seriously detracts from the experience. I mean, come on youse guys, at least spring for a rhyming dictionary! A crab-infested, disgruntled Bay City Roller could've penned better. For heaven's sake, say something interesting! (Thanks for letting me rant. I just had to get that off my chest. Off camera: "Oh, nothing sweet'ums, just talking to myself.")

The massive, towering introduction to "Danger Money," the suave opener, contains just the right amount of monster movie dissonance and the ominous décor is alluring. The song features a smooth combination of conflicting time signatures that manages never to lose its rock momentum and that's due in no small part to the talent and acumen of Terry Bozzio on the skins. Some drummers just have an uncanny knack of injecting their own individuality into their percussive attack and this lithe dude is one of the best. Jobson's keyboard work becomes a one-man-show when they reach the halfway mark and he makes an impression because of the fat, satisfying settings he utilizes and when Terry and John join in from time to time it only gets more intense. But then you have to deal with screwy lines like "I'm three thousand miles from home/ I'm so tired and I'm all alone/it's a good thing that I'm single/wish I could swing all night long" and you feel embarrassed for them. The tune ends with the band going out the same mystery door they came in. Not bad. Not bad at all.

"Rendezvous 6:02" has a silky, almost-Latin undercurrent that flows like a picturesque Portuguese river and a spicy instrumental bridge in 10/8 that builds spectacularly to a flashy climax. Here Wetton's fine vocals and fluid bass lines lift the number up and over the banal words he has to sing. ("Was that a face I saw?/No, just a trick of light/it's getting clearer now/but moving out of sight." Excuse me?) The tune's overall crisp ambience goes a long way in helping you to ignore that ugly indiscretion. "The Only Thing She Needs" is next and Bozzio finally gets a chance to show off a bit before the trio do a jerky- but-tight tango together and dive headlong into the spirited meat & potatoes of the track. While they unwisely keep Terry down in the mix somewhat you can still tell that he's burning some holes in the studio's drum baffles. The kid is a well-oiled machine. The song's sleek midsection displays another furious prog ascension that eventually levels out into a dated New Wave rhythm that, alas, ultimately erodes the tune's integrity despite Eddie's commendable keyboard runs. And then there are more unbelievably imbecilic lyrics to contemplate like "now she sings a different tune/golden tones out of the blue." Yark.

"Caesar's Palace Blues" oozes out of the gate with a thick-as-molasses dirge in 5/4 that is cool and sweet, indeed, but has very little in common with the pop beat they segue into. It's nothing to write your worried mother about but it is saved from the threshing room floor by Jobson's heroic and scintillating electric violin that makes this cut stand out from what has transpired so far. Bozzio also shines brightly as he lays down a powerful groove wide enough to drive a cement truck through with room left on each side. (I'll mercifully spare you from the droll, narrow-minded lyrics about the ills of Las Wages. Use the lowest level of your imagination.) The album's inevitable nadir comes in the form of "Nothing to Lose," a let's-write-a-hit-and-get-rich-on-royalties attempt that showcases a loping intro that morphs into a tepid rock beat and is a preview of the kind of prog-influenced commercialism that John would strive for with Asia. The words are so stupid here they make what's come before seem like Dickens. "Now I can really break it/now I don't have to fake it/forget it then I don't need it/if it ain't hot I'll leave it," he manages to warble with a straight face. The repeating refrain of the song's title is catchy, no doubt, but not in a good way. It's fodder for nightmares.

"Carrying No Cross" is the highlight of the record. Eddie's ethereal opening is quite effective, and then they evolve into a King Crimson-ish passage where Wetton's striking, lonely man vocal style elevates the mood to another level altogether. The middle instrumental movement arrives from beyond the horizon like an approaching hurricane and Jobson's elaborate construction in which he successfully meshes Hammond organ with his strong synthesizers is astonishing. They climb to a malevolent, threatening plateau where Terry rumbles underneath the fray with a fevered passion. Suddenly Eddie breaks out with a solo piano piece that makes your hair stand on end for just a few magical seconds, then they reprise the movement's initial theme before dropping down gracefully for a simple keyboard/vocal ending. "Just void, empty spaces, nothing to show/no point of reference or place to go," John sings. (That forgettable phrase goes a long way in expressing my unimpression of the album's lyrics in general.) Musically speaking, though, this is the kind of fertile topsoil I wish Emerson, Lake & Palmer would have plowed into circa '79 instead of playing their destructive, indulgent "I'll show you who the REAL star of this show is!" head games. (Note: Fans of that extraordinary group will like this album more than most, mainly because of Eddie Jobson.)

Had these fellows managed to stay together for more than a nanosecond they might have hired a lyricist and turned into something grand. But before you could say "music television" Terry had flown back to La-la land, married a singing Playboy bunny and formed the eye-popping flavor-of-the-month Missing Persons band; Wetton had started putting together yet another supergroup and the multi-gifted Jobson had hired on to play with Jethro Tull's world-touring ensemble. So, buckaroos, it just goes to show that while these fantasy-fulfilling prog bacchanals seemed like sumptuously sinful adventures to indulge in they rarely resulted in anything lasting and, more often than not, left indelible stains in the shag carpet. Having said that, though, "Danger Money" isn't a wasted investment of your time or your finances. There are some genuinely sublime musical moments to be enjoyed and you could do a lot worse when sampling music from this wild era. 3.2 stars.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#239508)
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Okay, so it's not the debut. And, it does have a somewhat "Asia-esque" quality to it. Danger Money is still a marvelous progressive album that should be on any collectors shelf. WHile not as original as it's predecessor, I still find this to be a great release with few weak points. The only track I find less than perfect on here is "The Only Thing She Needs" which just seems to ramble and never gets my attention. Otherwise, "Danger Money", "Caeser Palace Blues", etc are fantastic. And "Carrying No Cross" is my favorite of all UK's efforts. Great prog. Losing 2 members did little to hurt this band, except maybe the "jazzier" feel of the first album is replaced by a more "classic rock" feel. I know some find the material here somewhat dated, but I really don't get that feeling. Now Asia....dated too the max. So overall, 4 stars, really 4 1/2.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#278872)
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars With Bruford replaced by Bozzio and guitar player Holdsworth not replaced at all, UK took a more commercial - or should I say streamlined approach - to their second album. To my surprise the result sounds much more consistent and listenable.

Danger Money is sure no easy money but this organ driven power prog works quite well. Jobson must have gotten himself a new pair of synths as they sound much less squeaky as on the previous album. It's a great tune with an intriguing uncanny atmosphere.

Rendezvous is a nice and uncomplicated tune finding Wetton in a romantic mood. It's good to hear he gave up on the jazzy vocals and other sorts of experiment that stretched his capabilities too much.

The Only Thing He Needs is an average rock tune where AOR competes with a couple of great proggy instrumental bits. AOR wins. Nothing To Lose is possibly worse, and a typical example of the bad and cheap pop that Asia would start assembling a few years later

But then, Carrying The Cross ends the album in a respectable fashion. It's no Starless but it's adequate proto-neo-prog (if such a thing exists), starting as an ok ballad and gradually building up momentum towards an ELP mid-section. It's all a bit safe and nicely conforming to the rules laid out in the 71-73 period but we had worse on this album. The dramatic crescendo spanning minutes 6 to 8 saves the album for me.

The album takes a good start and ends with an extended piece that most prog fans will enjoy a lot. I think I can settle for 3 stars for this one, finding myself in the small company that kind of prefers this one to the debut.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#300207)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

When I was younger I had quite a hunger For technically competent song,

So one day my mentor - A dude I lament for - Played me this after a bong.

He wasn't quite sure what I would think And frankly neither was I ;

After all, no guitar? No, that won't do, I'd miss that electrical cry.

But surely enough, without Holdsworth's muse, And Jobson no slouch at the helm

This follow-up works, John Wetton berserk And Bozzio right in his realm.

The title is heavy, layered by Eddie And Terry's aggressive on snare,

John's in fine voice, his timing a marvel, The sound a touch pop if they dare.

'Rendezvous' rises from romantic lines Built around Jobson's piano,

The next cut's a blast, aggressive and fast-- Wetton's voice contra soprano.

Cesar is fine, if a bit plodding, 'Nothing to Lose' rather nice

Though the specter of Asia foresees euthanasia And Prog's diminution enticed.

Finally a classic, there is not much doubt ; A brilliant group effort of talent and stout.

'Carrying No Cross' was a kicker, a timekeeper's ticker Setting the bar far too high

And in all its glory, we see prog rock's story, Slated and ready to die

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#329143)
Posted Sunday, November 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars UK deliver a sensational prog album with musical innovation and odd time signatures.

True prog album from super group of the late 70s, featuring Wetton always great on vocals and bass, Jobson on keyboards and electric violin, and Bozzio, accomplished drummer. Bruford and Holdsworth were gone but it is great that the band continued relentlessly producing this excellent album.

This is UK, one of the most revered acts of the Symphonic prog scene, presenting an album full of creativity and full blown prog classics. Here are the tracks and all have highlights:

The violin work on this album is astounding, listen to Caesar Palace Blues for a prime example. Jobson is one of the most dynamic violinists, hard to beat this effort.

Danger Money is the title track with a slow paced off beat signature, it never hits the beat where it is meant to, and it sounds so majestic with those huge keyboard flourishes. The ambient atmosphere is strong, eventually releasing for Wetton's vocals; "3000 miles from home, it was a hell of a lifestyle, I take the job again, danger money."

Rendezvous 602 is a beautiful piece replete with soft keyboards and gentle vocals. This takes a while to get going but has a wonderful keyboard solo and accomplished piano.

The Only Thing She Needs has wonderful percussion and Emerson like organ staccato hammering. The time sig is off kilter and competes with Wetton's great vocals.

Nothing To Lose is a moderate rocking track with sustained synthesizer chords. The harmonies remind me of The Sweet, but the time sig changes often enough to give it that unique UK flavour. Jobson shows real flair on this with upbeat organ sounds, and Wetton sings very well throughout. The violin solo is fabulous, almost like a lead guitar in places. A definitive highlight.

Carrying No Cross ends it with some peculiar guitar playing and wailing singing. It builds to a rocking riff and pounding drums. The time sigs change suddenly without warning and return again to the main sig. it is astounding how tight UK is on this track. The keyboard solo is a furious triggerfingering style with elongated chords and the bass guitar keeps a sporadic rhythm.

It ends the album on a high note, and unfortunately this was the last studio album for the band as they parted their separate ways. They left behind two scintillating studio releases that showed the rest how it is done. Genuine prog from virtuoso musicians who knew the genre.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#397257)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars With Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth gone, and Terry Bozzio added, UK, on their second album have lost most of the fusion elements, but added symphonic power to the music. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just different.

Right from the start, there is a change in UK's sound. On the title track Danger Money, Eddie Jobson's keyboard have a more Keith Emerson-like style, and break sections of the song invoke Wetton's King Crimson roots.

Rendezvous 6:02 is another song that doesn't sound like it would fit with the Bruford Holsworth lineup. But this ballad in alternate time signatures may be one of the most beautiful ballads John Wetton has ever sung.

The Only Thing She Needs, Caesar's Palace Blues and Carrying No Cross are all spectacular symphonic prog pieces, with Jobson's keyboard and violin out in front.

Only Nothing To Lose disappoints. This song indicates the pop direction that Wetton would steer the band towards during their final tour, as documented on the "Night After Night" album. Wetton would continue this downward trend with his later projects, most notably the underperforming Asia.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#541415)
Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars UK lost Bruford and Holdsworth (who went off to make One of a Kind, the second Bruford album), so they picked up Terry Bozzio and let Eddie Jobson's keyboards and violin take the lead guitar parts for this album. Otherwise, this album is much like a less fusion-tinted version of the first - the quiet parts all seem to be indistinguishable takes on the quiet section of In the Dead of Night/By The Light of Day from the first album, the loud bits - like the title track - blare forth much like the loud bits on the debut, and in general the album offers little more than a competent replay of what's gone before, with the chops very mildly reduced.

A good buy if you absolutely must have more UK, but most listeners will find more to enjoy in the debut album - and if you already have the debut, it's hard not to want to listen to that again rather than sitting through this tepid repeat.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#560901)
Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars UK's self-titled debut album hasn't aged very well, but the harder-rocking follow-up recorded by the newly stripped-down trio a year afterward actually sounds better in retrospect. New drummer Terry Bozzio (not a familiar name at the time) was more in tune than Bill Bruford with the grandiose commercial ambitions of John Wetton and Eddie Jobson. And because he no longer had to share the stage with an ace guitarist, Jobson responded with some of his most assertive playing on record.

Musically the album traces the muscular template of "In the Dead of Night", the obvious high point of the previous album. The reconfigured band may have been more song- than music-oriented, perhaps revealing the direction Wetton had hoped to steer KING CRIMSON (and why Robert Fripp quit in response). But the new songs left generous space for a little instrumental exploration. And Jobson in particular rose to the challenge, showing all the brio of a less-classical Keith Emerson (the sophomore UK album appeared only four months after ELP crashed onto "Love Beach", leaving a vacancy in the keyboard virtuoso pantheon), and stealing the spotlight with his trademark Perspex violin, in "The Only Thing She Needs" and the punchy "Caesar's Palace Blues".

The only stumble on an otherwise strong effort is "Nothing to Lose", an obvious bid for radio airplay foreshadowing the trite Arena Pop of ASIA. But that misstep is quickly overshadowed by the mini-epic album closer 'Carrying No Cross", a poor second-cousin of sorts to the celebrated King Crimson finale "Starless", with a similar structure of escalating tension and release over twelve invigorating minutes.

Splitting up a band can sometimes benefit everyone involved. Bruford and Allan Holdsworth both moved on to impeccable Fusion careers, while the remaining UK players rediscovered the focus that had eluded them on the first LP. It didn't last very long (see the obligatory, by-the-numbers live album "Night After Night"), but even a brief flash-in-the-pan was better than the empty kettle of Wetton's next supergroup.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#1142752)
Posted Thursday, March 06, 2014 | Review Permalink

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