Robin George

Crying Diamonds

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In many ways, Crying Diamonds caught Robin George playing catch-up with his own career. "Learn the Dance" was written with his old bandmate David Byron, around the time of the Byron Band's brief but brilliant flowering; "Crying Diamonds" itself was penned with Phil Lynott, as he and George schemed a mid-'80s Thin Lizzy comeback -- stymied, of course, by Lynott's death. It's sad that the liner notes accompanying Angel Air's 2010 reissue of the record don't add more than that; strangely, they're more fascinated in the recurrence of words like "diamond" and "danger" in George's long career. But dispense with them and dive into the album, and Crying Diamonds finds his guitar doing precisely what it says -- crying diamonds across 18 songs that also include another Heep-related co-write, "Chance of a Lifetime," plus two George originals that were later covered by Robert Plant, "Machine" and "Red for Danger." Recorded and released, sadly, at a time when interest in melodic, insistent metal was going through one of its periodic lows, Crying Diamonds barely registered at the time. It remains what it always was, however, a pristine album high on energy, low on filler, and exquisitely balanced between light and shade. A dangerous diamond indeed.

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