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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Abel Ganz - 1988 The Dangers Of Strangers
Abel Ganz - 1988 The Dangers Of Strangers

ARTIST: Abel Ganz
ALBUM: The Dangers Of Strangers
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2008, Abel Ganz Records 'The Dangers Of Strangers Anniversary Edition' (with bonus track), AR AG002CD


LINEUP: Hugh Carter - bass * Hew Montgomery - keyboards * Malky McNiven - guitar

Additional Musicians: Dennis Smith - drums * Paul Kelly, Alan Reed - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dangers Of Strangers: 1) City Park, 2) At Times Like These * 02 Rain Again (Parts I, II And III) * 03 The Hustler * 04 Dreamtime * 05 Pick A Window


Scotland's Abel Ganz spent the better part of their career in the shadow of IQ, Marillion and Pallas. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride and in light of their more successful contemporaries, it's easy but unfair to dismiss the band as a second-tier operation, if only for the fact they were never signed to a major label. Formed in Glasgow in 1980; Abel Ganz released two well-received tapes, 'Gratuitous Flash' in 1984 with vocalist Paul Kelly and 1985's 'Gullible's Travels' with front man Alan Reed. A short time later Reed was offered a once in a lifetime gig with Pallas where he remained until 2010, although as a three piece Abel Ganz laboured on and signing with the French label MSI brought back both vocalists as special guests for their third outing 'The Dangers Of Strangers'.

The Songs
More keyboard oriented than in the past with comparisons to the first couple of Phil Collins led Genesis albums although not quite as powerful. This is soft progressive with none of the bombast we're so used to hearing today and plenty of fine music to be had. Coupling the two longest tracks first, Alan Reed's three-part 'Rain Again' is superior, his voice wonderfully suited to the material's somber tone. As the master of ceremonies Hew Montgomery's lush synthesizer while very 80's, compliments Malky McGiven's fluid guitar lines throughout even trying their hand, successfully I might add, at pop on the up-tempo 'Dreamtime' again with Reed taking the lead.

In Summary
'The Dangers Of Strangers' is a stylish neo-progressive rock album and a classic of its time, although good luck trying to find the original self-released cassette issue which featured vastly different art work. A major collectable and in 2008 Abel Ganz dusted off the tapes once again for a sumptuously packaged 30th anniversary edition which in my hopelessly biased opinion, should be in every home.

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