Dangerous Games


Capitol, 1986


REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


This was the final Alcatrazz record of the ’80s, and the band was pretty much done (at least until recently, when Graham Bonnet put together a new version of the band for some live shows). At this point, gone were Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Danny Johnson was brought in to fill the guitar slot, but in no way can he compare with his predecessors. This by far is the most commercial sounding record in the band’s career. It feels like the band was under tremendous pressure from the label to come up with a hit in order to stay signed. The songs are catchy and well produced, but they just don't have the spark that they did on the previous albums.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album open up with "It's My Life," a cover of The Animals. While it's a great track, and Bonnet sings it with conviction, you can smell that it was a decision that came from the above. For the archival reasons, it's a good album to own to round up the discography, but Alcatrazz was already past their prime here. It's no surprise the band folded shortly after. Subsequently, the album became rare. I believe it was only released in Japan in the CD format.  Up until now, it was overpriced to try and track down, but it was certainly not worth that much.

The reissue includes a live audience recording from Long Island in 1986. I actually had a bootleg cassette of that show as it was circulating in tape trading circles. It's a cool representation of how things were going for hte band towards the very end. The booklet is incredibly informative, and it confirms what was going behind the scenes in the Alcatrazz camp. While the band started out as a great promise and had a lot of things going for them, nothing ended up materializing on the momentum. As much as I didn't like this record when it came out, I'm finding myself warming up to it now – so it was dangerous after all.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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