ABEL GANZ – The Dangers of Strangers -20th Anniversary Edition (review)

1. The Dangers of Strangers Part I & II
2. Rain Again Part I, II, & III
3. Hustler 2
4. Dreamtime
5. Pick a window, your’e leaving!
6. The Dangers of Strangers (bonus)

Makers of Strangers (video)

Year: 1988/2008
Label: Ugum Productions/Abel Records

Abel Ganz might say they have some bad luck because they have never achieved success they deserve although they make extraordinary music. „The Dangers of Strangers” subtitled „20the Anniversary Edition” is a re-issue of an album which first came out in 1988. During this 20 – year period they sold out all of the album copies and the only way to get hold of this music was to buy a Spanish edition, legality of which might be questioned even by the band themselves. Let’s move, however, to the music included on this album.

The opening title track, I might say without any hesitation, is a masterpiece of classic neo-progressive rock. It includes amazing keyboard passages and solos, the guitarists proves himself one of master musicians playing straight from their hearts like David Gilmour, Steve Rothery and less known Tim Birrell (Credo)This track consists of two parts. The first one a bit more rocky and the other a bit solemn. The atmosphere is here quieter, more nostalgic and a beautiful melody of this fragment has been running through my head for quite a while. Alan Reed, known from Pallas, a man who used to be a full-time lead singer of Abel Ganz sings in two tracks and this could serve as a kind of encouragement for those who do not know the band yet. It must be admitted though that his voice hasn’t changed throughout these years. He was a great vocalist („The Dangers of Strangers”) and he still proves that. Tracks which feature him as a lead singer are – inspiring and „rainy” „Rain Again Part I, II & III” and Dreamtime with a pulsating verse and a fairy-tale like, balladic chorus Keyboard instruments are an important part in Abel Ganz’s music and their parts are just marvellous. “The Dangers of Strangers Part I & II”, so a track which I’ve mentioned before, might serve here as the best illustration of my point thanks to its symphonic parts that bring to mind prog rock of the 70s, the same being also true about “Hustler 2” and an instrumental “Pick a window, your’e leaving!” The last one is really convincing and proves that is’s not just a catchy melody and interesting solutions that take you closer to success. You need a bit of luck as well. The closing song of this album is a bonus track “The Dangers of Strangers” (first part) in more basic version. The second bonus is a video from 20 years ago featuring album recording session.

Thanks to the kindness of the band I’ve been able to listen to their new compositions for quite a while and I will definately keep doing it which is on one hand, a great pleasure for me but on the other it’s quite a trouble since there are so many albums I could listen again and again every day…:)


Piotr Michalski
translation: Gosia Michalska

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