Classical gems: Rose Tattoo

Album Review By Rainer Kerber


Rose Tattoo are one of the longest serving Rock’n’Roll bands in the world. Since 1976 they are on the road with some interruptions and various line changes. In the band’s current lineup, none of the founding members can be found. The only constant in the band is singer Gary “Angry” Anderson. He replaced already in the founding year the first singer of the band, Tony Lake. From 1978, eight studio albums were released. The last “Blood Brothers” is already twelve years back. Fans have been waiting for new material since 2007, but so far in vain. Last year saw the release of the self-titled debut album for the fortieth time. It was later also released under the name “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw”. This anniversary is reason enough for the musicians to play the complete album on their summer tour. That in turn gave me reason to listen more intensively to this classic.

The album also starts with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw”. The ever-present slide guitar, the charismatic rough voice of Angry Anderson and the catchiness of the chorus has made the song one of the signature tunes of Australian musicians. In “Nice Boys” you can hear a sweaty Rock’n’Roll song mixed with a pinch of punk. Whereas “The Butcher and Fast Eddy” is an extremely rhythmic blues-rock song, in which even pounding heavy guitars sound from the speakers. In the boogie-heavy song “One of the Boys” is an insane guitar solo à la George Thorogood to hear. Before the first side ends with the rocker “Remedy”. Yeah, that’s how it was at the time of the black vinyl.

Side 2 starts with “Bad Boy for Love”. The single release of this pounding blues rock song brought 1978 the breakthrough for Rose Tattoo in their home country. “T.V.” is Rock’n’Roll again with punk attitude. That’s pure energy. On the other hand, “Stuck on You” could be called a “ballad in blues”. For me the song (besides “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw” and “The Butcher and Fast Eddy”) is one of the highlights of the album. At “Tramp” you can already hear the influences of the early phase of Heavy Metal. With “Astra Wally” and the finest Rock’n’Roll ends this early work by Rose Tattoo.

The debut album by Rose Tattoo is an absolute classic. There is a mix of Rock’n’Roll, Blues, Punk and the beginnings of Heavy Metal sound. With their strong rhythm section, the atypical slide guitar for this kind of music and the powerful voice of Angry Anderson, this band is unique. There is not a single bad song on this album. Rose Tattoo seem very authentic no matter what the tempo of the songs. And rightly they are celebrating their debut album on the forthcoming European Tour.

Rose Tattoo – Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaw:


Angry Anderson – Vocals
Peter Wells – Guitar
Mick Cocks Guitar
Geordie Leech – Bass
Dallas Royal – Drums

Label: Albert Productions

Out: 1978

Playing time: 36:58

Track list:

Side A

  • Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaw
  • Nice Boys
  • The Butcher and Fast Eddy
  • One of the Boys
  • Remedy

Side B

  • Bad Boy for Love
  • V.
  • Stuck on You
  • Tramp
  • Astra Wally

Rating : 10/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


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