Album review: BLACK ROSE – S/T


Rock Candy [Release date 09.10.20]

1980: on the surface, Black Rose had little going for it. And yet Cher, guitarist Les Dudek’s part time girlfriend, fronted the band. Strangely, it played down Cher’s involvement. To its cost. The band’s one and only self titled album was a commercial failure.

And yet, it had half a dozen melodic rock songs written by genre giants like David Foster, David Paich, Bernie Taupin, Carole Bayer Sager, Mike Chapman and Vince Poncia. Check any of these out online and you’re faced with a unending list of best selling music.

The album was produced by movie soundtrack oscar winner, James Newton Howard, yet even this apparent advantage was squandered. The original recording was surprisingly underpowered and milkily mixed.

Cher over emotes occasionally, but we know that now, and there’s clear conviction in the band’s studio performance. But the album never really overcomes its handicaps. All the songs intend to do more or less the same thing, and none of them really fail. But considering their pedigree, none of them really standout. Which means that almost by default, ‘Never Should Have Started’, ‘Take It From The Boys’ and ‘You Know It’ are the picks, if only because they have developed some character, and step over the pre-defined musical limits occasionally.

40 years later, the recording’s sound is boosted here by Jon Astley’s remastering, and we get a taste of the fresh new band flavour that should have been. It helps bring a late focus on rising stars who were ready to take on Blondie, and indeed any of the other New Wave/Melodic Rock bands in the ascendant at the time.

A second album was mooted, but never took off. Cher went solo and turned into the Rockchick she always wanted to be (you can hear it on most tracks here), and signed for Geffen. The rest is history.

Review by Brian McGowan


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 ART OF ILLUSION X Marks The Spot (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE DEAD DAISIES Holy Ground (SPV)
14:00-16:00 TED & MAJELLA Divine Timing (indie)

Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
MIDNITE CITY Crawlin’ In The Dirt (Roulette Media)
JOSEPH WILLIAMS Never Saw You Coming (Mascot)
ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY Go With The Flow (indie)
THE UNDERCLASS The One (indie)
MASON HILL DNA (7Hz Recordings)

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