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Rose Tattoo

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Album Review

If AC/DC are the greatest blue-collar hard rock band of all time, then Rose Tattoo (also Australian, also managed by the Vanda and Young team) just may qualify as the world's greatest blue-collar punk rock band. Led by impetuous, diminutive frontman Angry Anderson (the Ronnie James Dio of punk?) and the brilliant slide-guitar work of Peter Wells, Rose Tattoo were a mean and not-so-lean gang of tattooed misfits, all of them veterans of the hard as nails Aussie pub rock scene — in short, the kind of guys you'd cross the street to avoid. Released in 1978, their eponymous debut (issued in Europe as Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw almost two years later) is a dangerous, unpredictable, monster of a record whose power has hardly diminished an ounce in the decades since. First song, "Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw," draws the line in the sand, challenging all comers to cross at the peril of a split lip; then "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock 'N' Roll)" (if you thought Guns n' Roses version was bad-ass, think again) delivers an uppercut to the jaw that'll set you reeling. The boogie-intensive "One of the Boys" recalls George Thorogood at his baddest, while "The Butcher and Fast Eddy" — a gritty shuffle about dueling gangs of outlaws — offers a Down Under adaptation of the classic Stagger Lee urban fable. First single "Bad Boy for Love" borrows its main riff rather blatantly from AC/DC's "She's Got Balls," and the lone, slow number "Stuck on You" is the Rose Tattoo equivalent of the Stooges' "Gimme Danger." "Remedy" and "T.V." are blasts of pure raw energy, and if you're not reduced to a sweating, drained pile of pulp by the time you arrive at the tee-total lunacy of closer "Astra Wally," you better check your pulse. As seemed inevitable, given their combustible nature, Rose Tattoo's career was quickly derailed by internal strife, but this only adds to the timeless mystique and unique triumph of this debut. It's as "street" as white boy rock gets — essential hard boogie. [The 1990 Repertoire records CD reissue adds eight bonus tracks, between B-sides and live recordings to the original release.]

Customer Reviews

Top album

This is a great album the mean streets of Ozzy these guys are underated for a Oz band hard to say being a kiwi. Love to see more of there albums on line

Great Rock

Bought this album in 1978 loved it, but never really heard much after that in the U.S.. Angry Anderson had a part in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I never thought of them as punk. maybe inattitude but at the time you could say the same about AC/DC. When the HELL is AC/DC getting on here. LOVE BON SCOTT

Great Rock and Roll album

Whoever reviewed this above is completely ignorant. Punk bands do not play slide guitar because they have no skill! Great rock band who, like others have mentioned, are greatly underrated. Rarely do you find a hard rock band with an emphasis on slide guitar.


Formed: 1976 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Aussie hard rock combo Rose Tattoo have persisted on and off with many personnel changes for well over 30 years, and by the end of the 2000s were still making live appearances despite the deaths, often by cancer, of most of the early band's lineup. The group was formed in Sydney in 1976 by ex-Buffalo guitarist Peter Wells and -- with the additions of former Buster Brown vocalist Angry Anderson, guitarist Mick Cocks, bassist Ian Rilen, and drummer Dallas "Digger" Royal -- made its public bow on New...
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Rose Tattoo, Rose Tattoo
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