Australian artists had a certain sound which seemed to connect with the world.
Being oceans apart from the many other continents aided this sound as music didn’t travel that fast to get to the land down under, which meant we had to listen to our albums with the same songs a bit more longer, or listen to the same songs on radio a little bit more longer or watch the live pub shows with the same songs a little bit more longer.
And when you went to a pub show and heard a certain sound/style rocking the joint and getting people into it, well it was a no brainer that if you formed a band, your style would have some of those elements.
And here my folks is Rose Tattoo.
Rose Tattoo – Rose Tattoo
The real Bad Boys of Rock N Roll, cut from the cloth of Heavy Metal Thunder and various pub brawls in Australia. And they had a singer called Angry Anderson, who didn’t mind spilling blood on stage either. At their Reading performance, he kept banging his head against the amp head until he spilt blood.
I saw a picture of the band once and I thought they would motor in on their Harley’s and bash everyone they saw.
Rose Tattoo is tied to biker culture the same way “Born To Be Wild” is. Maybe it’s got to do with Angry’s up bringing and how his Uncle was a biker.
Motley Crue and the Gunners have nothing on these guys. And Gunners covered “Nice Boys” on their live EP, which Rose Tattoo introduced as a Gunners song when they opened up for them on the “Use Your Illusion” tour down under in the early 90s.
“Rock N Roll Outlaw” starts off with the opening lyrics of “I don’t need lots of people telling me what to do”. Defiance and rebellion encapsulated in just a few words.
“Nice Boys” don’t play rock and roll and “Remedy”is “Long Way To The Top” on steroids.
AC/DC – Powerage
The ascendancy to world domination is almost there.
Who would have thought that in almost 2 years time, Bon Scott would be dead?
“Rock N Roll Damnation” is a great opening track. Musically, its typically AC/DC and Bon Scott lyrically, is growing into a beast of a writer.
Especially in the section when he sings; “Damnation, left a happy home, Damnation, to live on your own”.
And it continues in that vein, with Bon Scott singing “Damnation” and then something else after it, like “you got dollars in your eyes” or “chasin’ that pie in the sky”.
Life is about taking risks. You can stay at home and be comfortable or you can live.
“Down Payment Blues” has some of the best lyrics about life.
“Living on a shoestring, a fifty cent millionaire, open to charity, rock n roller welfare”
Life is not easy trying to make end meets as a rock and roller.
“I’ve got holes in my shoes and im way overdue, down payment blues”
One thing you can’t escape in Australia is repayments. Miss one and you get a letter. Miss two and you are on notice. Miss three and the whole world is coming down.
“Get myself a steady job, some responsibility, cant even feed my cat on social security”
Government welfare payments, which are less than the minimum wage are there, but if you can’t find a job in time, these payments are not really there. It’s spent on day one and then you have to wait 13 days for the next payment.
“Gimme A Bullet” has this awesome guitar groove which just gets your head nodding and foot tapping. And to my ears, it’s the embryo to what would become “You Shook Me All Night Long”.
“Riff Raff” and “Sin City” make it a perfect five-0.
“Riff Raff’ is basically a re-write of “Let There Be Rock” and it has riff that Motley Crue used in “Rattlesnake Shake”, a decade later. And the lyrics, man, Bon Scott was onto climate change.
“See it on television every day, hear it on the radio, it aint humid but it sure is hot, down in Mexico, boss man tryin to tell me, beginning of the end.”
Is there a better song that “Sin City” and that verse riff?
“Ladders and snakes, ladders give, ssssnakes take, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief”.
The sin city always win, its why it has survived and everyone who has ventured there has turned to dust.
“Kicked In The Teeth” is another re-write of “Let There Be Rock” and I love the lyric, “kicked in the teeth again, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Relationships are try and try again.
Songs like “What’s Next To The Moon”, “Gone Shootin’” and “Up To My Neck In You” are good songs, but the ones mentioned above are my go to songs.
UFO – Obsession
If only the band spent the same amount of time creating as they did partying and taking narcotics, who knows how big they would have been.
Because while a lot of the 70’s bands got a second chance in the 80’s on the back of MTV, UFO didn’t and neither did Michael Schenker, although the label tried and ex-partners and managers did their best bankrupting them.
There are no hits on this album, but a band following their muse and creating.
“Only You Can Rock” is rooted within the Free/Bad Company/ELO roots.
“Pack It Up (And Go) is heavily influenced by “Immigrant Song” and a perfect UFO song which gets no attention.
“Arbory Hill” should have been made into a song instead of a short minute instrumental. It sounds like something from a Genesis album with Peter Gabriel singing.
“Cherry” has a bass riff in the verses, that I swear appeared on a “Joy Division” or “New Order” album a few years later. It’s like the seed of the New Wave movement.
“Hot N Ready”, “You Don’t Fool Me” and “One More For The Rodeo” are songs from UFO we know and they would have served the existing fanbase well, but for me, it’s those songs that had a few things just a little bit different that really connected with me.
Doobie Brothers – Minute By Minute
I have to admit, I dig the song “What A Fool Believes” and those ball squeezing falsettos in the Pre-Chorus and Chorus.
The Police – Outlandos d’Amour
As soon as they appropriated the reggae and put it into the mix, it was a different ballgame.
Because while the opening track “Next To You” is rooted in blues rock and roll, the second track “So Lonely” is a cross between reggae and rock and roll.
So when “Roxanne” kicks in as the third track, its mix of reggae guitars over a flamenco bass guitar riff in the verses, and a pop rock Chorus, well, you can hear something special was in the air.
So it’s no surprise that the biggest songs on the album had that reggae feel, like “Can’t Stand Losing You”, “Roxanne” and “So Lonely”.
But “Truth Hits Everybody” is my favourite. It’s a melodic rock song.
Joe Walsh – But Seriously Folks
“Tomorrow” and “Shandi”.
What came first?
And with the Kiss reference to close of Part 3, Part 4 will begin with a Kiss-a-ganza.
Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.