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26 Aug 2016

Rose “ Hooked On A Rose” 1973 Private Canadian Prog Rock





Rose “ Hooked On A Rose” 1973 rare Private Canadian Prog Rock 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQB00OOzdE

 'Hooked on a Rose', which was the first Rose album, is a rather pleasant blend of folksy ballads and the same sort of vaguely American-sounding blues rock that bands like Wishbone Ash, Home and Help Yourself peddled during the seventies, but in those cases with a bit more commercial success.
This record was produced by former Deep Purple producer John Stewart but sound nothing like a Deep Purple album; maybe a little like a tamed-down Rainbow record, but definitely not Deep Purple. The songs are mostly short and seem to be more promos than complete works, which I suspect is what most of them actually were. The mixing is also a bit disjointed with several tracks being louder and more primitive-sounding than others, as if some of the record were produced on eight tracks and others on four. Not sure if that's true but it does sound that way.

Like I said, these are mostly blues-based tunes, particularly songs like "Hex", "Wonder Wings", "Upon Parting" and the jam-based "Love will always be there". The lyrics are rather shallow and mostly meaningless, but at times the band offers some solid two- and three- part harmonies that are worth a listen.

Scattered in between the barre chords (and power riffs of "Love...") are a handful of pretty decent ballads, the most noteworthy of which are the almost prog-sounding "Lone Theme" which features lots of organ work and sort of existential lyrics; the acoustic "Train to You" with outstanding vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar work; and the very catchy throwback- pop tune "All I Really Need".

Overall this is a likeable album, though certainly not progressive by any stretch of the imagination (nor did the band ever claim to be to my knowledge). The original GAS Records pressing is the only one available as far as I know, and while it's not exactly a collectors item it's also not all that easy to find. Worth a listen if you manage to get your hands on a copy, and I would say a three (out of five) star effort (actually I just did say that). This is as good as the band would get though, as their next two albums strayed very far into arena-rock territory. In fact, a couple of these guys would go on to form the cock-rock band Toronto in the early eighties, which won't surprise anyone who hears the last two Rose albums that were released in the late seventies. Stick with this one and you'll be left with at least a decent opinion of the band.... by ClemofNazareth ...............

Brian Allen and Ron Glatley formed the basis of the band in the early 70's in Barrie, ON. They went through a variety of incarnations of 'the flavour of the day' images before settling on Rose, a hard-nosed sound heavy on guitars with a powering backbeat. A chance meeting with Ronnie Hawkins during a Toronto show led them to his manager, Milt Brodie. Brian Allen remembers, "He managed both us and Ronnie. Ronnie liked us and helped us get a few gigs here and there."
They played the circuit doing covers while finding time to record some demos at Toronto's Eastern Sound. With Gary Lalonde returning on bass (after briefly being replaced by Ian Kenzie) and drummer Ken King they were signed to GAS Records in '73. British emigrant, John Stewart - whose resume included the likes of Deep Purple was brought in to work over the band's material with engineer Tom Brennand. With Allen writing all but 3 of the songs (Lalonde - 2, Glatley - 1) HOOKED ON A ROSE was released later that year in a raw and energetic debut. Tracks like the lead-off "Long Lonesome Road", "Hex" and "Wonder Wings" gave us a taste of the fret-work Allen would become synoymous with. But financial problems within the label caused its demise the next year. They gained the songs' rights back and manufactured the records themselves, selling them with 'very funky homemade artwork' in local shops and at the concerts.

They continued working on demos at Eastern Sound over the next few years while building on a strong loyal following around the circuit. With new drummer James Fox, they continued shopping their demos to every label around, signing with Polydor in the fall of 1976. A TASTE OF NEPTUNE was released the spring of '77. Produced by Fraser Kaufman at Phase One Studios, the album was a collection of 9 progressive rock tracks, all written by Allen except for Glatley's "Snakes & Ladders". From the opening licks of "Ride Away" to "Bangin' My Head Against The Wall " to the title-track that ends it, the record was full of energy and zest. Respectable sales warranted a cross-country tour for the better part of the year.

They returned to Phase One and before the end of the year JUDGEMENT DAY was in the stores. Made up in large part of material which didn't make the first record, again Fraser Kaufman returned behind the controls. Under pressure from 'the suits' to produce a hit, they called on Annie Woods (ex of Sass and Gambler) to guest on the first single "Johnny Law". Again Allen wrote the majority of the material, including the roaring lead-off "Between The Lines", the title-track and "Dealer". Other noteable songs include "Recession - Depression" and Lalonde's "Tender Is The Night". Although the album got a fairly positive response across Canada, they were unable to land an American distributor. The label dropped them after a second cross-Canada tour in '78.

But before long Allen and Fox were back on the scene, hooking up again with Woods, now going by the first name of Holly. Along with Allen's future wife Sheron Alton, Nick Costello and Scott Kreyer (Sass/Gambler) they formed Toronto and became one of Canada's biggest-selling groups of the 80's. Lalonde meanwhile would also appear on record with Toronto on '83's GET IT ON CREDIT before joining Honeymoon Suite a year later.

After leaving the band in '84 Allen would go on to great success as a producer/engineer, including working with Lee Aaron, Haywire, Santers, The Nylons & Zappacosta. As well as working with A &M Records and now heading up AMPLUS Productions, Allen and Alton also wrote for many others after Toronto, including ironically their biggest-selling single ever - "What About Love". Though originally intended to be included on a Toronto record, it was Heart who scored a #1 with it in 1985. The original Toronto version remained unreleased until 2002.........................

Line-up / Musicians
- Ron Glatley / keyboards, guitars, percussion, vocals
- Brian Allen / guitars, vocals
- Gary Lalonde / bass, vocals
- Ken King / drums, percussion, vocals

Tracklist
A1 Long Lonesome Road
A2 Train To You
A3 In Between
A4 Hex
A5 Lone Theme
B1 Wonder Wings
B2 What's Happening
B3 All I Really Need
B4 Upon Parting
B5 Love Will Always Be There

 Singles 
1973 All I Really Need (GAS/Avenue Of America) 1977 Aquarian/Yet It Follows Me Still (Polydor) 2065-356 
1977 Johnny Law/ (Polydor) 

Albums 
1973 Hooked On A Rose (GAS/Avenue Of America) GLP-2002 
1977 A Taste Of Neptune (Polydor) 2424-136 
1977 Judgement Day (Polydor) 2424-168 

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