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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Black Rose (UK) - 1987 Walk It Like You Talk It
Black Rose (UK) - 1987 Walk It Like You Talk It

ARTIST: Black Rose (UK)
ALBUM: Walk It How You Talk It
SERIAL: NEAT 1034 (LP), TU 188-2
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Steve Bardsley - vocals * Pat O'Neill - guitars * Mick Thompson - bass * Gary Todd - keyboards * Barry Youll - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shout It Out * 02 E.Z.L.Y * 03 Honestly Love You * 04 Don't Fall In Love * 05 Party Animal * 06 Want Your Love * 07 California USA * 08 Walk It How You Talk It * 09 Bright Lights Burnin'

Britain produced a slew of hard rock bands during the NWOBHM days. Straddling the fence between 1978 and the early 80's, there were a few superb bands, however the majority were great pretenders who didn't get beyond the 7 inch single and demo stages. One of those bands lumped in there was Middlesborough based Black Rose. Starting life off as the band Ice, these former schoolmates merged into Black Rose during 1980 - right at the height of the NWOBM scene, and appeared on a Neat Records EP called 'One Take No Dubs'. The band underwent a couple of personnel changes, and by 1983 had signed with Bullet Records for their first LP 'Boys Will Be Boys'which was released the following year. Black Rose toured all over the place, including support slots with Raven, Spider, Atomic Rooster, Terraplane (later to become Thunder), and the former Samson drummers solo band Thunderstick. Of more interest to GDAZE readers is their second and final album - from 1987 'Walk It Like You Talk It'. Now signed to Neat Records, BR underwent further changes, with new 16 yr old whizkid guitarist Pat O'Neill joining, plus the recruitment of a keyboardist - Gary Todd. The album sits nicely in the British melodic rock/AOR bracket, populated by the likes of Shy, Shogun, Tobruk, Briar and Tokyo Blade. With the addition of keyboards, the music makes for primetime GDAZE listening - the harmony vocals adding to an impressive melodic outing.

The Songs
'Walk It Like You Talk It' had lain dormant in my music collection for a few years until recently. A pity I never cottoned onto these guys earlier, as for the most part, this is damn good stuff. Having listened to Shogun's '31 Days' as reviewed not long ago by Jeff Duran, this compares similarly. There's a good smattering of American flavoured melodic rock which is well played and produced. Kicking off with 'Shout It Out', Black Rose riff away in typical fashion, somewhere between Black N Blue and Lion, though probably more at the workingman's level. 'E.Z.L.Y' features great Dokken like guitar lines amid the subtle keyboard touches and pumping bass. Gary Todd sets 'Honestly Love You' alight with some AOR keyboard work, which drives through on the chorus, but mostly this is a catchy hard rockin' affair. Delicate piano opens the way for the smooth mid-tempo 'Don't Fall In Love'. The band get back to their anthemic best on 'Party Animal', while they pick up the pace/metronome on 'Want Your Love'. One could guess that their career intentions were laid out on the table with 'California USA', a terrific melodic riffing exercise with gang chant vocals to compliment their sound. The title track 'Walk It How You Talk It' is reminiscent of 'Metal Health' era Quiet Riot, so again the L.A metal scene is touched upon yet again. For the finale 'Bright Lights Burnin', Black Rose display more evidence of their class with another American inspired effort, perhaps similar to material found on Shy's magnificent 'Emergency All Areas' LP released the same year. With guitar wonder kid Pat O'Neill, this band really found top form, this kid really was a talent!

In Summary
The album was released in the USA on the K-Tel label, and just as the band looked set to push into the North American market, another band of the same name based in New York threatened a half million dollar lawsuit if they arrived and pursued their musical ambition in the land of Uncle Sam and hotdogs! Committed to staying home in Blighty, the band worked toward writing for a third album, but unfortunately the pressure took its toll and they folded. Who knows, if they had used a more original band name without the threat of a lawsuit, they could very well have made a mark in the USA in much the same way Grim Reaper did a few years earlier. A good album nonetheless, featuring many of the attributes that would appeal to regulars of this site.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | swazi on November 21 2011 17:21:42
One of the rarest CD's out there .., somewhere ....!
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