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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Phantom, Rocker And Slick - 1985 Phantom, Rocker And Slick
Phantom, Rocker And Slick - 1985 Phantom, Rocker And Slick

ARTIST: Phantom, Rocker And Slick
ALBUM: Phantom, Rocker And Slick
LABEL: EMI America
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2012, Rock Candy Records, CANDY127


LINEUP: Slim Jim Phantom - drums, vocals * Lee Rocker - double bass, lead vocals * Earl Slick - guitar, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 What You Want * 02 My Mistake * 03 Hollywood Distractions * 04 No Regrets * 05 Well Kept Secret * 06 Runnin' From The Hounds * 07 Men Without Shame * 08 Sing For Your Supper * 09 Lonely Actions

A cool name for a band, with all the surnames coming together; the band-name rolling off the tongue like a smooth drop of Scottish Malt. Formed in 1983, Phantom and Rocker were both members of rockabilly legends The Stray Cats alongside Brian Setzer. The duo of Phantom and bassist Lee Rocker joined forces with former David Bowie six-stringer Earl Slick. Their 1985 debut was produced by the pair of Michael Barbiero and Steve Thompson; many will remember that these two were responsible for the classic Tesla debut 'Mechanical Resonance'. Not that PR&S have anything in common with Tesla, in fact they are worlds apart. PR&S don't quite head off into rockabilly territory a la The Stray Cats. No, they are quite solid rocking, a biggish production, and a varied selection of songs, but truth be told, it is quite hard to pigeon hole them into any one category.

The Songs
I couldn't help but notice a return to a 70's like sound on some songs. The opener 'What You Want' and 'Well Kept Secret' contained a not so secret nod in the direction of T-Rex. The band had minor success with the tracks 'My Mistake' and 'Men Without Shame', the latter released as a video for MTV. 'Hollywood Distractions' provides a glimpse at an 80's pop rocker with a hint of power-pop in the mix. PR&S head off into ballad territory for 'No Regrets', acoustic and slide guitar, a drop of honky tonk piano and a country back-drop. Yee hah! I kept on humming that 80's tune 'Reunited'.. why was that? 'Runnin' From The Hounds' is a very groovy tune, not quite sure where this lands in terms of genre, it's a pot pourri colour-mix of styles. 'Sing For Your Supper' is a bit more rock friendly, though the prevailing style is jangly. The closer 'Lonely Actions' is another ballad that does absolutely nothing for me whatsoever.

In Summary
Apart from the two tracks mentioned which did reasonably well (minor), this album didn't do that great upon release, reaching #62 on the Billboard 200 album charts. They released a second album 'Cover Girl' a year later, but that was the writing on the wall, PR&S jacking it in not long after. Phantom and Rocker returned to The Stray Cats while Earl Slick returned to life in the studio. Strangely, this album received a reissue in 2012 on the melodic rock label Rock Candy Records. Strange bedfellows indeed.

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#1 | Eric on October 12 2014 19:41:26
Agree. I remember oodles of hype for this record and was fairly disappointed when I bought it. The second album was no better.
#2 | Emda on October 13 2014 20:33:33
Eric, no wonder, in the MTV years clothing and hairstyle for the most part was more important than quality music
#3 | super80boy on October 18 2015 17:44:45
I was never a big fan of the Stray Cats rockabilly style, but fortunately this trio injects some solid rock and roll vibes into the proceedings. I remember purchasing this vinyl on the merits of its whacky front cover. Side 1 is consistently enjoyable and then Side 2 slides into mediocre offerings with exception of lead off 'Men Without Shame', an album standout. An interesting choice for Rock Candy…
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