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ROSE

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Rose biography
Formed by Ron Glatley and Brian Allen in the early 70s, ROSE hailed from Brentwood, Ontario. After a period of performing covers, they began to demo original material, the basis of which was their signing to the small ill fated Gas Label.


Their first album "Hooked on a Rose", from 1973, was mostly a hard rock affair produced by John Stewart of DEEP PURPLE fame. Their sound progressed from there and eventually earned them a deal with Polydor in 1976, with whom they released two 1977 albums, "A Taste of Neptune" and "Judgement Day". Neither of these netted the requisite commercial success. They blended pomp and prog, not unlike KANSAS, STYX, and countrymen PRISM, but their pinnacle piece was the epic symphonic title track to "A Taste of Neptune".


Several members went on to form and/or join the much more successful female fronted AOR band TORONTO who ruled the Canadian charts between 1980-1984.

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ROSE discography


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ROSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Hooked on a Rose
1973
3.00 | 9 ratings
A Taste of Neptune
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Judgement Day
1977

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ROSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Taste of Neptune   by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 9 ratings

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A Taste of Neptune
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rose an obscure and almost forgotten band from Canada, late '70's with 3 albums released in that period, being almost unnoticed by larger public. A taste of neptune, their second album from 1977 and first on Polydor records, was a step foward in their mucical aproach, first release from 1973 being a more rockier and with even some blues elements added. Rose now migrating to a progressive rock styleand moved into the same territory as bands like the Prism for ex also from Canada, Styx or some Kansas atmosphere can be traced here, little pomp rock with hard rock moves and progressive elements added in good measure. In places sounds ike a heavy prog to me but ok, I'm not complaying about the music here, I like it, even is nothing realy groundbreakind, but not bad at all. Some very tasty flavored keyboards on this album, specialy on first piece the opening track Ride away also some synth and here and there some acustic guitars give to this album a pleasent ride, at least for me. Not abad track here, I don't no why is so low rated, really. The title track, maybe the best from the album and aswell their most progressive one and majestic in same time, finishes the album in great manner, and with all that this release from 1977 is almost unknown to everybody. They disbanded a couple of years lately , some of the menbers join in early '80's Toronto , an AOR - hard rock band. A fairly good album this Taste of neptune who desearve from me 3 solid stars, not a weak moment here but not a masterpiece or something alike here aswell.

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 Judgement Day   by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Judgement Day
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
2 stars The third and final Rose album was the band's last-ditch effort to release something commercially viable before their label gave up on them completely. Didn't work, but that's probably got as much to do with the state of the music industry and the economy in the late seventies as it does with the quality of the band's work.

Many of the songs here are leftovers from the 'A Taste of Neptune' release that came out earlier in the year. And many of them sound like it too, especially the lackluster "Whirling Dervish" and "On Judgment Day" and the obvious filler tracks "Magic of the Holidays" (this came out in time for Christmas) and "Tender is the Night" (which I believe was written for this record by bassist Gary Lalonde but is still rather forgettable).

There are a few good tunes as well, particularly on the first side of the vinyl (this record has never been reissued on CD as far as I know). The opening "Between the Lines" has a sort of late Captain Beyond vibe and some decent drums fills that work pretty well as an opening track. "Johnny Law" is in the Bad Company mold and features a young Annie Woods who would become Holly Woods and end up fronting Canadian arena-rock stars Toronto which guitarist Brian Allen and drummer Jim Fox would form after Rose folded in 1978.

The band also wastes a perfectly good Queen-like rock-opera bit on the lame "Recession, Depression", a rather narcissistic view of hard times that features some of the most insipid lyrics I've heard in quite a while: "the world is starting to bend, is this the 30s again", "sacrifice isn't nice". Crappy lyrics, but otherwise one of the better songs on the album.

Overall this one is forgettable, and apparently Polydor agreed as they dropped the band almost immediately following the release. Allen and Fox formed Toronto, Lalonde ended up in Honeymoon Suite and I believe keyboardist/lead vocalist Ron Glatley ended up in studio production somewhere in Ontario.

If you ever want to hear the progression (or descent, depending on your viewpoint) of a band from a young, independent and somewhat idealistic group of friends, into a full- fledged b-list rock band with aspirations of fame and fortune, these are your guys. Ultimately all of them did end up finding fame (and presumably fortune) in the music industry, but not on the strength of Rose. Two stars out of five for this one, and not really recommended.

peace

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 A Taste of Neptune   by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 9 ratings

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A Taste of Neptune
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Following a very appealing folksy/bluesy debut on the by-then defunct GAS label, Rose moved on to bigger and better things in the form of Polydor Records. This would be one of only two records they released for the label before being dropped and fading into obscurity at the end of the seventies, along with so many other b-list bands.

The musical change of direction here is striking if all you've ever heard of the band is their debut album 'Hooked on a Rose'. That record was really more of a demo collection though, and is a bit misleading in terms of the band's musical niche. By this point they were clearly veterans of small stage touring and knew their way around the studio, and the resulting sound is quite obviously commercial and harder-edged than the first record, but still more in the realm of arena-rock than either hard-rock or progressive. The band reportedly appeared on stage at times with Triumph and I would place them close to that in terms of sound although Rose manages to leverage keyboards to good effect and puts together tunes that are a bit more melodic and less hard-rocking than most of Triumph's. They come off a bit more like April Wine or Saga really.

In any case this appears to be their most well-known record, relatively speaking of course since, like I said, they were clearly a b-list band and didn't ever manage to acquire much of a loyal following. While the album starts of with a bit of a borderline hair-band "Ride Away" and "Snakes and Ladders", the band doesn't abandon their mellower GAS-era sound completely and offers a laid-back lost-love song with "Marie (Where Have You Gone)" that features some very decent piano and vocal work by Ron Glatley, along with two-part background harmonies and tasteful though restrained guitar soloing by Brian Allen. I have to say drummer Jim Fox (I believe the only American in the group) and bassist Gary Lalonde are adequate at best on most of this album, though Lalonde does contribute vocals throughout and kicks up the bass a bit more on the heavier tracks such as "Bangin' My Head" and "Ride Away". He also apparently contributed to "Don't Surrender", another borderline arena-rock number.

"Aquarian" is an interesting track. The lead-in for this song sounds so seventies that I actually started having involuntary flashbacks the first time I heard it. If you are in your later forties and recall groups like Paper Lace, Orleans, Silver, Pilot or Greg Kihn just fire this one up and enjoy the trip back in time.

I assume the closing title track is what earned the band a 'progressive' label in some circles. I personally wouldn't put them there, but this is a decent tune. The premise appears to be a tale about surviving a brutal storm while at sea somewhere off the coast of Canada. This isn't a Gordon Lightfoot history-lesson song though, but rather I assume something meant to be more metaphorical although I'm not sure what about. Anyway it's a very good composition that makes good use of Glatley's keyboard skills, Allen's guitar work and all the band member's vocal abilities. Not even remotely progressive in my opinion, but as close as most bands came by 1977, and certainly much better than the record that would follow.

Three stars (out of five) for a very decent overall effort that moves away from the band's earlier, more earthy direction but still manages to offer more variety than most bands in similar circumstances at the time. Mildly recommended to history buffs and fans of seventies AOR, especially of the Canadian variety.

peace

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 Hooked on a Rose         by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Hooked on a Rose
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
3 stars '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.

peace

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 A Taste of Neptune   by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 9 ratings

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A Taste of Neptune
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by johnnyrock

3 stars I just picked this LP up again recently. I always liked Rose and enjoy all three of their albums. To add to what kenethlivine says above about Rose not enjoying further success as did Triumph. Rose was reincarnated as Toronto after hiring female singer Holly Woods and enjoyed some commercial success as well as having a couple songs their covered by Pat Benetar. Also interesting that Triumph was mentioned in the review as I saw a concert by Triumph after their first album with Rose as the opening band for $2.99 in the 70s ( i forget the year). For more on Rose and other assorted vinyl, check out my blog (blog to be) at imavinyljunkie.blogspot.com

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 A Taste of Neptune   by ROSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 9 ratings

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A Taste of Neptune
Rose Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This obscure Canadian album has only one progressive song, that being the title track, but what a song! "A Taste of Neptune" is early King Crimson (Epitaph) meets early BJH (After the Day), a seafaring tale with a brilliant melody and washes of organ and string synthesizer. This is very emotional music and highly symphonic. The rest of the album is a mixed bag of conventional rock songs, with most of the better material appearing towards the end ("Aquarian", "Yet it Follows me Still"). It is worth noting that another largely faceless Canadian band debuted around the same time with an OK album that featured a great prog track, that being Triumph and their "Blinding Light Show". Of course that band emerged strongly from obscurity where Rose did not. This is more like 2.5 stars, but gets up to 3 because it has one long stellar song.

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