Black Rose Import
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Originally Released in 1980, this Record Reflects Cher's Then-Fascination with Straight-Ahead Rock Music. She Served as the Front Woman for the Band of the Album's Title (Black Rose) and Accordingly Carried Them. Includes the Cher-Gems "Young and Pretty", "Never Should've Started" and Six More.
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"Never Should've Started" kicks the record off to a good start, demonstrating promise in the songwriting. Right away, it is clear that Cher is in rocker mode - she adds a nice rasp to her voice now and then and sing-screams many lines to suit the style, doing so exceptionally well. "Julie" is weaker but still likable, and Cher means business - beware the occasional profanity on this record, beginning with this track. The next few songs are filler and have yet to excite me to any degree. "You Know It", as I mentioned before, is a strong track and Cher and Les wrap their harmonies around one another beautifully. It's got a shuffle-type tempo and could easily have been a Fleetwood Mac song. "Young and Pretty", in my opinion, is the highlight of the record - not that it's an outstanding song, but Cher sings it with superb emotion and conviction. At first it bothered me that most of the song was sung in a low vocal register, but it grew on me and only added to the dramatic flare of the track. The record closes with "Fast Company", with a nice guitar riff, but the song itself is nothing to write home about.
It's easy to see why Cher was so musically satisfied with her Black Rose experience - she is very, very good at singing the style (what CAN'T she sing? Folk, Pop, Hard Rock, AOR, Southern Rock, Dance, A/C, wow!) and brings nearly all of the quality to this album. A nod to Les Dudek for his talents - it's too bad we couldn't have heard more from him.
I had always wanted this album on CD, and while this is basically just a different front cover with the music [ and no credits at all , so packaging is nothing ], this budget import is a godsend! It's the music that matters here, and this is some of the best music Cher has made in her career. It illustrates her love of rock music , and it came 7 years before her rock phase with the Geffen label which resulted in her many latter day hits. These songs here are just as good, if not better. Somehow they seem more honestly Cher too.