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Rose Tattoo - The Best Of Rose Tatoo
Rose Tattoo was formed in Sydney, Australia in 1974 by slide guitarist Peter Wells, who had just departed the bassist role in Buffalo. Ian Rilen from Band Of Light, joined on bass.
Rhythm guitarist Mick Cocks, singer Tony Lake and drummer Michael Vandersluy completed the line-up, however the last two remained for a few rehearsals and were soon replaced by former Buster Brown members Angry Anderson (vocals) and Dallas "Digger" Royal. Like Buffalo, Buster Brown enjoyed a level of notoriety, playing at the Sunbury Festival in 1974 and at one point had featured AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd.
Chiefly inspired by The Rolling Stones and The Faces, Rose Tattoo's hard rocking sound quickly earned a devoted following in the Sydney area. Among the band's fans were members of AC/DC who recommended them to Albert Productions. The band's debut single "Bad Boy For Love" was written by Rilen, who left the line-up prior to the record's release.
Anderson's onetime Buster Brown bassist, Geordie Leach was recruited for Rose Tattoo's self-titled debut LP. After nearly three years of extensive touring, during which time Leach temporarily left the band, to be replaced by Lobby Loyde, they issued the follow-up, 'Assault And Battery' in 1981.
Rose Tattoo toured Europe in 1981 was featured at the Reading Festival and were hailed as the loudest band to play London's Marquee Club since Led Zeppelin. Returning to Australia, the band began work on their third album with new guitarist Robin Riley, replacing Cocks who went to join Heaven. They released 'Scarred For Life' in 1982, subsequently touring the U.S. with ZZ Top and Aerosmith. The bands U.S. visit was not a major success, but proved to be extremely influential on the underground with bands such as Guns N' Roses later citing Rose Tattoo as favorites (they covered "Nice Boys" on the Lies album).
After the U.S. tour, Wells, Royal and Riley all left the group, with the remaining duo of Anderson and Leach recruiting guitarists Greg Jordan and John Mayer (from Perth progressive metal band Saracen) along with drummer Scott Johnston to record 1984's 'Southern Stars'. Leach then exited to join Wells, Royal and Riley in the short-lived Illustrated Man. Anderson also took time out to play the character 'Ironbar' Bassey in the 1985 film, 'Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome'. That year, Rose Tattoo, as Anderson, Johnston, Meyer, Andy Cichon (bass) and Tim Gaze (slide guitar) released a version of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild", their first release for Mushroom Records. Meyer left and the band recorded 1986's 'Beats From A Single Drum' as a four-piece.
Anderson finally mounted a solo career soon after as did Wells. After a long battle with cancer, Royal died in 1991. In 1992, Anderson was approached by Guns N' Roses to reform Rose Tattoo in order to support Guns N' Roses on their Australian tour. Anderson, Wells, Cocks, Leach and new drummer Paul DeMarco, from Wells' solo band, reunited for the 1993 tour. The reunion proved brief however, and each then member returned to his solo endeavors.
The band reformed yet again for a 1998 tour and for another tour in 2000. Recordings from the 2000 tour formed the basis of the '25 To Life' live album. 2002 saw the release of 'Pain', the bands first studio album in 16 years.
2006 was a sad year for Rose Tattoo. Peter Wells died after a four year battle with prostate cancer and founding member, Ian Rilen passed away after battling bladder cancer.
In 2007, Rose Tattoo released 'Blood Brothers' and supported Guns N' Roses and Motorhead on their Australian tours. Angry Anderson announced his intention to retire the band after one more album. In April 2009, it was announced that Mick Cocks had liver cancer. He passed away on Dec. 22, 2009.
The 20 songs on this best of compliation are from Rose Tattoo's first four albums, all four being produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.