R 2279586 1274205675


Rose - A Taste of Neptune

Format: LP
Label: Polydor 2424 136
Year: 1977
Origin: Brentwood, Ontario
Genre: rock, prog
Value of Original Title: $15.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, 1970's, Prog Rock


Side 1

Track Name
Ride Away
Snakes and Ladders
Marie (Where Have You Gone?)
Bangin' My Head Against the Wall

Side 2

Track Name
Don't Surrender
Yet It Follows Me Still
A Tast of Neptune


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Rose - A Taste of Neptune

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Rose - A Taste of Neptune

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Rose - A Taste of Neptune

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Rose - A Taste of Neptune

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Rose - A Taste of Neptune

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A Taste of Neptune


No Video


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.
-ClemofNazareth, Progarchives.com

Ron Glatley: vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, percussion, vocals
Brian Allen: lead guitar, vocals
Gary Lalonde: bass, vocals
Jim Fox: drums, percussion, autoharp, vocals

Engineered by Dixon Van Winkle
Produced and mixed by Fraser Kaufman


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