Black Rose (Cher album)

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Black Rose
Studio album by Cher
Released August 21, 1980
August 17, 1999 (reissue)
Recorded 1980 at Sunset Sound Recorders and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles
Genre Pop rock, new wave
Length 33:17
Label Casablanca Records, EMI (reissue)
Producer James Newton Howard
Cher chronology
Prisoner
(1979)
Black Rose
(1980)
I Paralyze
(1982)
Alternative cover
Reissue album artwork, featuring only the face of Cher.

Black Rose is the lone album by the rock band Black Rose, whose lead singer was American singer-actress Cher. The album was released on August 21, 1980 by Casablanca Records. Unlike Cher's previous solo records (such as Take Me Home) the album was a commercial failure. It failed to chart and has sold only 400,000 copies worldwide.[1]

Album information[edit]

The Black Rose Band.

In 1980 Cher and her part-time boyfriend Les Dudek wanted to form a band called Black Rose.[2]

The band, before signing a contract with Casablanca Records, was an independent rock band that played in small clubs around Los Angeles and tried to make it without trading on Cher's celebrity.[2] Besides Cher, the other band members were Les Dudek, Gary Ferguson, Michael Finnigan, Warren Ham, Rocket Ritchotte and Trey Thompson.

Black Rose, the last of Cher's albums released by the Casablanca Records, was produced by James Newton Howard.[3] Her name never appeared on the album cover and Cher's face was only seen in a band photo on the back cover.[2][4]

The album is Cher's first album with a rock sound, that would characterize her future Geffen-era albums. The album was a flop and Cher fans were unaware of the project. After the failure of the album the band broke up the following year.

In Germany, Spectrum Records re-released the Black Rose album, completely intact, for the first time on a CD. It was packaged with a photo of Cher singing in concert and marketed as a Cher album, instead of as a Black Rose album.

Second untitled album[edit]

There were rumors about a subsequent album, recorded during 1980 and 1981, which would have contained some songs sung live in their mini tour, "The Black Rose Show", such as "Ain’t Got No Money" and "Dirty Old Man", but the project was cancelled. "Don't Trust That Woman" written by Cher and Les Dudek, was written for the album but was dumped. Dudek recorded the song for his album, and the song was later recorded by Elton John as well.

Promotion[edit]

The album was promoted on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the band performed "Never Should've Started"[5] and "Julie"[6] but both lip-synched. The album was also promoted at the Midnight Special with four performances: "Never Should've Started", "Julie", "You Know It" and the Frankie Miller cover "Ain't Got No Money" all the songs were sung live. Videos of the performance have been available on YouTube since March 2009. The album was also promoted on The Merv Griffin Show.

The Black Rose Show[edit]

To support the album and to lift sales in 1980, the Black Rose band and Cher did a mini tour called The Black Rose Show performed only in North America. The setlist for the show contained: "Never Should've Started", "Julie", "You Know It", "Ain't Got No Money", a little band introduction, and "Dirty Old Man". For some dates Black Rose was the opening act for Hall & Oates. The costumes for the show were designed by Bob Mackie. The band performed in Pennsylvania, Central Park, Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel Township and elsewhere.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
Black Rose second and last single released

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The reviews were mixed, many critics questioning Cher's credibility and drawing comparisons to other New Wave rock groups, particularly Blondie. Billboard magazine said that "[...] it shapes a New Wave style that fits the midtempo rock mode with which the main group members are associated" and about Cher "especially well done though Cher's vocals are emotional and full of life on the entire disk". People magazine said that "Cher's quivering, over-mannered vocals on this Lp need all the help they can get, and she gets more than she deserves" and "This album could be vastly improved, rerecorded by the Group with No Singer".[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Never Should've Started"   David Foster, David Paich, James Newton Howard, Valerie Carter 4:14
2. "Julie"   Bernie Taupin, Mike Chapman 3:21
3. "Take It From the Boys"   Carole Bayer Sager, Bruce Roberts 4:59
4. "We All Fly Home"   John Vastano, Vince Poncia 3:56
5. "88 Degrees"   Phil Brown 5:57
6. "You Know It"   Les Dudek 3:20
7. "Young and Pretty"   Allee Willis, Richard M. Gerstein 4:03
8. "Fast Company"   Fred Mollin, Larry Mollin 3:47

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cher 80's bio". Project80s.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  2. ^ a b c "Info about Black Rose". TvParty.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  3. ^ "Black Rose". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  4. ^ "See the back-cover here". Geocities.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  5. ^ Cher with Black Rose band performing Never Should've Started on YouTube
  6. ^ Cher with Black Rose band performing Julie on YouTube
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Black Rose > Overview )))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  8. ^ "BLACK ROSE". justplaincher.net. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 

External links[edit]