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Rose Tattoo - Jailhouse Rock Live
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 54 mins . M15+ . PAL


Known as the meanest band in the world, the aggressive blues rock band Rose Tattoo has been around for a very long time. Forming in 1976 in Sydney, they were an instant hit with the locals. They released their debut self-titled album Rose Tattoo in 1978, which contained the classics Bad Boy For Love and Rock‘n’Roll Outlaw and gained the band some very good radio exposure to support their extensive live performances. This album was released overseas with the title Rock‘n’Roll Outlaw. Their second album, in 1981, was Assault and Battery, which further established the band's following. The third album, Scarred For Life, achieved much more radio airplay for the band and with even more touring they were now well and truly competing with the best of the hard bands. This album contained the well known anthems Scarred For Life and We Can’t Be Beaten and gave every mullet haired bogan a sense of belonging. Southern Stars followed in 1984 and Beats From a Single Drum concluded the bands recording career as a collective in 1986, well for the time being anyway. They reformed in 1993 at the request of long time fans Guns‘n’Roses to support them on their Australian tour, but the reformation was only a brief one. They reformed yet again in 1998 for the All Hell Breaks Loose Tour and in 2000 released the album 25 to Life.

Several line up changes had occurred over the years with many members going on to solo careers and other such projects. The one constant throughout though was the driving force in the band, lead singer Angry Anderson. Angry also achieved solo chart success with Bound For Glory and the Neighbours wedding song Suddenly. He shows much more of his softer side these days with extensive charity work and is a real easy touch when it comes to kids, especially those who are less fortunate than most. He is indeed a proud Australian and someone that is now admired rather than feared.

Recorded at Brisbane’s Boggo Road Jail in July 1993 in front of a massive audience, Rose Tattoo shared the bill that night with Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs and The Divinyls in this memorable event that saw the closing of the jail.

Track listing:

Out of This Place
Bad Boy For Love
Assault & Battery
The Butcher & Fast Eddy
Rock‘n’Roll is King
Street Fighting Man
Rock‘n’Roll Outlaw
One of the Boys
Nice Boys
Going Down

Highlights of the show include an unusual version of the Rolling Stones classic Street Fighting Man and also the appearance of Billy Thorpe to help the band with the closing number. Angry sounds better than ever, as do the entire band, but it is his stage presence that most remember from a Rose Tattoo show. The only disappointment with this show is the length, with a running time of only 53:32 it seems to be over almost as soon as it began.


The video is presented in full frame and is visually as good as expected. There are several problems normally encountered with live performances, such as lack of detail due to lighting, but this is generally quite a clear print. There is some grain on distant shots and aliasing raises its ugly head in the usual places like microphone stands and guitar strings, but these are not too intrusive. Colours are generally true and although they do suffer in some areas from saturation, they are again acceptable.

Audio is supplied in English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and is very good. Lyrics are hard to understand at the best of times, but this is not the fault of the transfer. The one thing lacking is the subwoofer as a lot more bass would have been nice, but if you have the capability to pump this through a surround system then please do. This stereo track is still quite hard hitting though and is better than expected. Audio synch is never a problem and although a 5.1 mix would have been nice, this is sufficient.

The only extra supplied with this release is a biography in the form of a series of text pages. This is quite informative but nothing spectacular.

Overall this is a great performance from a great band. The show is only a brief one but should satisfy fans. The video and audio are both quite good although a surround mix would have been nice. If you are a fan then check this out.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Most said they would end up in jail one day and here they finally are, the meanest band in the world playing the Boggo Road jail back in 1993..."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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