PHANTOM, ROCKER & SLICK – ST [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded]
The debut album by combo PHANTOM, ROCKER & SLICK was requested many times on this blog. It’s one not so easy to find, but now we bring it in all its glory with a clean, pristine sound fully remastered for the first time by Rock Candy Records specialists.
Very few rock bands in the ’80s attempted to think, or indeed play, outside the box. Most kept to well-worn paths, be it glam rock, heavy metal, punk rock or even pop rock but for Phantom, Rocker & Slick the musical trajectory was new and imaginative; an exciting step in a totally unique direction, combining primal rock ‘n roll with the cut and thrust of Eighties glam / hard rock.
It was a sound that made critics and fans sit up and take notice. Featuring former Stray Cats founders Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker, together with universally well respected guitar hero Earl Slick (David Bowie, John Lennon, John Waite, Silver Condor), the band were launched in an explosion of excitement, earning instant acclaim for not only their album but also for a series of incredibly energetic live performances.
Produced & recorded in Los Angeles by magic duo Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero (Metallica, Tesla, Guns N’ Roses, Cinderella) and released in 1985, “Phantom, Rocker & Slick” features amongst its eleven self-penned tracks, guest appearances from Rolling Stones keyboard alumni Nicky Hopkins and guitarist Keith Richards.
The chemistry between the 3 musicians worked amazingly well. That the music is highly addictive is no surprise but what is truly eye opening is the level of excitement and the quality of their songwriting.
Including the hits “My Mistake” and the infectiously guitar driven “Men Without Shame” (the latter a top-10 and received hot airplay on MTV), we have more effective rockers in “What You Want” and the groovy “Runnin’ From The Hounds”.
“Hollywood Distractions” is the more melodic / poppy rocker of the bunch with that distinct ’80s feel, while the band enters in the ballad territory with the acoustically filled “No Regrets”.
Despite mixed reviews among critics, the album remained on the U.S. charts for almost six months and Phantom, Rocker & Slick managed to make a slight impact at rock radio, where “Men Without Shame” went Top 10.
In my opinion this is a really fun rockin’ record merging classic rock n’ roll with glammy hard riffs and a true ’80s sonic patina. Slick really shines on this album showcasing an arsenal of tasty chops and catchy guitar swirls.
I really liked this remaster by Rock Candy Records, fortunately not brickwalled but punchy & bright.
01 – What You Want
02 – My Mistake
03 – Hollywood Distractions
04 – No Regrets
05 – Well Kept Secret
06 – Men Without Shame
07 – Runnin’ From The Hounds
08 – Time Is On My Hands
09 – Sing For Your Supper
10 – Lonely Actions
Slim Jim Phantom – drums, vocals
Lee Rocker – double bass, lead vocals
Earl Slick – guitars, vocals
Keith Richards – guest guitar
Nicky Hopkins – guest keyboards on 4