Biff Rose

The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side

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The charm and appeal of Rose's debut album have dated. His straining voice can be hard to take, and the lyrics that might have sounded sly and subversive (like the cop in "Buzz the Fuzz" who falls in love with "Alice D" after starting to bust her for drugs) at the time can sound overly cutesy now. His words are often clever, though, and the arrangements, matching his Broadway-style piano to light Hollywood orchestras, have a greater attraction than those that simply let Rose play the keys alone. This is the Rose album that will interest Bowie fans and rock historians the most, as it includes the original versions of "Fill Your Heart" (covered by Bowie on Hunky Dory) and "Buzz the Fuzz" (covered by Bowie live in the early 1970s), and the approach and arrangements were a clear influence on Hunky Dory.

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