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Monday, March 28, 2011

Metal Louvre: Rough Cutt - Wants You!

I'm not saying Rough Cutt was a terrific heavy metal band, though they had the potential to be, had its original lineup beginning under the name Magic stayed intact. You're talking Jake E. Lee, Paul Shortino, Craig Goldie, Claude Schnell, David Alford and Joey Christofinilli. Supergroup, anyone?

Rough Cutt suffered many cuts as only Shortino and Alford remained in the band as of their 1986 album, Wants You! The later inception of Rough Cutt was still a pretty decent hard rock band that came up and then went away through the plastic fantastic grinder. They took their cues from Y&T, Whitesnake and Keel and were quickly gobbled up by the majors for an instant sell, as happened with many of the eighties expendables. Of course, Shortino bailed out quickly after Wants You! was released once the offer to join Quiet Riot was put on his table. This in-house drama and abrupt clocking out is why Rough Cutt's name seldom comes up outside of Shortino's followers and those who lived the metal scene the first time around.

Practically erased from sight after this album (with the exception of Shortino and guitarist Amir Derakh who later joined Orgy), Rough Cutt at least managed to penetrate their target audience with this snazzy bit of pop art on their so-so Wants You! album. The marketing campaign for Wants You! found Rough Cutt in many magazines and trade periodicals of the day, like Hit Parader, Circus and Metal Forces. Warner Brothers had pushed Wants You! with nearly the same zeal as David Lee Roth's Eat 'em and Smile and Skyscraper albums. With a cheeky album cover (pun intended), Rough Cutt had a shot at the big-time, although it was a minimal one, as a quickly-disinterested Warners soon proved.

It's not that this album cover is a masterpiece, but it's detailed and linear in the space allotted for the subjects and I've always been fond of this cover as it could've also landed on a Cars album and made a definite impact. Wants You! is just slinky enough to stand in the same heavy petting space as The Cars' Candy-O album cover, although Candy-O is far more iconic. Wants You! is a case of style over substance, sex over rock 'n roll--instead of with it. Hey, it worked. If you had Wants You! back in the day, why did you buy it? Be honest.


cjk_44 said...

I didn't see this album cover until just now, but holy schmokes what a sweet Caddy!

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...