SMASHED GLADYS – RAW (Unreleased 3rd album + Gene Simmons sessions) (2022)
Born from the embers of the vibrant Toronto scene, SMASHED GLADYS formed in the early ’80s and then headed to New York City. After their first self-titled indie album, Smashed Gladys touring and doing opening slots with Ace Frehley, Cheap Trick, Poison, Rick Derringer, Blue Oyster Cult, and others. Selling out venues in Manhattan and the surrounding tri-state area, Smashed Gladys caught the attention of Elektra Records, which picked up the rights to the first record and then sent the band into the studio to work on their next record, ‘Social Intercourse’, recorded in NYC with Rick Browdie and in L.A with Michael Wagener doing additional tracking and mixing.
Smashed Gladys was making demos for their third record when they received offers from producers John Paul Jones and Mick Ronson. Tragically, Smashed Gladys‘ bass player, Mark Sliker, then died from a drug overdose. Following the trials and tribulations, the group disbanded.
Now 2022 it’s being released “RAW“, an album featuring the recorded songs for the never released third LP, which have been freshly remixed by the band’s first producer, Mark Dearnley, whose credits include a wide range from AC/DC to Paul McCartney.
But there’ more interesting material here; the album rounds out with an additional four songs produced by Gene Simmons, the first music ever recorded by Smashed Gladys in 1984, released now for the first time ever.
Sound quality is very good, and these songs rock hard, with tons of attitude and swagger.
Smashed Gladys were headed by vocalist Sally Cato, becoming part of the legendary US glam / hair metal scene. Cato sadly passed away in 2020, and now Golden Robot Records are presenting these unreleased recordings in her honour.
These are raucous rockers from the New York based glitterati band, songs that meets you at the intersection of tough rock chick and funky glam boys – and tells you exactly where to go. Turn it up and you can feel the heat of a packed downtown club and smell the whiskey wafting through the air.
Sally Cato started as a singer in the art rock band The Concordes, while guitarist Bart Lewis did a brief stint with Canada’s most dangerous band, The Viletones, before departing for NYC. Soon after relocating to Gotham, Sally & Bart met songwriter Tommy Boyce, who (along with his partner Bobby Hart) had coined most of The Monkees songs. Under Boyce’s guidance, the group began rehearsing at a well known studio in midtown Manhattan.
Smashed Gladys started playing venues in and around the NYC area, during which time they met Gene Simmons. Simmons offered them a production / management deal.
Along with the addition of Hilly Michaels, drummer from the Ian Hunter band – SG went into the studio and recorded their first songs produced by Simmons. Four of the tracks from those sessions are being released now, for the first time ever, on “RAW”.
Simmons captured the personality and raw grittiness of the band perfectly and by the end of 1984, SG were in the UK recording their first album, ‘Smashed Gladys’, with Mark Dearnley at the producer helm. The band returned to the states and began touring and doing opening slots for major acts, while playing at various East Coast venues.
It was during this feverish period that they established the infamous Wednesday night series at The Cat Club. The night became a launching pad for several bands, and grew to become a showcase venue, late night hang, and playing party stage for artists such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger and several others.
In 1986, Smashed Gladys were signed by Elektra VP, Howard Thompson.
The band played a signing gig to a packed house at one of the first venues they played in NYC – the legendary CBGB. Soon after they recorded ‘Social Intercourse’, their first LP for Elektra.
While making the record, they met the artist working in the adjacent studio, Ozzy Osbourne, who made a guest background vocal appearance on the song “Cast of Nasties.” Osbourne had warned the band that some of the titles and subject matter on the record might get them in trouble in certain markets and banned altogether from retailers such as Walmart.
He was right, and touring in certain Midwestern states became dangerous at times forcing the band to bring along new members … Mr Smith & Wesson.
Smashed Gladys was making demos for their third record when they received offers from producers John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Mick Ronson (Bowie). They went with Ronson and began pre-production, but Ronson fell ill. The band then was then picked up by Teddy Slatus, Johnny Winter’s manager and label.
Tragically, SG’s third bass player, Mark Sliker, then died from a drug overdose. Following the trials and tribulations, frontman Sally Cato left the music business and returned to being a graphic artist.
It’s a shame that this Smashed Gladys third album never was released… until now. “Demos” is certainly not the correct description for the songs on ”RAW”. This really is that unreleased third album, the sound quality and the production, recently mixed by the band’s first producer Mark Dearnley, is way above demo quality.
One thing’s for certain, you won’t be short changed on the number of tracks: ”RAW” contains no less than eighteen of them! Now that raises a potential problem. Does it water the album down? Are there songs that shouldn’t have made the cut?
Not at all, these songs rock! “RAW” showcases SG differing styles, be it that sleazy, punky sound of ‘Move Over‘ or opener ‘Black Beauties and Blue Eyed Blondes‘ reminiscent of the band’s other two albums, or with say ‘13 Broadway Babies & White House Ladies‘ with it’s southern influences, the AC/DC feel of ‘Ain’t Looking For Love‘ or ‘Bump In The Night‘ complete with honky-tonk piano.
01 – Black Beauties And Blue Eyed Blondes
02 – Move Over
03 – Bump In The Night
04 – Bleed For Me
05 – Tattooed Blue
06 – Beggars & Thieves
07 – That Woman
08 – Rented Dreams
09 – What A Shame
10 – Go To Hell
11 – Ain’t Looking For Love
12 – Weekend Whiskey/Lost Generation
13 – Broadway Babies & White House Ladies
14 – Never Take No (For An Answer)
15 – Give It All You’ve Got
16 – Stand Tall
17 – The Beat Goes On
18 – B.A.D. (Bonus Track)
Sally Cato – vocals
Bart Lewis, Roger Lane – guitar
Matt Stellutto, Hilly Michaels – drums
Ken Fox, J.D. Malo – bass