Great Rock Albums of 1980: 38 Special- Rockin’ Into The Night

38_Special_-_Rockin'_Into_the_Night

Halfway through 1980, I was thoroughly converted to the genre known as Southern Rock. I had been listening to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet and had heard the “Strikes” album by Blackfoot and really liked that. So when a friend of a friend introduced me to this album, I was chomping at the bit to hear more and when I did, in no way was I disappointed.

It was easy to assume that because the lead singer for 38 Special, Donnie Van Zant, was the brother of the famous Ronnie Van Zant of Skynyrd fame, that 38 Special would sound like carbon copies of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was made more so because Skynyrd’s former pianist, the late Billy Powell, plays on a few of the tracks on this album. However, the sound of 38 Special is their own and their own fingerprint on Southern Rock definitely manifests itself throughout “Rockin’ Into the Night.” They are definitely unique. 

As I said before, I am normally a bit nervous about an album whose hit single is the first track on it. It makes me think, there’s nothing after worth listening to. That isn’t true here and that is despite the fact that the track “Rockin’ Into The Night” is such a fantastic song, probably my favourite 38 Special song of all time. Even the thought of it has me bobbing my head to it at this very moment. After the title track, however, the album continues on with a string of great tracks in the 38 Special style. “Stone Cold Believer,” the hard rocking “Take Me Through The Night,” which eerily goes almost ballad like in some places and “Money Honey” are all great tracks on the first side if you heard it on vinyl or cassette. Side two doesn’t deteriorate in any way either. After a strong side opening “You’re The Captain,” (a very good anti- drugs song) is most likely my favourite instrumental song of all time, “Robin Hood.” The blends of acoustic and electric guitars are riveting. The last two tracks, “You Got The Deal” and “Turn It On” provide the perfect end to this great album.

Track Listing:

1. Rockin’ Into the Night

2. Stone Cold Believer

3. Take Me Through the Night

4. Money Honey

5. The Love That I Lost

6. You’re the Captain

7. Robin Hood

8. You Got the Deal

9. Turn It On

38 Special

38 Special

Donnie Van Zant- vocals

Don Barnes- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

Jeff Carlisi- lead and slide guitars

Larry Junstrom- bass

Jack Grondin- drums, percussion

Steve Brookins- drums, percussion

Additional musicians

Billy Powell- piano

Terry Emery- piano

Dale Krantz- Rossington- backing vocals

Five years after this magnificent album, I would find myself defending 38 Special to a friend who claimed they were a Top 40 band. What I should have done with hindsight, was to play this album for him. He would have known that back in 1980, 38 Special and “Rockin’ Into the Night” were the real deal. This album continues to be a classic rocker.

Next post: Blackfoot- Tomcattin’ 

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html 

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London 

 

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2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: 38 Special- Rockin’ Into The Night”

  1. Fantastic Album.

    Like

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