Great Rock Albums of 1980: Molly Hatchet- Beatin’ The Odds

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Beatin'_the_Odds

By the summer of 1980, I knew that Southern Rock had established itself up North and was listened to quite extensively there. However, in the October of the same year, I learned that it had made its way across the Atlantic when I saw this very album from Molly Hatchet on sale in a record shop in Southampton, England. The very same marine buddy who first introduced me to Southern Rock was with me at this time and we did both exceedingly rejoice in the fact that Molly Hatchet was listened to in Europe.

Being very predictable here but one can’t fail to mention that “Beatin’ The Odds” was the first album to feature Jimmy Farrar as lead singer who had replaced Danny Joe Brown who left the band on account of alcohol problems or so I’m told. Many Hatchet fans want to totally forget the Jimmy Farrar period of the band’s career but when I listened to the album a couple of days ago, (the first time in about 30 years) I tried to do so in a more open minded manner.

First, Jimmy Farrar is not that bad of a vocalist. Had he come out with another band, he probably would have been right up there with many of those who were around then. The unfortunate thing for him was that he had some very big shoes to fill when he replaced Brown at the mike. Saying that, I feel that the album still lacks a bit of punch to me when compared with the epic “Flirtin’ With Disaster” album. Yes, Molly Hatchet still plays that Southern bad boy boogie sound and this is in no way a bad album, but it is a quite a come down from the previous one. The track that stands out for me is “Penthouse Pauper” which has a great guitar intro and the title cut is pretty good too. “Sailor” is also a strong track. However, in spite of all the good things, to me, “Beatin’ The Odds” lacks something.

Track Listing:

1. Beatin’ The Odds

2. Double Talker

3. The Rambler

4. Sailor

5. Dead And Gone

6. Few And Far Between

7. Penthouse Pauper

8. Get Her Back

9. Poison Pen

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet

Jimmy Farrar- vocals

Dave Hlubeck- lead and slide guitars

Duane Roland- lead and slide guitars

Steve Holland- guitars

Banner Thomas- bass

Bruce Crump- drums

I have coined the phrase “Sophmore Jinx” to bands whose second album didn’t match the expectation of a great first album. As “Beatin’ The Odds” is the third album from Molly Hatchet, I can’t really use it here. Furthermore, like I said, it’s not a bad album and it is a good one to have on in the background when sitting in your back garden on a warm day and swilling down some brewskies. However, when you do listen to it, try not to compare it to some of their more iconic albums.

Next post: The Charlie Daniels Band- Full Moon

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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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Molly Hatchet- Beatin’ The Odds”

  1. I know nothing about this band — except didn’t they cover Hide Your Heart by Kiss at some point?

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  2. I love this band. Saw them on a quadruple bill with Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, and Krokus on the Beatin’ the Odds tour. Farrar was great live. Yes, Danny Joe Brown is excellent on his Hatchet albums, but there’s no way the band needs to apologize for this sweet offering.

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    • No they don’t and once again I’m jealous that you saw another band that I never got to and always wanted to see. That quadruple bill must have been awesome.

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