Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Outlaws- Ghost Riders



One of the things that got me listening to Southern Rock was that it featured prolonged lead guitar solos and there are some beauties that have blown me away over the years. There is the famous “Freebird” complements of Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Highway Song” courtesy of Blackfoot. Plus there are some from the Allman Brothers such as “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica” as well as one from Molly Hatchet which I will definitely be pontificating about when I get to 1983. However, it is The Outlaws who seem to do it best and do it with most of their songs. Their famous “Green Grass and High Tides” is a classic for guitar solos and this doesn’t diminish with their 1980 album “Ghost Riders.”

Let us begin with the single that got them recognition north of the Mason- Dixon Line, “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” There have been many covers of this song before and after The Outlaws put their own stamp on it. My father in law likes the version from 1948 and a British band, The Stranglers, made an instrumental version in 1980 and even Elvis sang it. “Needless to say, which version I like. But the album doesn’t begin and end with the one song. There are plenty of great songs on it and many of them have some outstanding guitar work. In fact, the second song “White Horses” has an impressive acoustic guitar sounding intro before going nuts with some harder stuff. The same can be said for the final song “Freedom Walk.” Even the slower “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is not lacking a cool guitar solo or two and “Angels Hide” is a total rocker. All in all, “Ghost Riders” typifies everything I love about Southern Rock. 

Track Listing:

1. Ghost Riders

2. White Horses

3. Angels Hide

4. Devil’s Road

5. I Can’t Stop Loving You

6. Wishing Wells

7. Sunshine

8. Freedom Walk

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, guitar, vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Billy Jones- guitars, vocals

Mike Duke- keyboards, vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar,vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, vocals

The Outlaws are what the gods of rock envisioned when they forged this great genre known as Southern Rock. Great guitar solos innertwined with some hard rocking chords and even a slow acoustic chord. With “Ghost Riders,” you can’t go wrong.

Next post: Southern Fried Rock

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4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Outlaws- Ghost Riders”

  1. This is very high on my to-do list. I absolutely love Blackfoot and Skynyrd.


  2. My favorite album by great band.


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