Great Rock Albums of 1981: 38 Special- Wild Eyed Southern Boys

 

38_Special_-_Wild-Eyed_Southern_Boys

Now that my problems with wordpress are sorted, I couldn’t get on here for two days for some unknown reason, I can finally post about what I think was probably one of the best albums of 1981. Personally, I think it was a conspiracy from the “The 80s were all about Culture Club and Wham” brigade in a bid to stop me from thwarting their version of music history but I digress once again. For me, “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” was one of those albums that made 1981 for me. I don’t even need to relate a story from my military days here because that album would have had the same impact on me if I hadn’t been serving at the time.

38 Special’s previous album, “Rockin’ Into the Night” had already given me a strong desire to check out their next one. So even after I started hearing their first single “Hold On Loosely” on juke boxes from North Carolina to New Jersey and even cover bands playing it, I was already in the mind to buy “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” This album takes elements from hard rock, country and blues rock and incorporates it into the band’s own unique blend of Southern Rock. There’s the more bluesier songs like “Hittin’ and Runnin'” and the almost funky “Honky Tonk Night Time Dancer” where Jeff Carlisi shows he can bend a guitar string somewhat to the more hard rock gems like “Fantasy Girl” and “First Time Around.” They also show they can have a little fun with their songs, just listen to “Back Alley Sally” and you will see what I mean. However, one song does tower above all the others, not trying to detract from those songs, but the title track for me takes all of those mentioned elements and puts them into one song. That song epitomises what I have always loved about Southern Rock. The acoustic intro followed by Carlisi’s burning guitar solos and some great power chords alternated with some melodic harmonising. That’s the paradoxical thing I have about 38 Special. I love the way that Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant trade off vocals here, it definitely works so well on “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” So, my question is why don’t they do it more on their records?

Track Listing:

1. Hold On Loosely

2. First Time Around

3. Wild Eyed Southern Boys

4. Back Alley Sally

5. Fantasy Girl

6. Hittin’ And Runnin’

7. Honky Tonk Night Time Dancer

8. Throw Out the Ling

9. Bring It On

38 Special

38 Special

Donnie Van Zant- vocals

Don Barnes- vocals, guitar, piano

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

Unlike Rossington/Collins, I did not have to listen to this album thirty years later before I decided I really like it. That’s because I was rocking to “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” all through time. Even after my cassette got destroyed in my car’s stereo. I got rid of that car a few months after that. It didn’t stop it from being one of my favourite album’s of 1981. The album for me is a classic rocker and you know the funny thing, I still think their previous album “Rockin’ Into the Night” was better. Strange huh?

Next post: Blackfoot- Marauder

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

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

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