Further Thought About 38 Special

38 Special

38 Special

Something I said in my last post about the “Tour de Force” album by 38 Special has given me cause for further reflection. In that post, I suggested that the gradual but steady decline in the quality of 38 Special’s albums as a new one was released might have had to do with the fact that when each new album came out, the songs sung be Donnie Van Zant decreased while those sung by Don Barnes increased. There may be a link here but I can’t really say for sure.


My reflections have brought on an epiphany in regards to 38 Special. I now offer into evidence my second favourite of all time, 38 Special song, the title track to the album “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” On this phenomenal track, Barnes & Van Zant both sing lead on it. They each sing a line before passing over to the other. This alternation of vocals works very well with the song and is one of the reasons why it’s so good. However, of the four 38 Special albums I have, this is the only song where they do it. My question is why the hell not? I’m not saying they needed to do it on every song but I see nothing wrong with one track on every album. See, their vocals complimented each other so well on “Wild Eyed Southern Boys,” one would have thought they would have done this more. Man, I wish I had a time machine because I would go back to 1981 and point this out to them. What do all of you think?

Donnie Van Zant

Donnie Van Zant

Don Barnes

Don Barnes

80smetalman will resume normal duties in the next couple of days.


6 Responses to “Further Thought About 38 Special”

  1. Good post!

    If there was a change in vocal ratios, was there also a change in writing credit ratios?


  2. I caught these guys here in Tbay about 10 years ago when my sister won free tickets! Not a bad show kinda bummed they played Teacher Teacher as part of a medley though…
    The vocal trade off in songs they do is pretty cool and even a band like Kiss when they did Let Me Know from the debut I wish they would have kept it going more of course theres Shout It Out Loud and SPIT..haha…But yeah I kinda dug that chill vocal vibe in Let Me Know…
    38 Special as well…
    Nice to see u veer off the path a bit Sir …


    • I saw them in 84 in support of the Tour de Force album so they didn’t play Teacher Teacher. As far as I know, the only vocal trade off they do is on Wild Eyed Southern Boys so I wished they would have done it on more songs. I would like to see the KISS trade off myself. Oh, I will veer off the path when the need arises. Thank you


  3. Great observation. I think you are on to something.


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