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Balin, Marty - 1981 Balin

ARTIST: Balin, Marty
ALBUM: Balin
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: SO-17054
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1990, Toshiba (Japan), TOCP-6386 * 2008, American Beat, 24692


LINEUP: Marty Balin - vocals * Rest of the album line-up is not known

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hearts * 02 You Left Your Mark On Me * 03 Lydia! * 04 Atlanta Lady * 05 Spotlight * 06 I Do Believe In You * 07 Elvis And Marilyn * 08 Tell Me More * 09 Music Is The Light

Marty Balin (born Martyn Buchwald), for those who are unsure where they've heard that name before, was once a member of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. In fact he was the founder of the band and is also a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame alumni. He left the band in 1971 amid creative differences with the duo of Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, but returned in 1975 for a few more years, only to depart once again in 1978, his place being taken by Mickey Thomas for 1979's 'Freedom At Point Zero'. While estranged from the Jefferson family during the 1971-75 period, Balin reappeared with his new band Bodacious D.F in 1973 though they were unsuccessful. After his second tenure with Jefferson Starship ended, he worked on the 'Rock Justice' opera during 1978, while his first solo album simply titled 'Balin' came out in 1981 on the infamous EMI America label, the same label and same year in which Kim Carnes was doing a roaring trade with her 'Mistaken Identity' album. Balin has an interesting voice, a soulful tenor mostly, and on occasion he can deliver some goodies, as you'll find here.

The Songs
Interesting to note that Balin (a gifted songwriter in his own capacity), used outside compositions for the album. Easily the most recognisable track off the album is the lead-off hit single 'Hearts'. Perhaps you might remember the lyrics.. 'Is everything alright? I just called to say how lost.. I feel.. without you. Miles away, I really can't believe I'm here and how.. I still care.. about you.'. This track went into the Top 10, and was followed up by 'Atlanta Lady', another reasonably successful tune which graced the Top 30. Other highlights include the 'made-for-radio' 'Lydia!' the mildly rockin' affair of 'I Do Believe In You', or the unusual but cleverly written 'Elvis And Marilyn'.

In Summary
He released one further solo album in the 80's ('Lucky' from 1983), and then hooked up with Paul Kantner and Jack Casady to form the shortlived outfit KBC Band toward the end of the decade. Well, in 2006 Balin hasn't completely disappeared through a space-time continuum never to be seen again. He is in fact touring with the latest version of the Jefferson empire.. Jefferson Starship TNG, the fourth incarnation of the band. (TNG just as in the Star Trek movies.. 'The Next Generation'). The 'Balin' album has yet to see the light of day on CD (not surprising.. we are talking EMI America here folks.. the dastardly recording industry equivalent of Monsanto), but perhaps one day soon it will surface, but don't hold your breath. In fact, his other follow-up albums (1983's 'Lucky', 1990's 'Ballince' and 1997's 'Freedom Flight') are pretty hard to come by now too.

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#1 | Keith Nagy on January 09 2008 23:50:21
CD release is set for Feb 12 2008 on American Beat .
#2 | dangerzone on January 10 2012 03:31:07
Tremendous album this one. Frank Stallones version of 'I Still Believe In You' is the best, but this one isn't bad at all. Plenty of prime melodic rock to be found.
#3 | MUSCLE on January 10 2012 10:02:02
Had to laugh at the cover. Reminds me of a time many years ago when Dangerzone and I conjured up an imaginary Mick Avory Lp. It was a west coast affair released in 81. Our Lp cover had Avory affecting the same arms across chest pose. Only difference being (I think) that rather than a blazer Avory was decked out in a chunky woollen sweater, round neck, with tie underneath.
#4 | dangerzone on January 10 2012 11:28:59
The concept of that album was a highly original theme involving all the basic human emotions. As well as the arms embraced look, the triple album cover also revealed Avory showing righteous anger in one pose and sadness in another. He was also in an imaginary band called 'The Hitmen' with Gary Moore and Peter Quaife if I recall rightly.
#5 | fenton on January 05 2015 11:50:38
Balin should have gone for the jailbird/toughguy look he adopts in the 'Hearts' video for the cover.

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