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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Balance - 1981 Balance
Balance - 1981 Balance

ARTIST: Balance
ALBUM: Balance
LABEL: Portrait
SERIAL: Al37357
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: Sony, 4694422 * 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY066


LINEUP: Peppy Castro - vocals * Bob Kulick - guitars * Doug Katsaros - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lookin' For The Magic * 02 I'm Through Lovin' You * 03 Breaking Away * 04 No Getting Round My Love * 05 Fly Through The Night * 06 American Dream * 07 Haunting * 08 Falling In Love * 09 Hot Summer Nights * 10 It's So Strange

Another ambassador for the G-DAZE site is this ever so legendary outfit from New York called Balance. This band should have been huge and probably would've too had the circumstances been right. These guys all came together from a variety of past musical lives and ventures. Castro had played in Wiggy Bits with some of the guys from Aviator, Kulick had played with Meatloaf while Katsaros had been around the scene for many years too. Balance's music was prime time suited for early eighties radio, such was their commercial style. The strength of Castro's breathy vocals combined with Kulick's OTT guitar and Katsaro's delightful ivory tinklings makes this a compulsory listen.

The Songs
Opening track 'Looking For The Magic' has some west coast leanings, before we really kick in on pomp overload with 'I'm Through Loving You'. Katsaro's keyboards are on overtime here. The single 'Breakin' Away' was one they played on the US TV Music show 'Solid Gold' that I remember seeing, and wondering who they the hell they were, because it was great! 'No Getting Around My Heart' has a Toto or Ambrosia feel, and has some funky moments and great harmony vocals. 'Fly Through The Night' sort of meanders, and has a persistent guitar strut throughout. 'American Dream' has a punchy approach similar to Survivor, while 'Falling in Love' wimps out big time as a softly softly type ballad. The pomp urgency of 'Hot Summer Nights' makes a welcome return, as does 'It's So Strange' the album closer.

In Summary
A great album, only surpassed by a true AOR classic that was 'In For The Count' released the following year. As I said earlier, this band could've been huge, if not for Castro's reluctance to travel and to seriously promote the band and their albums outside of New York, hence outside of the USA. We will never know what may have been. Despite that though, Balance have remained AOR darlings among the hardcore supporters of the genre, long after their initial demise. 2009 saw a long awaited comeback with the 'Equilibrium' album, plus in 2010, this album saw another re-release on UK reissue specialists Rock Candy Records.

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#1 | sabace on March 19 2006 14:12:38
#2 | grahamfenn on March 16 2007 12:45:29
Awesome early 80's Pomp tinged AOR from Bob Kulick et al. Loadsa' keys and hooks that just pull you in. Essential! Grin

#3 | rostoned on April 10 2008 21:50:44
fantastic sounding pomp tinged AOR. 'Fly through the night' is elaborate, pompous and frankly superb and the single 'Breaking Away' still makes my pants wet. Peppy Castro, oh what a voice! music music
#4 | richardb on June 13 2008 13:03:58
Steady on now! If I recall correctly wasn't 'Breaking away' a minor US hit?

Richard B
#5 | DEMONAOR on July 08 2008 07:08:40
Great Albumgunsgunsgunsgunsgunsguns
#6 | rostoned on July 26 2008 00:40:05
The album peaked at #133 on THE BILLBOARD 200 Us album sales chart. The follow up 'In For The Count' didn't chart at all: how sad is that?

Paul Stanley sang background vocals (uncredited) on this album, in particular (only?) on the track 'Falling In Love'. Peppy Castro confirms this in a recent interview: http://www.rockpa...andlang=EN and on the italian 'Classix Metal' magazine issue 1 talks about that specific track.
#7 | khw7 on October 04 2009 07:20:45
I recently listened to this group having down loaded their songs from Talk about a wet AOR dream come true. All the songs are impressive. Great vocals, sensational keyboards, amazing guitars and catchy drum beats. This band could have been huge like other people have stated. Fortunately I finally had the opportunity to hear a true classic.
#8 | rkbluez on November 23 2009 03:12:49
A bonafide pomp rock classic...I still like this album even better than In For The Count but both are fantastic slabs of classic 80's rock...sad that lesser bands got a lot more hype and attention.
#9 | Danielovich on June 04 2010 10:08:33
Smooth is the word. I have "Hot summer nights" permanently on my Ipod, just in case. Few times a song has a title so apt!
#10 | trillion1999 on October 15 2011 14:41:28
All killer no filler.I love this album.POMP Masterpiecein love
#11 | super80boy on August 02 2014 02:16:57
There are lots of highly rated songs on this debut. 'Haunting' is a favorite. The ballad 'Falling In Love' is the only subpar song and was their 2nd single off the album.
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