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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Outlaws, The - 1980 Ghost Riders
Outlaws, The - 1980 Ghost Riders

ARTIST: Outlaws, The
ALBUM: Ghost Riders
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1992, BMG Ariola (Germany), 253-108


LINEUP: Freddie Salem - guitar, vocals * Hughie Thomasson - guitar, vocals * Billy Jones - guitar, vocals * Mike Duke - keyboards, vocals * Rick Cua - bass, guitar, vocals * David Dix - percussion, drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ghost Riders In The Sky * 02 White Horses * 03 Angels Hide * 04 Devils Road * 05 I Can't Stop Loving You * 06 Wishing Wells * 07 Sunshine * 08 Freedom Walk


Floridian southern rockers The Outlaws are notable for their absence on GD. We'll look to correct that over the coming while. In the meantime, we go down to about the three-quarter mark of their discography, stopping off in the year 1980 to look at their seventh album: 'Ghost Riders'. The title an obvious connection to the 1948 written chestnut 'Ghost Riders In The Sky', which has been covered by so many artists over the intervening years. Up to this stage, The Outlaws were one of the premier southern rock bands on the arena circuit, but by their own admission, sales of their LP's released through Arista weren't stellar, and 'Ghost Riders' wasn't really going to change the trend, but it did provide the band with some Top 40 action, the album reaching #25 on the Billboard charts, the 'Ghost Riders' single reaching #31. The album was produced by Gary Lyons, who had produced a ton of albums with various artists across the melodic rock spectrum up to this point.

The Songs
Only the eight songs, and the focus would be on the three-part guitar army a la Molly Hatchet, and with the aforementioned lead off single 'Ghost Riders In The Sky', the album gets off to a cracking start. The track is extended to 6 plus minutes on the album, but cut back by about a half for the single, which did good on radio at the time. 'White Horses' is another radio friendly track with keyboards and vocal harmonies given a heap of room to build. 'Angels Hide' is one of the picks for me, the classic epic like balladry is given a sweeping rendition, topped with a super chorus and typical swashbuckling guitar solos. 'Devils Road' reverts back to near boogie mode, an ideal biker song I reckon. The other highlight is the stunning acoustic ballad 'I Can't Stop Loving You', which is sort of cow-poke sounding in the vein of Pure Prairie League or Marshall Tucker Band but it is tremendously melodic, and it's a track I've lived with for thirty plus years. 'Wishing Wells' is a Hughie Thomasson track, and it sounds as if he's listened to Foreigner leading up to this, as it could've been lifted off their 'Head Games' set such is the similarity. 'Sunshine' didn't set my heart a flutter unfortunately, while 'Freedom Walk' finishes off this 39 minute album with a bit of bluster and bravado, a guitar oriented rocker with the three players doing their best to impress with a fiery solos session at the tail end of this song.

In Summary
I've always had a soft spot for this LP, and I think it's high time that our writing team look further into their discography to flesh out their presence at GD. As far as I able to research, this album was given a CD release by BMG/Arista Germany during 1992, though whether it gets a further reissue (considering it only contains eight tracks) might be a tall order. The band would release 'Los Hombre Malos' in 1982, a Best Of collection, before splintering with Arista and players going their separate ways onto solo careers (Freddie Salem, Rick Cua and before them Henry Paul). During 1986, The Outlaws would reform for 'Soldiers of Fortune' released on Pasha Records, and would release a clutch of albums right up until the present day. The band now has Henry Paul and Monte Yoho back in the ranks, but sadly, Hughie Thomasson and Billy Jones have both since passed away. However, expect a brand new Outlaws album during 2012 according to Henry Paul. Watch this space..

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#1 | Eric on January 14 2012 19:23:38
'Bring It Back Alive' up soon...
#2 | gdazegod on January 15 2012 05:56:06
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