Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Latest Comments
Keldian - 2017 Blood Red ...
No, I'm changing my mind ...
Code Red - 2017 Heat Of T...
Yeah, I quite liked this,...
Midnite City - 2017 Summe...
Target - 1979 Taxman [yo...
Cher - 1982 Rudy [youtub...
Cher - 1982 Games [youtu...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Devi...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Head...
Neal Schon - 1989 Softly ...
Getting back into this al...
Neal Schon - 1989 The The...
Valentine - 1990 Where Ar...
Burns Sisters - 1989 Answ...
Distance - 1989 Speech Of...
Distance - 1989 Softly Sp...
Well her real name is Fra...
Shoutbox
You must login to post a message.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 09:44
Burn (UK) will have their new album 'Ice Age' released in Japan via Marquee/Avalon on Nov 22. The album is then released worldwide on Jan 19th 2018 via Melodicrock Records.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 09:40
I was a bit cranky last week, waiting for various things to happen with the website transition. God it's good to be back. Didn't Gary Glitter sing a song like that? dogrun

gdazegod
19-11-2017 07:06
Note to all Members. Please review your Message inboxes. Some of these are getting rather large. Thanks.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 03:05
OK, all the YouTube videos are working again. Just use the YT link, and then encase in tags [ youtube] at the start, [/ youtube] at the end. Cool. Thumbs Up

gdazegod
12-11-2017 02:39
Starting to crank out some reviews now. Woah!

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1981 Articles » 38 Special - 1981 Wild Eyed Southern Boys
 
38 Special - 1981 Wild Eyed Southern Boys



ARTIST: 38 Special
ALBUM: Wild Eyed Southern Boys
LABEL: A&M
SERIAL: SP-4835
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1990, A&M, CD3298

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Donnie Van Zant - lead vocals * Don Barnes - guitar, piano, lead vocals, backing vocals * Jeff Carlisi - guitar, steel guitar * Larry Junstrom - bass * Steve Brookins, Jack Grondin - drums

Guests: Steve McRay - piano * Terry Emery - percussion * Carol Bristow, Carol Veto - Lu Moss - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold On Loosely * 02 First Time Around * 03 Wild Eyed Southern Boys * 04 Back Alley Sally * 05 Fantasy Girl * 06 Hittin' And Runnin' * 07 Honky Tonk Dancer * 08 Throw Out The Line * 09 Bring It On

WEBLINKS: www.38special.com


Background
38 Special clearly had no doubt about the direction they needed to go in 1981, after making their singles chart breakthrough with 1979's 'Rocking Into The Night'. A Peterik/Sullivan composition, it had been demoed by Survivor but excluded from their debut album. It had definite Southern/AOR crossover appeal, making it chart ready without sacrificing their Southern identity. No surprise then that Peterik was retained as a songwriting partner for several of the key tracks on what would become 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys'. Here you'll find Southern AOR clearly defined as a sub-genre, 38 Special finding a winning sound and approach they would further refine with the following three albums. So what of this first installment in the four album streak?


The Songs
From the opening hook of 'Hold On Loosely' it's clear that AOR is firmly on the agenda. Melodies abound, capped off by a sweeping chorus that ushered the tune right into the dizzy heights of the US top 20. 'First Time Around' is a grittier affair, more concerned with attitude than melody. A certain Southern swagger comes to the fore, this takes a few listens to get into but ends up rewarding the patient listener. Title track 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys' is a combination of stirring elements, bringing Molly Hatchet/Blackfoot into very close contact with AOR. Dual lead vocals of the storytelling variety add to the charm, small wonder it's a concert favourite and 38 Special classic to this day. 'Back Alley Sally' returns to more pure Southern tendencies, Hatchet taking a neat catch at second slip off a perfect Blackfoot outswinger! 'Fantasy Girl' again fuses slight boogie elements with a titanic AOR melody, enough hooks to compete with the annual Algoa Bay angling contest. A deserving second single, 'Fantasy Girl' charted just outside the US top 40. In doing so it not only gave the album a second sales push, but further established a credible AOR identity for 38 Special. 'Hittin' And Runnin' thoroughly defines Southern AOR for me, inviting REO Speedwagon and Journey into the heart of Jacksonville. A tempo that sways between boogie and waltz, a voodoo invoking main riff and trance inducing aquatic lead runs all blend perfectly with the swirling multiple melodies. The melodic attack is utterly relentless, changing angle at times but never lowering it's intensity. Probably one of the best AOR tracks I've ever heard, for me it's the centrepiece of this album. 'Honky Tonk Dancer' tugs some funk out of the band, spiced up with hints of country and Texas blues. You could call it a precursor to 'I Oughta Let Go' from two years later, a jarring listen at first, but repeat plays reveal charm and depth. 'Thrpw Out The Line' reprises the Southern approach but less convincingly so this time, something about the melody sounds incomplete. Not a shocker, but certainly not a highlight. However, 38 Special stay true to their hallmark of closing each album with a killer tune. 'Bring It On' does exactly that, a tough riff and smouldering atmosphere preside over a quality AOR melody. Certainly comparable to the rugged AOR Molly Hatchet would unleash circa 'No Guts No Glory', essential listening.


In Summary
There you have it, 38 Special were clearly leading the pack when it came to incorporating AOR into their Southern sound. To be fair, both Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet were already getting more melodic in 1981 with some AOR ingredients creeping in, but not as clearly defined as on 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys'. Their fortunes on the charts and tour circuit would only get stronger from here, but to fully understand how the winning streak was launched, give this gem a listen.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
This article has been tagged
Tags: 38 Special 
 
Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on December 04 2012 17:29:42
I got this one in high school, probably around the same time I got 'Special Forces', and it got a lot of airplay all through high school. Of course 'Hold On Loosely' and 'Wild-Eyed Southern Boys' were all over radio (and still are all over 80's stations). 'Fantasy Girl' and 'Hittin' and Runnin'' were also faves of mine. And 'Bring It On' was an absolute killer, one of my favorite all-time songs. The other ones were still good but maybe a bit more Southern than I liked at the time, but they've definitely grown on me (especially 'First Time Around', which is another killer). I can put all four of their albums from this one to 'Strength In Numbers' on in the car and not touch the buttons for days.
#2 | dude24 on May 01 2016 18:20:15
Loved Rodney Mills production on all the classic 38 Special albums, especially Jeff Carlisi's/Don Barnes' guitars.
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

100% 100% 0% [No Votes]
95% 95% 0% [No Votes]
90% 90% 100% [1 Vote]
85% 85% 0% [No Votes]
80% 80% 0% [No Votes]
75% 75% 0% [No Votes]
70% 70% 0% [No Votes]
65% 65% 0% [No Votes]
60% 60% 0% [No Votes]
55% 55% 0% [No Votes]
50% 50% 0% [No Votes]
45% 45% 0% [No Votes]
40% 40% 0% [No Votes]
35% 35% 0% [No Votes]
30% 30% 0% [No Votes]
25% 25% 0% [No Votes]
20% 20% 0% [No Votes]
15% 15% 0% [No Votes]
10% 10% 0% [No Votes]
 
Articles Cloud
Pawlak, Jace - 2016 Promise, Ten - 2015 Isla De Muerta, Weaver, Patty - 1982 Patty Weaver, Magnum - 1990 Goodnight LA, Van Halen - 1979 Van Halen II, Brother Bait - 1976 Brother Bait, Triumph - 1979 Just A Game, Journey - 2002 Red 13 EP, Bush, Stan (and Barrage) - 1987 Stan Bush and Barrage, Outlaws, The - 1986 Soldiers Of Fortune, Foreigner - 2009 Can't Slow Down, Best Of 2011 - 2012 (Gdazegod), Dungeon - 1999 Resurrection, Boatz - 1979 Boatz, Touris - 1991 Big Plans
Tags©
Best Of 2013 Sutherland Brothers Tank Black Sabbath Band Central Station Workforce Pretty Maids Wrabit Deep Purple The Carpenters Best Of 2008 Various Artists Wounded Bird Vivian Campbell Lou Gramm Bruce Turgon Shadow King Baby Blue Devay The Great Kat Find Me Dockers Guild Great White Serenity Soundtrack Journey Martin Levac Resurrection Kings Fruupp Life Dark Sky Le Roux Rock Candy Records Live Albums Judas Priest Slade Boston
All Tags
Search DDG