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Molly Hatchet - 1981 Take No Prisoners

ARTIST: Molly Hatchet
ALBUM: Take No Prisoners
SERIAL: PE 37480
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2005, Gottdiscs (UK), GOTTCD 031


LINEUP: Jimmy Farrar - vocals * Dave Hlubek - guitar, slide guitar * Steve Holland - guitar * Duane Roland - guitar, slide guitar * Banner Thomas - bass * Bruce Crump - drums

Guests: Jai Winding - keyboard * Paulinho da Costa - congas * Tom Werman - percussion * Tower of Power horn section - horns on 'Bloody Reunion' and 'Lady Luck' * Mindy Sterling, Laurie Bono, Katey Sagal - backing vocals * Joyce 'Baby Jean' Kennedy- additional vocals on 'Respect Me In The Morning'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bloody Reunion * 02 Respect Me In The Morning * 03 Long Tall Sally * 04 Loss Of Control * 05 All Mine * 06 Lady Luck * 07 Power Play * 08 Don't Mess Around * 09 Don't Leave Me Lonely * 10 Dead Giveaway


The early Epic years of Molly Hatchet's recording career left a brace of LP's that defined the band during the 80's. Underpinned by the voice of Danny Joe Brown, the band recorded two excellent albums before Brown departed in 1980. His replacement was the powerhouse Jimmy Farrar, who also hung around for two albums (albums number 3 and 4). Alun has already written a piece on 1980's 'Beatin' The Odds', now it's time for me to fill in some gaps. Molly Hatchet by this stage were a band caught between two worlds. Still captured by their southern rock origins, tentacles began sneaking out into more commercial territory. They didn't quite achieve the elusive crossover as other southern bands did, but were still caught drifting away from their boogie/southern rock template which became noticeable to long time fans. Many attributed this to the stylistic difference between Brown and Farrar, but this is an unfair comparison as both singers are great. Much like 'Beatin' The Odds', 'Take No Prisoners' is not the strongest album in Hatchet's discography, but has a few choice moments to reflect back on.

The Songs
Leading off, 'Bloody Reunion' is trademark Hatchet boogie. A goodtime get-together which lyrically sounds like a dose of swear word profanity when you hear the chorus.. it's a bloody reunion... Yeah right! 'Respect Me In The Morning' is more notable for the duet between Farrar and Mothers Finest vocal queen Joyce 'Baby Jean' Kennedy. A great combo indeed. 'Long Tall Sally' is a wild workout/medley that is everything you would expect it to be from this old chestnut. 'Loss Of Control' is less southern, and more of a biker styled rocker, and racy number for sure. Hatchet get down and gritty thanks to the square-jaw rock of 'All Mine'. This has more in common with bands such as Moxy or The Godz. There's a hint of barroom boogie on 'Lady Luck', thanks to that tippy-tap piano and female backing vocals, including one Katey Sagal, she of 'Married With Children' and 'Sons Of Anarchy' fame. 'Power Play' is the obvious commercial offering here, played in the same vein as southern neighbours The Outlaws. Jimmy Farrar sounds great on this one. There's more boogie coming 'atcha on 'Don't Mess Around', with a guitar rhythm similar to Montrose's 'Space Station No 5', though the song itself is not a doppelganger of said classic.. 'Don't Leave Me Lonely' moves in the same direction as the Johnny Van Zant Band while the closing 'Dead Giveaway' is more trademark Hatchet boogified mayhem that holds a candle to past classics like 'Boogie No More' but is no more than a gentle flame rather than a roaring inferno comparison wise. Still a good way to wind up the album.

In Summary
Only a short album time-wise (35 minutes), 'Take No Prisoners' was released at the end of 1981 and made it to #36 in the Billboard Charts on the back of sales during 1982. Three singles were lifted: 'Bloody Reunion', 'Lady Luck' and 'Power Play'. The band underwent major changes after this album: departing were Jimmy Farrar, Banner Thomas and Bruce Crump to be replaced by a returning Danny Joe Brown, Riff West and former Mothers Finest drummer Barry 'BB Queen' Borden. They would all appear on the 1983 LP 'No Guts No Glory'.

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