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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Ballyhoo - 1981 Man On The Moon
Ballyhoo - 1981 Man On The Moon

ARTIST: Ballyhoo
ALBUM: Man On The Moon
LABEL: Truetone Records
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Derick Dryan - lead and backing vocals * Ralph Martin - lead guitar, lead and backing vocals * Attie van Wyk - keyboards, backing vocals * Fergie Ferguson - bass, lead and backing vocals * Franco del Mei - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Loose Your Music * 02 Man On The Moon * 03 Lesson For A Rainy Day * 04 You Turn Me On * 05 Loving You * 06 Venice (And Then The Wind Came) * 07 It Happens Everyday * 08 I'm A Dreamer * 09 My Love For You * 10 Don't Hide Your Love


It's not often we feature South African bands at GDM. We did focus on artists from that country about a decade or more ago, especially around the time when GDM writer Lee Bradfield was putting the heat on a few artists dabbling in the melodic rock genre. Well, here's a band that definitely fit the bill, and they should be well known to many South Africans from the late 70's and early 80's. They are Ballyhoo. With a name like that, you'd be thinking they have an Irish connection, and as it turns out - they do. Northern Ireland to be precise. Two of the key members here (Derrick Dryan and Michael ('Fergie') Ferguson had made their way to South Africa as part of a showband called The New Men during the early 70's. At the conclusion of their run, several members returned to Ireland, while Derrick and Fergie stayed on, and formed Ballyhoo. The band released four LP's between 1976 and 1982, plus there have been several other releases in later years when the band reformed.

The Songs
No doubt due to their stage and studio experience, Ballyhoo are accomplished musicians; one of their strengths being vocal harmonies. 'Don't Loose Your Music' is a great way to start, a Euro sounding funk rock effort. Think of bands like Lake, Randy Pie etc. The undoubted hit from the album is the title-track 'Man On The Moon', which made it into the South African Top 20 singles chart. It's a beautifully constructed piece, with lots of rhodes like piano and swirling synths. The other highlight is the pompous 'Venice (And Then The Wind Came)', which after a lilting introduction, comes to life with a stirring chorus, stinging guitar work and lots of orchestration. 'Loving You' swims in a funky groove, while 'It Happens Everyday' has a pop/reggae vibe, a la The Police. For those of you who enjoy the 'undercover lover' theme, then 'I'm A Dreamer' should appeal greatly, so too the American West Coast sounding 'Don't Hide Your Love' which could be straight out of the L.A Studio houses circa 1981.

In Summary
Ballyhoo appeared to have played right through to about 1991, and from there, a big gap in activity was apparent. They did reappear in the 2000's, with three CD's released, including their most recent: 2006's 'Defining Moments'. However, this 1981 album is a breezy pop rock affair, and there are a number of highlights throughout. I'm certainly interested in tracking down the majority of their discography, in particular their 1982 LP 'Ballyhoo Too', but this will prove a challenge. Let the hunt begin.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 10 2017 23:21:00
Ballyhoo - 1981 Man On The Moon

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#2 | gdazegod on February 10 2017 23:28:59
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#3 | melodiapositiva on February 13 2017 16:24:35
This is a very cool album,two first songs are great and Venice is also a terrific song.
While we have hidden treasures like this i will be more than happy! let's continue the searchingGrin
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