Thursday, 3 November 2016

"Third Annual Pipe Dream/A Rock And Roll Alternative" by ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION (August 2009 Beat Goes On Reissue - 2LPs onto 1CD - Andrew Thompson Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...



"…Georgia Rhythm…"

Arising out of the ashes of Roy Orbison's Candymen and Sixties hit makers The Classics IV (Keyboard player Dean Daughtry and Drummer Robert Nix) - Atlanta Rhythm Section hailed out of Doraville in Georgia. In the early days they were a Country Rock act with strains of Lynyrd Skynyrd moving quickly into more commercial Chicago Funky Rock territory in the mid to late Seventies. This superb-sounding CD gathers together two albums from 1974 and 1977 - with "A Rock And Roll Alternative" featuring the huge Radio smash "So In To You" - a number 7 in the USA and a regular on oldies playlists to this day. Here are the details...

UK released August 2009 - "Third Annual Pipe Dream/A Rock And Roll Alternative" by ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION on Beat Goes On BGOCD 877 (Barcode 5017261208774) offers 2LPs Remastered onto 1CD and breaks down as follows (69:36 minutes):

1. Doraville
2. Jesus Hearted People
3. Close The Door
4. Blues In Maude's Flat
5. Join The Race (To Inner Space)
6. Angel (What In The World's Come Over Us) [Side 2]
7. Get Your Head Out Of Your Heart
8. The War is Over
9.  Help Yourself (You Gotta Help Yourself)
10. Who You Gonna Run To (When You're Thru Walkin' On Me)
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 3rd album "Third Annual Pipe Dream" - released September 1974 in the USA on Polydor PD-6027 and February 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2391 136

11. Sky High
12. Hitch-Hikers' Hero
13. Don't Miss The Message
14. Georgia Rhythm
15. So In To You [Side 2]
16. Outside Woman Blues
17. Everybody Gotta Go
18. Neon Nites
Tracks 11 to 18 are their sixth album "A Rock And Roll Alternative" - released January 1977 in the USA on Polydor PD-1-6080 and March 1977 in the UK on Polydor 2391 255

There's an outer card slipcase, an 8-page inlay with DARYL EASLEA liner notes and the remaster is by ANDREW THOMPSON at Sound Performance. The sound is superb - well-recorded albums (Bobby Buie Productions) now given a chance to shine. The clarity is great.

The commercial Country Rock opener "Doraville" with "Who You Gonna Run To" on its flip was put out a US single in late 1974 on Polydor PD 14248 and January 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2066 488. It did no business in the UK but managed a chart placing of 35 in the States in November 1974. Polydor tried again with "Get Your Head Out Of Your Heart" and "Angel (What In The World's Come Over Us)" on both sides of the pond (Polydor PD 14273 in the USA, May 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2058 560) but neither side of the water took to it. A cool funky Rock tune is "Help Yourself (You Gotta Help Yourself") which I've put on many 70's FEST compilations.

1977's "A Rock And Roll Alternative" still sees Ronnie Hammond on Lead Vocals and their sound is Funky Boogie Rock exemplified by "Don't Miss The Message" and the rocking Skynyrd vibe of "Outside Woman Blues". But the album is dominated by the huge hit "So In To You" - the kind of Boz Scaggs commercial song that would make you double take if you heard it even now coming out of a radio  - asking - who's that? "Neon Nites" tries to get close to its sound and succeeds with its plucked guitars and slinky beat.

Atlanta Rhythm Section's brand of Country Rock won't be everyone's cup of Horlicks nowadays and a lot of it feels lightweight with the passing of time (they had neither the integrity of Skynyrd or the sheer balls-to-the-wall Blues Boogie of Foghat) - but those slinky moments in between are worth the purchase (and that top audio quality).

"...Captured by your style..." Hammond sings on "So In To You". You may feel the same...

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