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Atlanta Rhythm Section/Back Up Against The Wall
Atlanta Rhythm Section
Atlanta Rhythm Section/Back Up Against The Wall
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2

Digitally remastered two CD set containing the first pair of albums from the Georgia rockers. These recordings date from 1972 and 1974 respectively and were recorded for MCA before they switched to Polydor and found major...  more »

      

CD Details

All Artists: Atlanta Rhythm Section
Title: Atlanta Rhythm Section/Back Up Against The Wall
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bgo
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 4/6/2010
Album Type: Import
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 5017261209177

Synopsis

Album Description
Digitally remastered two CD set containing the first pair of albums from the Georgia rockers. These recordings date from 1972 and 1974 respectively and were recorded for MCA before they switched to Polydor and found major chart success. 21 tracks. BGO. 2010.
 

CD Reviews

Worth the Wait!!
Maurice Jones | Doraville, GA USA | 04/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is another of BGO's great releases, with 2 albums on one CD, great remastering and a thoughtfull essay in the enclosed booklet. While these albums are not as polished as their latter efforts, "Back Up Against The Wall" could well be ARS's best work ever!"
How It All Started For The Boys From Doraville
Michael K. Poritz | Anniston, AL. USA | 05/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you've been a fan of The Atlanta Rhythm Section as I have, from the very start, then you know the history of the group quite well. Having met Ronnie Hammond when he first started at Studio One as an assistant engineer before he became a full fledged member of ARS, I asked him "what will you call the band?" His reply was "We really don't have a name yet, but our producer suggested that we call it ARS and I might end up as lead singer." When their first album came out titled Atlanta Rhythm Section, to my surprise and disappointment, I didn't find Ronnie listed as lead vocalist. I listened to the entire album and was impressed by most of the material, but not by all of the selections. It seemed to me to be too close to a combination of The Classics IV, The Candymen, B.J. Thomas and a Billy Joe Royal style rather than what you would call an Atlanta sound. I wasn't dissatisfied, but I was hoping for more. By the time Back Up Against The Wall was released and Ronnie was made lead vocalist, it immediately got my attention. In listening to the entire album I knew that they were on to something. Each track was very creative without repetition and superbly and tastefully arranged, hitting on a wide variety of musical styles with noticable UK and American rock and gospel influences added in. Ronnie Hammond's soulful blues influenced vocal style lifted the band to a new height in overall appeal. The highly polished, acutely precise technique of each player noticed on the first album was even more evident on Back Up Against The Wall. The meshing of J.R. Cobb's and Barry Bailey's guitar styles was masterfully accomplished and fit perfectly with Dean Daughtry's virtuoso piano style. Dean can definitely boogie when needed. And as for Paul Goddard's bass work, none can surpass his backline fluency and strength. These two albums will bring back memories to the long-time enthusiast and enhance the awareness of where they came from to the more recently established fan. This CD is a re-issue of these two albums which production of was previously discontinued, so if you want to add to or complete your collection of quality music by excellent musicians, order this while it's still in production. Don't miss out on what may eventually become a collector's item."
Two of the best albums you've never heard.
Dennis Hawley | Asheville, NC | 04/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To most people, the Atlanta Rhythm Section conjures up memories of such hits as `So Into You', `Neon Nights' `I'm Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight', `Imaginary Lover' and `Champagne Jam'. However, long before they hit the music charts, the band recorded these two obscure albums. Now, thanks to BGO, these two fine releases are available on one disc, and fans of both ARS and of superb songwriting and musicianship in general owe it to themselves to get this release.

Emerging from the remnants of Roy Orbison's touring band, The Candymen and the mid 1960s pop group The Classics IV (`Spooky', `Traces'), the original band consisted of guitarist/songwriter J.R. Cobb, keyboardist Dean Daughtry, drummer Robert Nix, lead guitarist Barry Bailey and vocalist Rodney Justo (along with unofficial band member, producer, manager and songwriter Buddy Buie), the band first earned their reputation as top-notch session players playing on many other artists records, all the while writing and recording their own debut album at Atlanta's legendary Studio One.

This first album, the eponymous `Atlanta Rhythm Section', contained ten great songs, nine of which were written by Buie with various band members. Sounding quite unlike other `Southern rock' bands of the time, the release was characterized by well-crafted songs, tight musicianship and shimmering production. As Campbell Devine, who wrote this releases' liner notes put it, "ARS was not a typical `Southern rock' outfit-they had soaked up several UK influences including The Beatles and Cream..." If Molly Hatchet and The Outlaws are your flavor of Southern Rock, this might not be for you; while not meant to disparage other Southern bands, the songs found here are much more sophisticated and polished than was the norm from bands of that region. The songs featured richly textured instrumentation, with some really tasteful acoustic guitar work augmenting Bailey's blistering electric guitar runs, nice keyboard fills, a crack rhythm section (no pun intended) and Rodney Justo's great voice, capable of nuance and emotion (with the exception of the countrified boogie instrumental `Earnestine')

While there is not one weak tune on the album, standouts include the plaintive `Can't Stand It No More', `Love Me Just A Little (Sometime)', the hard-driving `Yours And Mine' and an acoustically-oriented early version of `Another Man's Woman', which was redone in a more electrified version on their later Red Tape album (and which became a staple of their live shows). This collection of songs ranks, in my opinion, among the best quality material put out by anyone during that time. I recall first hearing this album (I owned the vinyl two-record re-release of these titles way back when), and thinking `Holy cow, this is some great stuff'. And time has not diminished that assessment; in fact, it has only served to reaffirm what a timeless, quality release the album truly is. It's one of those albums that I honestly never get tired of listening to.

After this album failed to go anywhere, and with the specter of the band being relegated to a studio group, Rodney Justo left to pursue other activities, which included forming the band Beaverteeth with former Candymen cohort Rainey Adkins (releasing two albums). Needing a replacement vocalist, the band had a handy (and highly talented) choice right at their fingertips. Ronnie Hammond, a multi-instrumentalist who was working at Studio One as an assistant engineer, was just the one. With Hammond's smooth and soulful voice in tow, they again entered Studio One and began work on their second LP, Back Up Against The Wall. Featuring eleven tunes, including two cover songs, Hammond showed he fit their sound like a glove, and would go on to sing all of their big hits in the coming years.

This album, while certainly a rock album, had a more pronounced `Southern/country' flavor to it. In fact, country artist Travis Tritt recorded one Buie/Cobb tune, the title song `Back Up Against The Wall', many years later. As on their first album, Buie composed most of the original tunes along with various band members, with the exception of the high-energy `Cold Turkey, Tenn.', which was written by drummer Nix. The material included some softer, more melodious tunes, allowing new member Hammond to demonstrate his impressive vocal range (i.e. `Will I Live On?' and the haunting `Conversation'). Again, not a weak tune to be found on this set.

On a side note, these titles were actually released many years ago as Japanese imports on the MCA label. They've been out-of-print for years, and were released in limited numbers. I happen to own copies of those imports, and was able to do an `A/B' comparison. While they sounded great for their time (and still sound as good as many contemporary releases), the remastering job done by BGO on these versions blows the Japanese imports out of the water. With increased volume, better separation and isolation of instruments and improved bass response, these remasters are noticeably improved upon the earlier versions. The one plus the originals have on these releases is that the Japanese imports reproduced the original album covers, back and front. The BGO release doesn't, providing just small images of the albums' front covers, and reproducing the backs of the original album covers on the front inside and back pages of the included booklet.

The minor quibbles aside, it is great to see these two superb but `lost' albums once again see the light of day. Even if you're completely unfamiliar with these albums (as many will be), they're well worth getting, and worth every penny


Post note: contrary to the description, this is a single-disc release, not 2-disc. It is probable that the other two-for pairings on BGO are also single-disc releases."