Kevin Dockrell ( KDockrell@aol.com) | Macon, Georgia | 05/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Disregard the negative review below, which is actually about a completely different CD. This ARS anthology covers their years on the Polydor label, years that produced 8 albums with a dazzling collection of songs in many different styles, all stamped with the unique ARS recorded sound. All of the essentials are here ... the radio hits of 1977-1979, plus important album tracks that really defined ARS. "Angel," from 1974, features Barry Bailey's passionate guitar solo against a dramatic string arrangement; "Dog Days," the title song of their 1975 album, is a gorgeous ballad, led by Ronnie Hammond's vocal and another fine string arrangement; "Neon Nites" and "Georgia Rhythm", from 1977's "A Rock and Roll Alternative," display ARS' versatility in very different styles. ARS was recorded very differently than other Southern bands of their time. Buddy Buie's production emphasized a smoothly layered sound, and every ARS recording emphasized the song before the performance. Thus, Bailey's fire and brimstone guitar on "Angel" is replaced on "Neon Nites" with some tasty jazz riffing; "So Into You," with its languid rhythms, demands no pyrotechnics, so instead it gets a smoothly integrated piano/guitar sound which gives Hammond the solid groove on which to lay a great vocal track. With ARS, everything served the song ... and what a fabulous collection of songs! 1979's "Do It or Die" anticipated the Unplugged phenomenon by several years; "Silver Eagle," with its road-weary lyric and sweet steel guitar fits in very nicely with the New Country sound; and "Indigo Passion" is a simply magnificent ballad. Listen to Hammond's aching vocal, backed by Dean Daughtry's supple keyboards and Robert Nix's muffled drums. ARS' ability with ballads contrasted sharply with the widespread presumption that Southern bands knew only how to boogie. That may have been true of some Southern bands, but not ARS. This CD is a deeply satisfying experience. All the hits are here, but it's the album tracks that really fill in the picture, of a supremely gifted group of songwriters and studio craftsmen, working together to create music they believed in, music which has stood the test of time."
Great compilation of original versions of ARS classics
Benito Vasquez | 02/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING: MOST OF THE REVIEWS THAT SAY THESE ARE NOT THE ORIGINAL SONGS ARE ACTUALLY REFERRING TO ANOTHER ARS ALBUM!
They have many best-of CDs, so be careful. This one is excellent.With that said, this is the THE cd to own if you are going to only own one ARS CD. Unfortunately, only about 1/2 of their catalogue has ever been released on CD and much of it is hard to find (their classic "Are You Ready?" live album has never been released on CD). These are the original versions of these classics and the sound has not been re-produced as has been the case with subsequent ARS greatest hits compilations. I could argue with a few tunes that were included and few that were left off (two of their later hits "Alien" and "Homesick" were recorded for a later record company and are not included in this package), but overall this is great music from an underappreciated band.A slight tweeking of the track list and this CD would have been 5 stars. What a great band, voice and sound."
Insufficient. ARS deserves a 2 Disc "Anthology"
Benito Vasquez | Naperville, Il | 02/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD offers a mere smattering of what the Atlanta Rythmn Section was all about. It does give you what the casual listener might have heard on the radio at the bands peak of popularity, which to be fair was short lived. But radio play popularity doesn't matter when it comes to bands like this. ARS, like many 70s bands, and particularly southern rock types, weren't popular because of their radio hits. Their appeal to those who first heard their crossover hits on the radio was the cherry on the sundae. What made them great were solid, beginning to end CDs like their first 2 breakthroughs- "A Rock and Roll Alternative," and "Champagne Jam," both of which are inadequately represented here, albeit not unfairly represented. After all, this is a "Greatest Hits" collection. But if you want to get a truer, more representive measure of what made this band great and got them radio play in the first place, I say skip this CD and buy the 2 aforementioned CDs, which would have necessities like, "Hitchhikers Hero, Outside Women Blues, Everybody Gotta Go Sometime, Don't Miss the Message, Evil Eve," and "Large Time," just to name a mere few. To get to this CD, it does take the most popular tracks from those CDs, but the songs selected from those and subsequent CDs to follow are disproportionate. Add to that there are a few songs on this CD that don't even belong there, but are there merely because of an apparent need to put something on the CD from the entire span of the bands existence, even though their latter CDs were a shadow of their best two. If memory serves, the band in its latter stages was also a mere shadow of their best, early period as well. But to be fair, of all the ARS "hits" collections this one is probably more complete than the others, which isn't saying much. This group deserves a 2 disc anthology. Lesser bands have that much. I'm not going to say they're deserved of a box set. As much as I loved this band, the breadth of their musical lifespan isn't worthy of that much. But if lesser bands- take your pick: the hair bands of the 80s, the few hit wonders of the 60s and 70s, the bands who got one or two of their songs made popular in dance clubs- are worthy of a minimal of a 2 disc anthology, surely The Atlanta Rythmn Section can get that much."
THIS IS THE REAL DEAL FROM THE ORIGINAL ALBUMS
A Reader | Acworth, GA | 06/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is the real thing. I have all the original albums (except Back Up Against The Wall) and all the original cuts are here. I've had this CD since 1991, and it's still good. I can speak with authority, because I lived behind their studio (on Pin Oak Dr for those who KNOW and were THERE) in the early 70's, and KNOW the songs since almost before the album went to press in the first place...LOLNow that some of their other albums are coming out of hiding, I can get EVERYTHING. LONG LIVE ARS !Produzzerguye Paul Hause"
Watch out for some of the reviews
musicsecrets | Chicago, IL United States | 01/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Warning: Some of the negative reviews for this disc actually refer to the wrong "Best of" collection.THIS collection is by Uni/Mercury and contains the original versions of the songs. The only missing tune that I really wish was included in this collection is "Alien", which was recorded after they moved to another record label.Be sure to get the Uni/Mercury collection if you want the original ARS songs."