(3 / 5)
Amid a legal row with then current and former members of the band, this album had to be released under the name ARS. Unfortunate abbreviation spelling! Originally released on the Epic label in 1989, the 11 original tracks are re-issued here on CD.
This Southern rock outfit was sometimes described as “a radio friendly version of The Allman Brothers”. Formed in the late 70’s in Georgia, but the various members had played together as studio session men before that.
On this album, singer Ronnie Hammond was joined by Barry Bailey, Dean Daughtry, Steve Stone, J.E.Garnett and Sean Burke. Their first release for eight years, and a change of direction for the band’s core sound that they had established.
10 of the 11 cuts were penned by Ronnie Hammond and Buddy Buie, another departure from previous releases. Three of the musicians on this record were new – bass, drums and guitar. While ARS did not achieve the same level of success as fellow Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, they built up a strong following in the South and hit the charts with a string of singles.
“Doraville”, “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight”, “So in to You”, “Imaginary Lover”, “Do It Or Die” and their biggest hit here in the UK, a cover version of the Classics IV 1968 hit, “Spooky”. Plus, “Boogie Smoogie”, “Champagne Jam”, “Jukin”, “Neon Nites” and “Georgia Rhythm”. The band influenced a number of rock and country artists, especially Travis Tritt, who covered the ARS songs “Back Up Against the Wall” and “Homesick”.
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’