38 SPECIAL – Wild-Eyed Southern Boys [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2018)

38 SPECIAL - Wild-Eyed Southern Boys [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2018) full

Japanese music market did it again: all the best 38 SPECIAL albums finally have been remastered, a 2017 fresh treatment using the original US analog master tapes and pressed on high quality SHM-CD. It’s all done in wonderful cardboard sleeve mini LP replica, which also faithfully replicates the OBI design of the Japanese first pressing LP.
And now we have here in exclusive “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys“, the album that catapulted 38 Special to massive audience.

And that’s happened thanks to the single hit ‘Hold On Loosely’, one of the most played classic rock songs on FM radio until this day.
It has been included into the PlayStation 2 video game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, and a downloadable track for the Rock Band series. It was also used in the movies Joe Dirt, Without a Paddle and Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas.
Co-penned by Survivor’s Jim Peterik, this is a fabulous song.

Peterik helped with 4 songs on the album, and 3 charted as singles: ‘Hold On Loosely’, the title track and the delicious ‘Fantasy Girl’.
For “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” the members of 38 Special and producer Rodney Mills set about refining the double-drum boogie rock approach they’d taken with the first three albums.
Tightening up their arrangements while stepping up their focus on songcraft, they no longer sounded like a Southern band as much as a band that happened to be from the South — a move that, as Barnes explained, was entirely deliberate.

“Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” is catchy, melodic, and finely polished. Here, 38 Special found the bridge to the Top 40 that had eluded them thus far.
‘Hold On Loosely’ shot to No. 27 on the pop charts while making it all the way to No. 3 at Rock radio, paving the way for ‘Fantasy Girl’ and the title track to make further airplay inroads in its wake.

The album, meanwhile, peaked at No. 18 and went platinum, the first of the group’s LPs to do so.
Despite the album’s melodic, commercial approach, “Honky Tonk Dancer,” and “Back Alley Sally” keep a homespun flavor alive and well, indicating that the band’s Southern roots haven’t been dismissed completely.

38 SPECIAL - Wild-Eyed Southern Boys [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2018) back

It’s on “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” that 38 Special seemed more confident, harnessing a distinct guitar rock sound that enabled the group to distinguish itself from other FM rock bands. It marked the onset of the band’s success throughout the course of the ’80s.
This fresh Japanese remaster (the only available at the moment) on SHM-CD is fabulous, crisp, pristine clear.
Highly Recommended

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Universal Japan UICY-78567 【LTD SHM-CD】

01 – Hold On Loosely
02 – First Time Around
03 – Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
04 – Back Alley Sally
05 – Fantasy Girl
06 – Hittin’ And Runnin’
07 – Honky Tonk Dancer
08 – Throw Out The Line
09 – Bring It On

Don Barnes – vocals, guitar, piano
Steve Brookins – drums
Jeff Carlisi – guitar, steel guitar
Jack Grondin – drums
Larry Junstrom – bass guitar
Donnie Van Zant – vocals
Carol Bristow – vocals
Lu Moss – vocals
Steve McRay – piano
Terry Emery – percussion
Carol Veto – background vocals


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