Saturday, April 28, 2012

Atlanta Rhythm Section: Neon Nights

I never got to see them in concert, but I always liked The Atlanta Rhythm Section in every incarnation – including being part of the Classics IV and their session work with others such as Mylon and Holy Smoke. Their records had a pure and clean sound and the level of musicianship was top notch. Unfortunately, I don’t have many of their albums.

I first became aware of the band through several travels in and around Cleveland in the late 70s and hearing many of their songs on AOR powerhouse WMMS. Today’s bubbling under hit, “Neon Nights,” comes from their 1976 LP “A Rock and Roll Alternative.” “Neon Nights” was the second of three singles released from the album with the third, “So into You,” being the best seller of the bunch charting at #7.

“Neon Nights” barely missed the Top 40 charts only rising to #42 in 1977, while the first single, “Georgia Rhythm” only made it to #68. The album did quite well being their highest charting album to date with it peaking at #11 and was their second highest charting LP in their entire career. “A Rock and Roll Alternative” was certified gold in both the US and Canada.

The final cut on the album, “Neon Nights” was authored by lead vocalist Buddy Buie and drummer Robert Nix. Dean Daughtry’s keyboard of choice on this cut was a Wurlitzer Electronic Piano. What makes the song is the interplay between guitarists Barry Bailey and J.R. Cobb. The octave runs set this song off as being different; however, the choruses betray ARS’ southern heritage.

No comments:

Post a Comment