Wild Eyed Southern Boys
After the commercial success of "Rockin' Into The Night" courtesy of a collaboration with Survivor's Jim Peterik, 38 Special continued to move in a more commercial direction while keeping their sourthern roots with Wild Eyed Southern Boys. The title track is a an excellent example of some catchy cross-over. It should have been a hit. Overall the album veers between a strong pop sensibility ("Fantasy Girl")and more typical southern rock. "Hold On Loosely" cound be described as the cookie cutter for some of the later hits by this excellent band and is among their best tracks. Out of the box on "Hold On Loosely". A monster power chord masterpiece with hooks that have long since dissapeared from the rock scene. 38 Special was at best a southern rock hybrid. Don Barnes has one of those all time great AOR voices. Deep and masculine enough to exude the power and bravado needed to make this a cool band for guys and hot southern rock chics. Jeff Carlisi invents a new way to play basic chords. His method is quick and precise. Check out the pop-rock guitar jam of "Hittin' and Runnin'"- a lost AOR classic with all the guts and glory of "Loosely". This collection still has plenty of street cred with the southern rockers. "Wild Eyed" melds both Don and Donnie in an authentic southern rock anthem. The song epitomizes all of the crossover appeal of a band that was soon to shoot for the top 40. But "Southern Boys" is flawless in it's production. "Fantasy Girl" could have easily been the lead single. Barnes is rubber stamped as THE vocalist. Carlisi becomes the artful hookmaster. Donnie's tunes are all southern raves that have even Skynyrd fans cheering.