Born from the ashes of The Candymen and The Classics IV, Atlanta Rhythm Section began as the house band at Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb, and Bill Lowery’s Studio One in Doraville, Georgia. Members had already performed on recordings by Al Kooper, Roy Orbison, B.J. Thomas, and even Liberace by the time they began rising to fame, fanning the southern rock flame. Now, the band’s classic output – recorded from 1974 to 1980 – has been remastered and collected in a new box set: The Polydor Years, due this Friday, May 31 from Caroline International.
The Polydor Years is an 8-CD set that brings together many of their best-loved albums and biggest hits. Inside you’ll find Third Annual Pipe Dream (1974), Dog Days (1975), Red Tape (1976), A Rock and Roll Alternative (1976), Champagne Jam (1978), Underdog (1979), Are You Ready? (1979) and The Boys From Doraville (1980). Their first two band efforts were recorded for Decca Records and therefore don’t feature here.
Over the course of their tenure with Polydor, the band morphed from a straight-ahead, down-home southern rock group, to a more laid-back sound that brought them their biggest hits – “So Into You” (No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, 1977), “Imaginary Lover” (also No. 7, 1978), “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” (No. 14, 1978), and their cover of the Classics IV’s “Spooky” (No. 17, 1979). The latter had particular resonance as ARS originally rose out of the ashes of that group, with keyboardist Dean Daughtry and guitarist J.R. Cobb among the founding members.
Alongside the classic albums, The Polydor Years includes several rare single edits and mono mixes that represent the radio-friendly versions of their songs. All the tracks in the set have been remastered by Andy Pearce and Matt Wortham and the albums come housed in a clamshell box with a booklet of liner notes and discographical annotations. All told, it’s an attractive presentation of some classics from the ’70s rock era.
by Sam Stone, May 29, 2019
Disc 1 Third Annual Pipe Dream 1974
1. Doraville (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 3:30
2. Jesus Hearted People (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 3:51
3. Close the Door (Paul Goddard, Ronnie Hammond) - 3:26
4. Blues in Maude's Flat (Grant Green) - 3:51
5. Join the Race (John Fristo) - 3:58
6. Angel (What in the World's Come Over Us) (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 5:12
7. Get Your Head Out of Your Heart (Ronnie Hammond, Robert Nix) - 2:33
8. The War Is Over (Barry Bailey, James B. Cobb Jr.) - 2:02
9. Help Yourself (Perry Carlton Buie, James B. Cobb Jr., Robert Nix) - 2:55
10.Who You Gonna Run To (Perry Carlton Buie, James B. Cobb Jr., Robert Nix) - 3:21
11.Angel (What in the World's Come Over Us) (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 3:29
12.Angel (What in the World's Come Over Us) (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 3:29
13.Doraville (Barry Joe Bailey, Perry Carlton Buie, Robert Lafayette Nix) - 3:16
14.Get Your Head Out of Your Heart (Ronnie Hammond, Robert Nix) - 2:31
Bonus Tracks 11-14 1975-76 Atlanta Rhythm Section - Dog Days / Red Tape (2005 remaster) 1979 Atlanta Rhythm Section - Are You Ready! (2012 remaster)