From the Vault...


.38 Special
"Strength In Numbers"

© A&M Records

Year of Release: 1986

track listing
  • Somebody Like You
  • Like No Other Night
  • Last Time
  • Once In A Lifetime
  • Just A Little Love
  • Has There Ever Been
    A Good Goodbye
  • One In A Million
  • Heart's On Fire
  • Against The Night
  • Never Give An Inch

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    .38 Special
    "Strength In Numbers"

    Back in high school, I was a huge fan of Southern Rock. Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band were always playing. Another band in this style of music was Florida's .38 Special. The year was 1986, and being out of high school at the time, hits from their previous albums were always being played on album-oriented radio stations. Strength In Numbers, continues the Southern Rock sound, yet it also combines Southern Rock with common Pop Rock.

    Take the case of "Somebody Likes You". It has a sound similar to their hit "Caught Up In You", and I can't help noticing that there is a sound of another popular 1980s band, Survivor. Which, by the way, members of Survivor have written songs for .38 Special, "Caught Up In You" being one of them. (Also: None of the songs contained on Strength By Numbers were written by members of Survivor -- all the songs were written by members of .38 Special.)

    Likewise, "Like No Other You"... It also has the common sound of .38 Special, and also has the pop rock sound. And speaking of pop rock, "Last Time" has a more rock sound than Southern Rock. "Once In A Lifetime" is more of a upbeat rock ballad. "Just A Little Love" has a more rock-grit edge, yet it's still 1980s Rock.

    .38 Special has always performed upbeat rock ballads extremely well. Like "Once In A Lifetime," "Has There Even Been A Good Goodbye" is a good, upbeat song, that has ballad-type main verses, and upbeat rock choruses. "One In A Million" is definitely pop rock, similar to "Doing It All For My Baby" by Huey Lewis & The News. (Now there's a strange comparison...)

    For the ultimate .38 Special fan, "Heart's On Fire" is the hardest rocking song on the album. It's more of a hard-rock song, with very powerful guitar work. Pop rock returns with "Against The Night", and the closing song, "Never Give An Inch" has a mystery aura about it; it's another powerful song, in (again) the style of rock, 1980s Rock.

    Strength In Numbers cannot be considered Southern Rock, as if you're comparing the sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band. .38 Special is definitely rock, as this album can be easily compared to 1980s rock bands as Survivor and Night Ranger. .38 Special definitely has their own sound, and the comparisons to Survivor and Night Ranger are there, yet .38 Special's songs do have a more hard-rock guitar edge. Songs like "Heart's On Fire" and "Never Give An Inch" proves this.

    For the common 1980s Rock fan, .38 Special's Strength In Numbers deserves a listen. It's an excellent album, focusing on great guitar rock. There aren't any real big hits on this album, but even for the .38 Special fans, Strength In Numbers will not leave anyone disappointed. The Rock of the Eighties can include .38 Special to the list, Strength In Numbers being one of those many albums to choose from.

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    Previous Review: #669
    Mick Jagger--She's The Boss
    Next Review: #671
    The James Gang--Live In Concert