Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Don't tell me things will work out fine, cos I know the truth and I'm running out of time (Marty Balin) #70 of 300 ish singles

Marty Balin Hearts/ Freeway (EMI F 8084,  1981)

Arr - the eighties.

Not a very forgiving decade to the Jefferson Airplane alumni like Starship and Marty Balin.

Marty is a colourful character: an original member of the Airplane, he's floated in and out of the Paul Kantner dominated picture during the years but the eighties was largely an unsuccessful attempt at a solo career.

In 1981, things looked okay for a start. He released his first solo album, Balin, featuring two Top 40 hits, Hearts (#8) and Atlanta Lady (#27). This was followed in 1983 by a second solo album, Lucky, along with a Japanese-only EP called There's No Shoulder. Lucky did not match the performance of Balin; it suffers from the worst kinds of eighties synth(etic) excess and his contract with EMI ended.

Hearts though is a nice melodic stab at the charts and deserved its success. Marty has such a great voice it's really unfortunate that his solo attempt coincided with the plastic decade.

Hidden gem: Freeway doesn't appear on the album Balin for some utterly bizarre reason. It's a great rocker. Hearts is a ballad so gets the A side obviously, that was what he had become known for, but Freeway is the better side. Yes it has the dreaded synths but it also has, shock horror, a GUITAR SOLO!!!!! 

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