ARTIST: .38 Special
TITLE: Special Delivery
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #207 (Bubbling Under to say the least)
SINGLES: Just promos
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Wow, I dunno. Anything on a compilation probably.
LINEUP: Don Barnes, Jeff Carlisi, Donnie Van Zandt, Larry Junstrom, Steve Brookins, Jack Grondin, Terry Emery
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s little brother band (in more ways than one) releases their second album. It’s derivative, but surprisingly not that bad.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Southern rock was big business in the mid-70’s. By 1978, some of that had faded with the untimely death of the core of Lynyrd Skynyrd (including Donnie Van Zandt’s brother, as you know), and the declining fortunes of the Allman Brothers. Still, there was a marketplace and .38 Special attempted to fill the void.
This, their second album, doesn’t blaze any new trails that any Southern Rock band hadn’t done, and didn’t have the fire of Molly Hatchet or the goofball fun of Black Oak Arkansas. What we have here is competent rock and roll that would have been better if they were better songwriters. It’s better than I expected, though, as some of the songs will do if you need that Southern Rock feel in your daily listening.
Van Zandt takes the lion share of lead vocals on this album, which is not the case with the songs everyone knows. I think they made a good choice to give the hit vocals to Barnes.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Their debut was released in 1977. It charted better than this one, but it’s not streaming. I think the rights to that were peddled by A&M or something.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: C+: I’m keeping the best of the eight songs. There’s no hidden gold here, but some of the songs can fit into my library nicely.