Russ Ballard/Winning/At the Third Stroke

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
BGO's 2013 double-disc set combines Russ Ballard's first three albums: 1975's Russ Ballard, its 1976 sequel Winning, and 1979's At the Third Stroke. Ballard began his solo career after leaving Argent in 1974, around the time when he already began to rack up hits as a songwriter, and during the entire length of his solo career -- which would run another decade, all things considered -- he wound up achieving greater success behind the scenes than in front of the mike. This three-fer suggests reasons why for both. On each of these three records, Ballard demonstrates an ear for cavernous arena rock hooks as well as a sticky sentimental side that translated well into...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
BGO's 2013 double-disc set combines Russ Ballard's first three albums: 1975's Russ Ballard, its 1976 sequel Winning, and 1979's At the Third Stroke. Ballard began his solo career after leaving Argent in 1974, around the time when he already began to rack up hits as a songwriter, and during the entire length of his solo career -- which would run another decade, all things considered -- he wound up achieving greater success behind the scenes than in front of the mike. This three-fer suggests reasons why for both. On each of these three records, Ballard demonstrates an ear for cavernous arena rock hooks as well as a sticky sentimental side that translated well into power ballads and he also willingly follows fashion, incorporating elements of disco and not being above copping a few moves from Andrew Gold ("Born on Halloween"). All of these are attributes and they strengthen as he gets further into his solo career -- Winning is a peak but At the Third Stroke has its AOR moments, sounding like a good, squarer, less adventurous companion to Alan Parsons Project -- but he never was a compelling frontman and also tended to favor polite yet overblown mixes to muscle. This meant Rainbow could poach "Since You Been Gone" and turn it into the arena rocker it was destined to be but it also meant that Ballard's records remain curiosities of the '70s, embodying so much of the sound and spirit of the time without actually being notable within it. That contradiction meant that these three records were stiffs at the time but they're worth hearing now as they capture all the AOR commercial trends that were commonplace in the '70s but have since been forgotten.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/11/2013
  • Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
  • EAN: 5017261211071
  • Catalog Number: 6121107
  • Sales rank: 53,777

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 She's a Hurricane (3:10)
  2. 2 Loose Women (2:31)
  3. 3 I Don't Believe in Miracles (3:43)
  4. 4 You Can Do Voodoo (3:33)
  5. 5 You Can Count on Me (2:38)
  6. 6 Fly Away (3:24)
  7. 7 Danger Zone, Pt. 1 (2:42)
  8. 8 Danger Zone, Pt. 2 (3:06)
  9. 9 Kicks (4:20)
  10. 10 Venus (Shine Your Light) (4:45)
  11. 11 Winning (3:40)
  12. 12 Born on Halloween (3:54)
  13. 13 A Song for Gail (What Have We Got Her Into) (4:34)
  14. 14 Fakin' Love (3:35)
  15. 15 Since You Been Gone (2:48)
  16. 16 Just a Dream Away (4:22)
  17. 17 Here I Am (3:46)
  18. 18 Free At Last (3:41)
  19. 19 Are You Cuckoo? (3:20)
  20. 20 Weekend (3:12)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Dancer (4:06)
  2. 2 Helpless (4:45)
  3. 3 Treat Her Right (2:59)
  4. 4 Expressway To Your Heart (2:53)
  5. 5 Cast the Spirit (6:34)
  6. 6 Look At Her Dance (4:11)
  7. 7 What Does It Take (3:14)
  8. 8 I'm a Scorpio (6:23)
  9. 9 My Judgement Day (5:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Russ Ballard Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Clavinet, Hand Clapping, Marxophone
Tom Scott Flute, Horn
David Foster Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, fender rhodes
Bobbye Hall Percussion, Conga, Tambourine
Mike Baird Drums
Dennis Bellfield Bass Guitar
John "Rabbit" Bundrick Piano
Mel Collins Background Vocals
Craig Doerge Piano
Steve Frediani Flute, Horn
Steve Gregory Saxophone
David Hungate Bass Guitar
Tom Kelly Background Vocals
Dan Loggins Hand Clapping
Chris Mercer Saxophone
Nick Newell Saxophone
Keith Olsen Percussion, Conga, Tambourine
David Paich Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, fender rhodes
Jeff Porcaro Drums
Lee Sklar Bass Guitar
Fred Tackett Guitar
Damion Background Vocals
Sir Michael Whitfield O.B.E. Hand Clapping
Watney B. Tray Hand Clapping
Mick Eaves Saxophone
Mike Pocaro Bass Guitar
Denny Henson Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Russ Ballard Arranger, Composer, Producer, Brass Arrangment
John Barham String Arrangements
Rhett Davies Engineer
David DeVore Engineer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Dan Loggins Producer
Keith Olsen Producer
David Paich String Arrangements
Muff Winwood Producer
John Tobler Liner Notes
Nancy Donald Original Cover Artwork
Roslav Szaybo Original Sleeve Design
Andrew Thompson Remastering
Mike Ross Engineer
Al Rubin Sleeve Photo
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