It is entirely possible that I’ve posted this album before, but I’m feeling a little too lazy to search through my old posts to see. It’s the kind of thing I would do, though. I’ve been evangelizing about this band for years. To be fair, they only made two really great albums and one really crappy one (with the exception of the song “Sheila”). Their debut was just pure, perfect Rock & Roll. Barroom style. You know, the kind of place where the band plays behind chicken wire to keep the crowd from throwing things at them. Where the band is happily drinking right along with the rest of the patrons. You know. The really, really good kind.
By all rights, the Georgia Satellites really should’ve just been a forgotten cover band playing–behind chicken wire, of course–in some humid bar somewhere on the outskirts of Atlanta. But they had a fluke hit with “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” in 1986, which led to a decent career and some pretty heavy airplay on MTV. They were too loose to hang together for very long. Lead singer and songwriter Dan Baird left after their third album, In the Land of Salvation and Sin in 1989; although the rest of the band reunited in the 90s, they were never the same. Whatever magic there had been was lost.
But we still have these terrific songs. Skip “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” if you’ve just heard it too many times (or think it’s really stupid). Give “The Myth of Love,” “Red Light,” or the stunning combo “Nights of Mystery/Every Picture Tells a Story” a shot. (The last recommendation is based on the fact that on the original album, those two tracks are bled together seamlessly; it’s just goddamn perfect.) If you really enjoy their first eponymous LP, track down In the Land of Salvation and Sin. It is arguably their best album and shows some signs of artistic growth in their hard rocking style. No matter what else you might think of the Satellites, you cannot every accuse them of dishonesty. They wear the barroom like a badge of honor.