Atlanta Rhythm Section... ARS... In the annals of rock and roll,
where do they fit? They put out 15 albums of excellent original
material, and consistently put on entertaining live shows-both
of which helped establish a broad if not huge fan base. They had
some big hits and have been a major player in the Southern Rock
scene. But is that the whole story? In some circles, maybe. But
for those who've really gotten to know their music over the years,
there's a lot more to the story.
was paired with contemporaries Lynyrd Skynyrd as the successors
to the Allman Brothers - carrying the mantle of "Southern
Rock" in the late 70s. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it
may have made sense at the time. But performing songs that were
more musically diverse and having hits that had a softer, pop
sound, the "Southern Rock" label was a mixed
blessing and many of their unique musical accomplishments became
lost in a genre that has lived on to this day-but never really
some other ways to look at ARS. They weren't out to be rock and
roll stars-they were accomplished studio musicians working as
a group. They were said to be more influenced by music coming
out of England than other music in the South. They shared musical
stylings with the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac-both in the quality
of songwriting and recorded performances. They were excellent
musicians who tried to stretch themselves-think Steely Dan or
Little Feat. In many ways, these associations make as much or
more sense than any grouping with their Southern Rock kindred.
the music of ARS only reached a mass audience on a couple of occasions.
The result: an outstanding song catalog and the talented men responsible
for it have been largely overlooked. When those songs are heard,
and those talents recognized, the case can be made that ARS are
the epitome of all the good things that the phrase "classic rock"
if you want an introduction or re-introduction to a great band
and a lot of wonderful music, read on.