Atlanta Rhythm Section - Sleep With One Eye Open (unreleased)

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited March 2021 in Year-1982

This was the ARS follow-up to the 1981 album 'Quinella' but due to a fall out with their record label CBS, this album was never officially released in 1982.

Atlanta Rhythm Section - 2010 Sleep With One Eye Open
ARTIST: Atlanta Rhythm Section
ALBUM: Sleep With One Eye Open
LABEL: Unreleased
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2010, Centaurus Records, CR-710

LINEUP: Ronnie Hammond - lead vocals, acoustic guitar * Barry Bailey - guitars * J.R Cobb - guitars * Paul Goddard - bass * Dean Daughtry - keyboards * Roy Yeager - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sleep With One Eye Open * 02 High Time * 03 Longing For A Feeling * 04 Long Distance * 05 Stone Cold Hit * 06 Two Note Boogie * 07 Bad Situation * 08 Wine With Dinner



This album is one of those efforts where the record label and the artist (in this case: producer and artist) did not see eye to eye on the final output. It was 1982, SWOEO was to be the follow up to the successful 'Quinella' LP from the year before, but events would conspire against ARS and this album.

When the album was presented to CBS, the response was a 'No'. When they asked producer Bubby Buie to rework it, he refused saying the record was fine as it was. Therein endth the relationship between CBS and ARS, the album going into mothballs for nearly three decades.

From what I'm hearing, this album is similar to
Ambrosia's effort from the same year' Road Island'. The case of a band well known in a certain genre but growing a pair of legs to expand their ability in another. I'm not detecting much bonafide southern rock with SWOEO, it's a mature set of songs which could pass as AOR at a pinch, but without anything that smells of a hit single. I'm guessing this was CBS' main concern too.

Atlanta Rhythm Section - 2010 Sleep With One Eye Open
Alternative album cover

The Songs

The album opens with the title track 'Sleep With One Eye Open'. It took me a while to find my feet with this one, but I eventually did, a sassy classic rocker, with a cool change up on the chorus, plus there are some reminders of Doc Holliday in the guitar work.

'High Time' appears more subdued, though it does contain some restrained power within, including a brief but tasty solo. 'Longing For A Feeling' continues the classic rock vibe, listening to this was like spending an afternoon with old LP's from the likes of St Paradise, Rock Rose and Whitford St Holmes.

'Long Distance' didn't really hit the mark for me, much better was 'Stone Cold Hit' which had a closer connection to material off 'Quinella' and 'Underdog'. There's less upfront guitar on this one, the song allowed to seep in melody much like ice in glass of scotch on the rocks.

I'm enjoying the cranky 'Two Note Boogie', not so much a case of pure boogie nor pure southern rock per se, maybe a similarity to the
Johnny Van Zant Band but without the Florida flavour. I kinda liked 'Bad Situation' too, musically it has an attitude but the vocals weren't especially enthusiastic.

'Wine With Dinner' is a cover of a Loudon Wainwright tune played and sung in a traditional blues style. The lyrics are hilarious, perhaps this cover also put the noses of the CBS Suits out of joint? Lol.

In Summary

The album did see a CD reissue in 2010 by Centaurus Records though I suspect this is long OOP. Though ARS lost their record deal with CBS, it wasn't the end of the line for the boys from Doraville. It did take them a few years to get back into the saddle, and that they did with 1989's 'Truth In A Structured Form'. They occasionally get out to play when they can, but it's not helped by the current 'Rona situation. Maybe a new studio album would help matters? Hint hint..

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