The Stampeders - Ballsy

edited September 9 in year-1979

This is a completely no holds barred affair, the hard driving feel of the music giving the likes of Point Blank or Molly Hatchet a run for their money in terms of attitude, it's not Southern Rock, but isn't too far off either.

The Stampeders - Ballsy
ARTIST: The Stampeders
ALBUM: Ballsy
LABEL: Apex (Canada), MCA (Scandinavia)
SERIAL: APL-1601
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: Unidisc, AGEK-2350

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Flag Canada
LINEUP: Ronnie King - vocals, bass * Gary Sorin - guitar * Bob Allwood - guitar * Roy King - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Here To Rock' N Roll * 02 Within You * 03 How Does He Do It * 04 Bye Bye Johnny * 05 Mojo * 06 Mama You * 07 Coming To Your Senses * 08 If You Really Want Me

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Background

The Stampeders were one of Canada's biggest rock acts of the 1970's and scored several massive hits in their native country, including number one single 'Sweet City Woman' (also cracking the top ten in the U.S). For the majority of the decade the lineup featured the trio of Ronnie King, Rich Dodson (guitar) and Kim Berly (drums). They cranked out a slew of albums from 1971 to 1977, the bands form of rock comparable to the predictable likes of The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive or . April Wine.

By 1979 the original lineup had fallen apart, leaving only Ronnie King present. King kept the band going and enlisted three hired guns, resulting in their final album for over two decades. This may not be the album many would zero in on to properly represent the band, but the approach was a heavier version of the band, ploughing ahead with some steaming hard rock in the best Canadian tradition. Even the album cover seems like something you'd see in 1979, all that's missing is a half-naked lady.

The Stampeders Band pic 1979

The Songs

This is a completely no holds barred affair, the hard driving feel of the music giving the likes of Point Blank or Molly Hatchet a run for their money in terms of attitude. It's not Southern Rock, but isn't too far off either.

'Here To Rock 'n' Roll' is a hefty way to open the album, not too dissimilar to what BTO was doing around the same period. 'Within You' has more melody and the twin guitar attack makes a huge difference to band's sound. The album highlight is 'How Does He Do It?' which runs six minutes and never lets up for a second. It's full tilt boogie with a guitar solo that recalls Ace Frehley at his peak with Kiss. You could hurl every stale adjective possible at this one and they'd all work. This smashes AC/DC in the 1979 period.

The band then takes a stab at two rock and roll staples, Chuck Berry's 'Bye Bye Johnny' and Muddy Waters 'Mojo' both amplifying the original versions by a multitude. Boogie that easily brushes aside Status Quo or Foghat for example. 'Mama You' is an obvious swipe at ZZ Top and so convincing I thought it was the Texans themselves. 'Coming To Your Senses' is another decisive attempt at the boogie scene, although the scaled down tones of 'If You Really Want Me' have a decidedly epic feel, much like Point Blank at their best.

In Summary

An album that deserves to be far better known than it is, the byproduct of a band who had scaled the heights previously and had nowhere to go. This was the natural end for The Stampeders until 1997's 'Sure Beats Workin' which saw the original lineup reform. Apparently they're still out on the concert circuit, showing tremendous longevity. Suffice to say it's hard to imagine them playing anything off 'Ballsy.'

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Video

Here To Rock N Roll


Within You


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