Atlanta Rhythm Section
They’ve been part of the Southern Rock scene for more than 30 years. Their signature sound has produced Two Platinum and Four Gold Albums as well as Six Top 20 hits including “So Into You,”” Champagne Jam,” “Imaginary Lover,” “Do it or Die” “Georgia Rhythm” and “Spooky”. But there’s so much more…
Their songs have been covered over the years by artists such as Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt and Wynonna Judd. With 15 albums of outstanding songwriting and performances, The Atlanta Rhythm Section represents all the good things the phrase “classic rock” implies.
Often described as a more radio-friendly version of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, the Atlanta Rhythm Section was one of many Southern rock bands to hit the upper reaches of the charts during the late ’70s. Hailing from the small town of Doraville, Georgia, the beginning can be traced back to 1970. It was then that a local recording studio was opened, Studio One, and the remnants of two groups (the Candymen and the Classics Four), became the studio’s house band. After playing on several artists’ recordings, it was decided to take it a step further and make the group of players a real solid touring band, leading to the formation of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Finding time between sessions to record their own original material (which was initially, entirely instrumental), an early demo wound up landing the band a record deal.
The group’s first few albums failed to generate much chart action (1972’s Atlanta Rhythm Section, 1973’s Back Up Against the Wall, 1974’s Third Annual Pipe Dream, 1975’s Dog Days, and 1976’s Red Tape), Although they had gained quite a bit of radio airplay down south, their record company began to put pressure on the quintet to deliver a single that would break them nationally.
The demand worked — the Atlanta Rhythm Section scored a Top Ten single, “So Into You,” on their next release, 1976’s A Rock and Roll Alternative, which was the group’s first album to reach gold certification. But this wouldn’t be their commercial peak, as they scored the highest charting album of their career in 1978, the Top Ten Champagne Jam, which spawned the hit singles — “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Champagne Jam,” and “Imaginary Lover.” To keep up their high profile, the Atlanta Rhythm Section soon became one of the hardest touring bands of the entire Southern rock genre (including a performance at the White House for then-president Jimmy Carter).
ARS followed with solid releases in 1979’s Underdog and live set Are You Ready, 1980s The Boys from Doraville, and 1981’s Quinella, producing quality songs and more successful hits including the top 20 charting singles “Spooky” and “Do It or Die.” After a several year hiatus, ARS issued their first all-new studio album in more than a decade in 1999, Eufala and more recently, a live DVD release in 2004 Live from the Stabler Arena which shows the band is as good today as when they broke out of the south 30 years ago.