RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Atlanta Rhythm Section – Champagne Jam
BGO Records

Rating: B+

The Atlanta Rhythm Section were hitting their stride by 1978 when Champagne Jam was released.  The album perfectly melded the unique bands ability to forge their own sound from many musical influences.  Champagne Jam was their commercial breakthrough staying on the US Top 200 album charts for nearly a year after its initial release.

The band mixed southern rock with jazz and blues and were as smooth as a shot of the finest gentleman’s whiskey on the planet.  They were mellower than many of their contemporaries but they were also, overall, perhaps more talented musicians.  What makes ARS so damn special is that they wrote such good songs.  They had it all, rhythm, vocals, harmonies and rippin’ guitar solos. 

“I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” was a Top 20 hit while “Champagne Jam” and “Imaginary Lover” are two of the band’s most beloved songs.  The album kicks off with one of their most rocking tunes “Large Time” which is a tribute to their friends and colleagues Lynyrd Skynyrd who suffered the famously, horrific plane crash the year before.

BGO Records has really showed ARS some love, remastering the album, digitally, writing new liner notes and putting the CD into a nifty slipcase. 

This is a great re-release by one of southern rocks finest.

    Large Time
    I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight
    Normal Love
    Champagne Jam
    Imaginary Lover
    The Ballad Of Lois Malone
    The Great Escape

By Jeb Wright