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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars8
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$6.32+ $3.99 shipping
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on March 13, 2011
I didn't get this one because Renaissance Records has ripped me off a few times. I found out they will use any source to put out a record if they can't get the masters. But I did see the review by Joe L. states it's one of their rare good quality CD's. I know Joe's got a good ear so this one must be OK. But be warned. You could be wasting your money if you want quality sound and the label says "Renaissance"!
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This 2-on-1 release features the first two studio albums by the AOR band Balance, which featured Bob Kulick on guitar. Balance served up keyboard drenched melodic pop/rock with great harmonies that was just perfect for early 80's radio consumption.

The band's 1981 self-titled debut makes up the first 10 tracks of this CD, and has a decidedly lighter approach than the disc's second half. This is a straightforward pop album, and gets a bit cheesy at times. It reminds me of lighter Ambrosia and Toto material. It does, however, contain a fantastic hard rock song called "Fly through the Night" that is as good an 80's rock tune as you could hope to find.

Fortunately the band decided to rock a bit more for their 1982 album In for the Count. Compare the guitar-driven album opener "In for the Count" to the first album's unbelievably cheesy leadoff track "Looking for the Magic" and you immediately know you're getting an entirely different album. The second half of the disc more than makes up for the first half. In For the Count has a REO Speedwagon/Touch/April Wine sound. It's "roller rink rock", but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Balance is one of my guilty pleasure bands. Sure, I'll hit the skip button on a couple of these songs, but for the most part this is a great collection of 80's rock.

NOTE: In for the Count was recently reissued with a pair of bonus tracks. If you can't find a copy of this 2-on-1, that may be the way to go. Besides, that is the album with just about all of Balance's best songs.
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on February 11, 2013
As far as the sound quality goes I see nothing wrong with this album. Upon putting it in my cd player I was instantly transported back to 1981 & 82 when I first heard these albums. Great singing,and great lyrics, they just don't make music like this anymore. And both classics on one cd, what more can you ask for?!
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on August 28, 2010
The first Balance album was perfect from start to finish, as it gathered great musicians from several bands and let them do their thing. This CD would be worth it just for that album, but you also get the follow-up release, which boasts several excellent tunes. Great price and great pop music.
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on July 4, 2009
The song "Breaking Away" is one of the great forgotten gems of 80s pop. Uptempo and catchy. You can sing along. You can dance along. Alas. Alack. Peppy Castro and his bandmates never attained such great heights, artistically or commercially as it was their only Top 40 hit.

All in all, there are about 7 or 8 great songs in total on this 2-LP CD. "I'm Through Loving You" and "(Looking for the) Magic" are especially good. It's worth a spin, but there's a little too much cringeworthy filler to warrant a fifth star. ("Fly Through the Night": what were they thinking?)

Now if I could just get a "Breaking Away" ringtone for my cellphone, I'd have it all.
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on June 19, 2010
It seems Renaissance actually got the master tapes for this release, as opposed to most of the rest of their "let's do a vinyl rip and hope nobody notices" releases.

Good music from a one minor hit band.
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on April 15, 2013
Loved the vocals on this CD.Had both the albums when they came out and this CD sounds better.Learned of Pepi from his Barnaby Bye days.Saw them about a year ago after they re-grouped and they still sound good.
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on July 7, 2014
EXCELENTE
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