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Flashback
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2004
38 Special rose from the ashes of 70's classic rockers Lynyrd Skynard - leader Donnie Van Zant's brother, Ronnie's band (who, sadly died with many other members in a 1977 plane crash).

At first, Donnie's band started out with a soundalike, southern boogie rock sound. As they hit the mainstream, they became southern/hard arena rock, then slowly transitioned into a more pop/rock band as the 80's progressed (peaking with their biggest hit--1988's lite pop/power ballad "Second Chance", which came out after this was released in 1987). All three areas are covered on this collection, though it focuses most heavily on the 2nd one.

1979's ROCKIN' INTO THE NIGHT only features the title track, which has traces of their early pure-southern rock sound, but clearly shows their beginnings as a pop band.

1981's WILD-EYED SOUTHERN BOYS:

-Hold On Loosely

-Fantasy Girl

This was their breakout. These two were the biggest hits from the album, (and, the first, of their career) so I can't complain about their inclusion at all. Though there were other worthwhile songs, like "First Time Around" or "Hittin' and Runnin'."

1982's SPECIAL FORCES:

-Caught Up in You

This was their first of the more slightly power ballad-laden pop hits that would turn them even more into the mainstream. Though this is a great song, "Back On the Track" and especially the lost hit "You Keep Runnin' Away" should've made the cut!

1983's TOUR DE FORCE:

-If I'd Been the One

-Back Where You Belong

I'll definitely say these two songs - which aren't unlike "Caught Up" in sound - are the best from the album, but it had alot more to offer too, especially the southern-sounding ballad "One Time for Old Times," another hit.

1986's STRENGTH IN NUMBERS:

-Like No Other Night

Okay, this was a GREAT album - further going into 80's style arena rock. The best of the ones featured. I can't believe it only got one track. This one is also a mid tempo (slightly) southern pop/rocker, but it sounds a little too like the previous hits. The high-energy, charged "Someone Like You" or the nice ballad "One in A Million" would've been way better choices.

LIVE TRACKS:

-Stone Cold Believer (1979, ROCKIN INTO THE NIGHT)

-Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (1981, same album)

-Rough-Housin' (1982, SPECIAL FORCES)

-20th Century Fox (1983, TOUR DE FORCE)

Okay, these certainly aren't bad renditions, but this really bugs me about collections sometimes. These were great choices as studio songs that would've represented their correspinding albums, and improved the quality of the collection quite a bit. Why did they have to use live versions instead!? That's what "Live" albums are for. Oh well, that's life.

SOUNDTRACK SONGS:

-Teacher Teacher (1984, TEACHERS)

-Back to Paradise (1987, REVENGE OF THE NERDS II)

This (almost) makes up for the songs not included. The former is a sillier, energetic pop/rock number. The latter is especially good - a happy rocker, that's sound is almost a mix of the previous year's STRENGTH IN NUMBERS and the following year's even more poppish ROCK & ROLL STRATEGY albums.

NEW SONGS:

-Same Old Feeling

This is another reason to pick this up, as it's the only place I know of to get this song. Again taking the SIN album's general sound, they give us another winner with this mid paced, Journey-esque lite arena rock love song.

Overall, this is still the best single disc collection of theirs. I would still recommend all their 80's studio albums, though, to get a better idea of their sound. I can't stress SIN and R&R STRATEGY enough (even though many people hate the latter for its pop sound).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2006
38 SPECIAL-FLASHBACK: 38 Special was one of the more pop-oriented Southern rock outfits, due mostly to co-lead singer/guitarist Don Barnes' ability to pen and sing righteous radio-friendly hooks, rather than the grittier contributions of Donnie Van Zant, brother to Ronnie and Johnny of Lynyrd Skynyrd reknown. On rough housin' early classics ROCKIN' INTO THE NIGHT and WILD EYED SOUTHERN BOYS the two shared vocal duties, but the group soon fared better chartwise (losing some of their edge in the process) when Barnes took over as their main frontman. Resulting big hits FANTASY GIRL, CAUGHT UP IN YOU, and HOLD ON LOOSELY were all streamlined, nearly interchangable pop singles that steered clear of stereotypical redneck sentiments. FLASHBACK, which arrived before the band's atypical ballad smash SECOND CHANCE (featuring blue eyed soul singer MAX CARL), is the casual fan's bet, stoked with sweaty, rebel-rousin' fun...even if those Southern Boys ain't quite as wild as they used to be.

RATING: THREE SLUGS
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2000
38 Special is probably the best SOUTHERN ROCK band that came out of the late 70's-80's. Their hard driving vocals and guitars on all their songs is unmistakable. They have a unique sound, unlike other so called Southern Rock Bands, they seem less REDNECK, there, I said it.... Anyway, their songs have been on many movie sountracks. Remember Spring Break, Teachers, and other 80's movies? I highly recommend this recording. Its just good time, feel good music, the way it should be....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 1998
This album is a great collection of hits from a band that was probably on of the most underrated bands during the late 70's and early 80's. Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant are the heart and soul of this group. The dual drummers, and the guitar playing of Barnes and Jeff Carlisi really set .38 Special apart from all the other Southern bands like Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. The only song missing from this album is Chain Lightning, which I consider one of their best ever! This is an absolute must buy for anyone who loves true rock and roll with a southern flavor!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2003
38 special, led by donnie van Zandt brother of Ronnie and Johnny of Skynyrd, were more pop than southern rock like Skynyrd and Allman's. The comp. is ok for the price, but I'm sure there are better ones out there. Has some tracks that are live instead of in there best form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 1999
I bought this album mainly for one song "Back Where You Belong", but then when I listened to it I realized that I knew a lot of the other songs. I remember 38 Special from back in the 80's and now I will never forget this wonderful band!!!!
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on December 28, 2008
Four years ago, I began a heavy weight training program at the high school I teach at; this mainly due to the onset of some health issues at age 56 I decided to fight. Four years down the road, I not only work out with the high school athletes but find myself in charge of operating the Weight Training room! We needed music and the current "music" is not only offensive to me but to many of the athletes as well. From my late 80's weight training I had many cassette tapes of the "Hair Bands" of that era. Problem was, the tapes were getting old and the equipment that is around to play them is getting scarce. Also, on a good system, the cassette sound quality is lacking. So, I came to Amazon looking to replace some of my old cassettes with the same album on CD. I have found and purchased a few from some of the businesses associated with Amazon, and this .38 Special Album:"Flashback", is one of those. I have had a pretty good reaction to this music in the weight room. I caught one of the guys singing the lyrics to one of the songs on this album and asked him if he was singing to 'my' music! He smiled and said he was and I asked him how he knew the lyrics to this 'old' music? He simply said, "I know the lyrics"! One staff member a bit younger than myself told me to play the disc again! Told me it brought back some nice memories. So, in closing, this disc was the genuine article, sealed and original from the mid-80's! Don't know how it lasted that long, but I have found others by Ratt, Poison, and Dio and I will be looking for more! Working with Amazon associated businesses is quick and easy and a great value.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2000
Going to high school in the 80's gave everyone alot of various music choices from Boy George to KISS and Michale Jackson, and while I admit to listening to most of the music from that era (some under protest) the groups that seem to stick out in my memory seem to be the classic rock groups ZZ Top,Van Halen,Bob Segar and most definatly 38 SPECIAL. They have a sound that is ageless and this CD with no doubt covers all the bases. Every track is A+ southern rock enjoyment. I live in a small rural town that is mostly country music oriented. Every July they get a couple groups to play on the 4th and I've desperatley tried to get them to go with a non-country act that won't cause a riot with the town council.I sugessted 38 special and no one knew who they were; that is,until I played a few selections off the Flashback tape, memories were jared and smiles were had, they still havent taken my advice and gone the non country route but at least I got em' interested and I know that the one group who can make everyone get down and move is 38 special. So until the town gets them I guess I will have to do what I've done so often and wear out yet another Flashback Tape(need to get that CD player instaled) and enjoy some of the best music there is. Van zant and Barnes are welcome in my pick-up anyday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 1999
I have followed this band through the years and feel that this is probably the best collection of .38 Special hits to ever be produced! You can't go wrong for buying this one!
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on July 15, 2000
Flashback is a masterly collection of 38 Special one of the greatest arena rock bands of 80s. Although they have only two top 10 hits(Caught Up In You-#10 in 1982, Second Chance-#6 in 1990), they are remembered by great hit tracks such as Like No Other Night, If I'd Been The One, or as the greatest live band on earth. So the choice of four live tracks for this compilation doesn't surprise me. All greatest hits with the exception of Second Chance in their 1990 album Rock'n Roll Strategy are there. Since "Rock'n Roll Strategy" release,they have been still rocking with two studio albums, Bone Against Steel in 1991 and Resolution in 1997, one live album "Live From Sturgis" in 2000. They are to release new studio album later this year. I can't wait for another shot of their fully charged rock'n roll gun.
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