Beatin’ the Odds: Molly Hatchet

Rating: 80%

Molly_Hatchet_-_Beatin'_the_Odds.jpgMolly Hatchet’s third album “Beatin’ the Odds” released in 1980 is a hard rockin’ triple barrage of guitars that just doesn’t quit until the record is over. Unlike most southern rock bands, they were not influenced by the newer sound of pop music of the time. This is also the first record to feature vocalist Jimmy Farrar, who replaced Danny Joe Brown. I don’t think Jimmy Farrar gets enough credit for stepping in on two of Molly Hatchet’s records.  “Beatin’ the Odds” consisted of Jimmy Farrar on vocals, guitarists Dave Hlubek,  Steve Holland, Duane Roland, bassist Banner Thomas, and drummer Bruce Crump.

The records opens with “Beatin’ the Odds” which is a hard rockin’ upbeat tempo. It’s got a good tight structure. The leads and fills are what makes Molly Hatchet one of southern rock’s, hard hitting all-time greats. This was one of the songs that I used to love to play on the guitar. When you hear it now a days, you’ll hear the live version with Danny Joe Brown on vocals since he is more recognizable as their lead vocalist throughout much the 1980’s.

The other songs are just as good with a few country music and blues influences that are clearly heard. The slide work on the guitar is everywhere on the record. It mixes well with the regular leads. The drum work and bass lines with setting the tempo works well. Jimmy Farrar vocals are very heavy and very strong. His vocal style is more whiskey drenched and crunchy. Production wise, the record is solid.

Although, most music critics give this record two stars out of five, I think they are being biased toward Jimmy Farrar. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a hard rockin’ album that features a lot of guitar work, strong vocals, great music structure with a lot of tempo, then this record is one of those records you should have. It’s just a good all around southern rock record.  Highlights on this record is “Beatin’ the Odds”, “Poison Pen”, “Dead and Gone”, and “Get Her Back.”

Track listing:

“Beatin’ the Odds” – 3:18
“Double Talker”  – 3:15
“The Rambler” – 4:50
“Sailor” – 3:50
“Dead and Gone” – 4:22
“Few and Far Between”  – 3:40
“Penthouse Pauper” – 3:18
“Get Her Back”  – 3:03
“Poison Pen”  – 3:06

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