Ballyhoo
Ballyhoo

Ballyhoo

Tracks:

  1. Air Incident (Mick Matthews) (6:34)
  2. Make my Life Worth Living For (Mick Matthews) (3:36)
  3. Iceberg (Mick Matthews) (6:34)
  4. You'd Better Get Out (Attie van Wyk/Mick Matthews) (3:22)
  5. Hymn to a Superstar (Attie van Wyk) (6:13)
  6. Fallen Angel (Mick Matthews) (3:42)
  7. Lady Dreamer (Attie van Wyk) (4:07)
  8. I Won't be Back no More (Mick Matthews) (3:34)
  9. Ballyhoo (Mick Matthews) (3:57)

Produced by Claude Larson
Sound Engineer - Peter Thwaites
Brass & Strings Arrangements - Claude Larson
Recorded and mixed at Satbel Studios Johannesburg

Musicians:

  • Attie van Wyk: Keyboards, Vocals
  • Shane Mahoney: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
  • Michael (Fergie) Ferguson: Bass Guitar, Lead Vocal
  • Mick Matthews: Electric/Acoustic Guitars and Vocals (Lead Vocal on 'Make my Life Worth Living For)
  • Paul Ray: Steel Guitar on 'Fallen Angel'

Release information:

October 1976, Satbel Records (Bell 23020)

Review:

Ballyhoo's 1976 debut album was somewhat of a mixed bag, although it is predominantly a rock album. There is also a healthy sprinkling of the prog rock sound throughout. Aside from this there is the disco tinged 'Make My Life Worth Living' and the country styled 'Fallen Angel' which was also released as a single.

The album opens with 'Air Incident' which sets the prog tone. Starting with blowing wind and siren sound effects, it's a strong intro to the album which stays in a rock mode for the first side, culminating in probably the centrepiece of the album 'Hymn to a Superstar'. 'Hymn..' is an attempt at an epic track with some great work on the keyboards. It's a big sound and a solid track, but to me it falls just short of epic.

The last 4 tracks are much more mainstream and include the 2 singles, 'Fallen Angel' and 'Lady Dreamer'. The latter track along with 'I Won't Be Back No More' are straightforward AOR songs and while they are well executed, are not overly inspiring. The final track which shares it's name with the album and the group is upbeat and quite funky, with some nice guitar work, a bit of Hammond organ for good measure, and probably the best vocal performance on the album.

This is a good solid debut that wasn't going to set the world alight, but may have burnt up a few small continents. On the strength of this album, they could be regarded as an upper middle class man's McCully Workshop. Of course we now know that better was to come.

John Samson, SA Rockdigest #109, June 2001

Webpage:

All info supplied by John Samson, April 2001.


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