The Outlaws: Henry Paul (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Hughie Thomasson, Billy Jones (vocals, guitar); Frank O'Keefe (bass); Monte Yoho (drums).
Additional personnel: John David Souther (background vocals).
Producer: Paul A. Rothchild.
Reissue producer: Rob Santos.
Recorded at Elektra Sound Recorders, Los Angeles, California in March 1975. Originally released as Arista (4042). Includes liner notes by Clive Davis, Robert Feiden & Rick Clark.
Digitally remastered by Elliott Federman (SAJE Sound, New York, New York).
Originally released as a 2 LP set.
By the mid-'70s, Southern bands seemed be making a last stand for rock & roll, with two- and three-guitar lineups and not a keyboard in sight. The Outlaws' self-titled debut was released in 1975, a few years after the Allman Brothers Band's greatest glories and a couple of years before the untimely demise of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Outlaws latched onto their Southern heritage by way of Florida, threw in some harmony by way of the Eagles, and then wrote a number of songs that played to their strengths. The result was -- and is -- a good classic rock & roll album. Several of the Outlaws' best songs are present here, including "There Goes Another Love Song," "Green Grass and High Tides," and "Song for You." Hughie Thomasson only sings lead on these three songs, but since two of them were the best-known Outlaw songs, it is his voice that is most associated with the band. It's fun to hear cuts like "Song for You" and "Knoxville Girl," which never received a lot of radio play. "Keep Prayin'," sung by Henry Paul and Billy Jones, is a fine piece of Southern boogie with high soaring harmony on the chorus. Although "Green Grass and High Tides" has been played a million and six times on album-oriented rock stations, it nonetheless deserves mention. Created in the tradition of the Allman Brothers Band's "Dreams" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," the song still sounds fresh in the context of the album, and doesn't feel long at its nearly ten-minute length. The Outlaws' debut blew a fresh blast of rock & roll onto a scene increasingly dominated by synthesizers and dance music. It will leave the listener singing along and dreaming about the good ol' days. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.