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[38 Special Band Picture]

Artist: 38 Special

Title: Rock and Roll Strategy

38 Special Homepage

(click on Artist's name above to return to artist's main page)

38 Special Rock and Roll Strategy Album Cover


Category: AOR/ Southern Rock

Year: 1988

Label: A&M Records

Catalog Number: CD5218


Donnie Van Zant lead vocals
Max Carl lead vocals, keyboards
Jeff Carlisi guitar
Danny Chauncey guitar
Larry Junstrom bass
Jack Grondin drums


1.  Rock & Roll Strategy  4:33
2.  What's It To Ya?  4:29
3.  Little Sheba  4:53
4.  Comin' Down Tonight  4:25
5.  Midnight Magic  4:20
6.  Second Chance  5:02
7.  Hot 'Lanta  5:41
8.  Never Be Lonely  4:39
9.  Chattahoochee  4:09
10.  Innocent Eyes  4:16
11.  Love Strikes  4:31
Total Running Time:  50:58

If you see any errors or omissions in the CD information shown above, either in the musician credits or song listings (cover song credits, live tracks, etc.), please post them in the corrections section of the Heavy Harmonies forum/message board.

The music discographies on this site are works in progress. If you notice that a particular 38 Special CD release or compilation is missing from the list above, please submit that CD using the CD submission page. The ultimate goal is to make the discographies here at Heavy Harmonies as complete as possible. Even if it is an obscure greatest-hits or live compilation CD, we want to add it to the site. Please only submit official CD releases; no bootlegs or cassette-only or LP-only releases.

EPs and CD-singles from 38 Special are also welcome to be added, as long as they are at least 4 songs in length.

Existing comments about this CD

From: jason (FA - Q) Date: April 13, 2003 at 18:17
Best song on this album is 'Little Sheba'.

From: koogles Date: April 18, 2003 at 12:11
A well-rounded CD, with some fun, more classic rock-sounding songs like "Little Sheba" and "Hot 'Lanta" and some of those vintage .38 Special AOR numbers like "Comin' Down Tonight", "Innocent Eyes" and "Love Strikes". "Second Chance" is a great ballad that gave the band a much-needed hit.

From: fayoboo@yahoo.c Date: May 15, 2003 at 21:02
Listening to the music of 38 special takes one back to a time when carefree meant carefree. When one could listen to whatever she wanted and feel however she wanted: Totally Southern. Thank God for your talent and your ability to share it with the world. Don't stop! Skynerd is the only other band in the world who could accomplish such a task, thanks to Ronnie. So carry on little brother.

From: Gar Date: November 8, 2003 at 12:29
This one's a little more laid back than their previous releases, but that doesn't affect the quality one bit. Good stuff. Faves are "Midnight Magic" & "What's It To Ya".

From: James Date: February 28, 2004 at 12:02
very good album although on the lite side sometimes. The songs are well written with Max Carl filling in for Don Barnes very well. Donnie's vocals were still being "smoothed" out but they retain the southern rock attitude. There is still the signature 38 sound here and i can't really say there is a bad song on this cd but there are no classic's either but one huge massive hit that was on Mtv and Vh1 all the time---SECOND CHANCE---which i heard people tell me they thought Chicago sang that.

From: James Date: April 17, 2004 at 16:15
with the Addition of Max Carl the more pop songs move into a more Journey/Chicago direction.

From: Blaine Date: August 2, 2004 at 2:05
I can remember Kasey Casem saying on the American Top-40 back in 1989: "38 Special are back with a new lead vocalist and a mature sound". I liked this album alot.

Heavy Harmonies Volunteer
From: Jez Date: October 21, 2005 at 9:14
As mentioned, a little more laid back than previous albums, maybe due to Don Barnes not being around. This still contains one of my all time fave .38 tracks, the gorgeous 'Second Chance', but isn't one of my favourite albums in their catologue. Still, it's a good one, as these guys have never released a bad album by any stretch, not as consistently good as previous works.

From: DIKTATER66 Date: January 6, 2006 at 15:39
LOVE the song Second Chance-what great guitar work. The whole album is pretty good.

From: Leykis101 Date: October 30, 2006 at 0:50
Wasnt Max Carl the lead singer for Jack Mack and The Heartattack??? I swear he was, anybody know?

From: edwithmj Date: November 13, 2008 at 12:37
Great album with tracks 1, 3, 5, and 6 being the highlights. Max Carl breathed life into this band and took them straight into AOR territory far from their southern rock roots. 90/100

From: Remastered Reason Date: December 16, 2008 at 17:48
38's most AOR type recording. However, "Second Chance" is one of their more heart-warming ballads ever. Overall, i can't really pick a favorite rocker except maybe "Midnight Magic",(which isn't really a rocker either) which suggests that most of this material is consistently average. Not bad but seems they lost some of their southern hard rock edge on this album.

From: erik Date: April 26, 2009 at 6:35
Koogles is spot on here. Absolutely love this one. From start to finish. Not a song i think of skipping.To say its not as good as their previous wrtoks is for me a clear misinterpratation of this album. More aorish with always that nice melodic rock vibe to it( listen to Innocent Eyes for ex). . Anyways a nice little gem for me here. 90/100

From: rick kerch vzla Date: January 12, 2011 at 21:55
Fresh as a lettuce...surely a very nice release....this band undoubtebly knows how to mix southern rock with AOR(basically they are the best doing this)and this album ain't the exception..."Rock And Roll Strategy" ,"Comin' Down Tonight"(my personal fave),"Midnight Magic"(catchy chorus),"Second Chance"(beautiful),"Never Be Lonely"(nice AOR) & "Love Strikes" are recommended songs of this record...38 Special won't never need a "second chance" to show us how good they are!!!.90/100

From: 123charpenay Date: November 12, 2011 at 9:00
a very great aor affair,more than southern.a very consistent record no fillers at the horizon.always good music with 38 special never disapointed with this band.

From: 707STAR Date: November 17, 2011 at 16:18

From: Doghouse Reilly Date: September 17, 2018 at 14:45
Yet another band that proves Doghouse's Five-Year Hypothesis, which states that all but the very biggest (and luckiest) bands only get about a half-decade period of peak effectiveness and relevance. 38 Special's heyday was in the early '80's. By this point, they were retooling (replacing Don Barnes with Max Carl, losing one of the drummers) and sounding (even) more corporate. These southern boys were no longer wild-eyed. They're middle-aged guys showing up to work. They were never the hardest-rockin' band in the world, and here they've settled into a friendly, vanilla sound. Their target audience is no longer young people riding around in their Camaros. It's not-so-young people who fondly remember riding around in their Camaros. AOR radio, gave them a few hits, out of loyalty and lack of imagination more than anything else, and the only one to survive the album cycle is the soft-rock ballad "Secondd Chance," a "nince little song" as my mom would call it, with its muted plucking and ...

From: Doghouse Reilly Date: September 17, 2018 at 14:55
... humming keyboard foundation. And it is a nice little song. But like the rest, it feels like work. And that's because it is. And it got them their biggest hit on the pop charts (besting 'Caught Up In You" by four spots), but in the end, 38 Special's run was just about up. By the time Bone Against Steel came along in '91, only diehard fans and the clueless AOR programmers who made "The Sound Of Your Voicie" another hit (in that format) still cared. 38 Special were a band from another time. Some say rock 'n' roll is a young man's game, and maybe that's true, and it's albums like this that lend the idea credence.

From: 123charpenay Date: September 18, 2018 at 13:39
in my comment of 2011 i would write "more a o r than southern".it s a solid a o r affair only ,absoluty not at the same level than their sensational records of the start of the eighties.the mum of doghouse is totally right "second chance" is a nice little song not more.i never understand the success of this song.

From: edwithmj Date: September 18, 2018 at 14:24
OK time to expand... Definitely a more AOR album than a true southern rock one. Max Carl gave the band a more commercial sound with both his keyboards and his soongwriting. Rock & Roll Strategy is a great opener and helps propel Carl's voice into the band. What's it to ya? is a lacklustre Van Zant sung song - I find myself skipping it more often than not. Little Sheba and Comin' Down Tonight are two more standard AOR songs which work quite well, Midnight Magic is definitely my favourite - love the smooth vocals by Van Zant and the lyrics in this one. I can't understand the lack of excitement for Second Chance - it's fantastic! Great AOR ballad and near perfection in lyrics and vocals. Hot Lanta is a duet and is catchy enough while Never Be Lonely is a very melodic ballad with great guitars. Chattahoochee is pretty avoidable, Innocent Eyes is the last great song from the album with a wonderful duelling solo but the album ends with a whimper with Love Strikes. Essential in my opinion.

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