Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who the hell is Russ Ballard?

Russ Ballard. You might recognize his name. You might not. You might only know him as the singer fo the 80s hit "Voices," but you might be surprised at how much stuff he's done that all of us are familiar with.

It started when I was listening to a Head East album "Flat as a Pancake." I've always loved that album, ever since it first came out. My dad had it, and it got heavy rotation in our house. I remember recently telling my friend Mike that even now, I still spin it at least once a year.

 I got curious about what happened to Head East, and started looking for articles about the band. First, I discovered that the lead singer, John Schlitt, was fired due to drug dependency. Bummer, because he had a great voice.

It worked out all right for him though, he cleaned himself up and went on to front Contemporary Christian's Music most successful all-time bands, "Petra."

Okay... that's pretty interesting, but then I found out that Russ Ballard became a member of Head East after John Schlitt left. I never knew that about Russ. I knew that he started with "Hold Your Head Up" rockers, Argent (along with Rod Argent, who was a founding member of "The Zombies").

What really shocked me was that Russ Ballard penned a song called, "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" which was covered by KISS as well as -- you guessed it -- Petra!

Some other songs that Ballard wrote that you have heard are Three Dog Night's "Liar," and my favorite Rainbow song, "Since You've Been Gone." But there's more! The America song, "You Can Do Magic;" Ace Frehley's solo hit, "Back in the New York Groove;" and Frida's (aka "Anni-Frid" formerly of ABBA) one-hit wonder, "I Know There's Something Going On" (featuring a drummer named, "Phil Collins!").

I hope you're paying attention. There WILL be a test on this stuff.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Americans mistakenly think that Russ Ballard bagan his career with Argent. Prabably that was becuse he was unknown to the US scene before being courted by Rod to front his second band. Russ began, along with Bob Henrit, also an Argent member, in The Daybreakers with Buster Meikle. Russ's older brother Roy also played keyboards in the Daybreakers. From there, Russ and Bob went into pop star Adam Faith's backing band "The Roulettes". The other half of the Daybreakers went on to form 'Unit Four" with Tommy Moeller after The Roulettes, and Russ and Bob went into that band making them the "Unit Four PLUS 2} but this was short lived. Rod Argent and Chris White, the 5th and 'invisible' member of Argent (Zombie fans will also remember him as the original bassplayer), went to get Russ and Bob to complete the Argent linup. So actually for those keeping track, Argent was the 3rd band Russ was in.

Unknown said...

Americans mistakenly think that Russ Ballard bagan his career with Argent. Prabably that was becuse he was unknown to the US scene before being courted by Rod to front his second band. Russ began, along with Bob Henrit, also an Argent member, in The Daybreakers with Buster Meikle. Russ's older brother Roy also played keyboards in the Daybreakers. From there, Russ and Bob went into pop star Adam Faith's backing band "The Roulettes". The other half of the Daybreakers went on to form 'Unit Four" with Tommy Moeller after The Roulettes, and Russ and Bob went into that band making them the "Unit Four PLUS 2} but this was short lived. Rod Argent and Chris White, the 5th and 'invisible' member of Argent (Zombie fans will also remember him as the original bassplayer), went to get Russ and Bob to complete the Argent linup. So actually for those keeping track, Argent was the 3rd band Russ was in.