Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Georgia Satellites - Battleship Chains

This is the Satellites second appearance on ERV, as the band's one big hit "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" was featured in July 2012.  "Battleship Chains" was the second single off the group's debut LP and it became a minor hit, reaching #86 on the charts.  The song was written by Terry Anderson, who was not a member of the group.  Interestingly, Anderson also wrote "I Love You Period" which hit #26 in 1992, becoming Dan Baird's only solo top 40 hit (Baird was the lead singer and guitarist for the Satellites).  Unlike most of the Satellites' songs, "Battleship" featured guitarist Rick Richards on lead vocals instead of Baird.

In contrast to "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," "Battleship Chains" is further up the rock spectrum, more Stones than Skynyrd.  In fact, that is one of the impressive aspects of the band -- they produced self-consciously retro music that was also fresh, and encompassed musical influences as diverse as the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin.  While their music was viewed as something of a curiosity in the 1980's, it has aged better than many of their contemporaries.

The black and white video starts with a scratchy record into and then intersperses shots of pawn shops and pools halls with the band.  It is damn near pitch perfect, in our humble opinion.  This is a band that should be listened to at a BBQ joint with some ribs and cold beer.  Sadly, this cutting against the grain approach made it hard for the band to maintain a high level of commercial success, and they broke up in 1990, after two follow up LPs failed to gain traction (See the "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" post for more info on the band's history.)

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