Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"What Love Is" by Marty Balin

Song#:  1349
Date:  02/19/1983
Debut:  78
Peak:  63
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After leaving Jefferson Starship, Balin released his 1981 debut solo album title "Balin," which featured the #8 single "Hearts." His new soft rock sound was welcomed by pop and AC fans, so when Balin returned to a more rock-oriented sound with his next album "Lucky," many were not on board. This first single couldn't make any headway on the pop chart and disappeared after a few weeks. Another track on the album, "Do It for Love," got a little airplay at AC peaking at #48, but it failed to reach the pop chart. The lack of a solid single pretty much killed the album and along with it, Balin's contract with EMI. (Insert pun about the album being titled "Lucky"...) This song would be Balin's final pop chart entry. He wouldn't record another full album until 1991's "Better Generation."

ReduxReview:  This song starts out like a quiet AC ballad, but then it gets rocked up in the chorus. It's quite a change from the lovely and moody "Hearts." The production by Val Garay (Kim Carnes) is top-notch. He gives the song a nice, beefy sound. I actually like the tune quite a bit, but I don't think it was the right choice for a single.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  On his "Lucky" album, Balin revisited a song that one of his old bandmates recorded. "Heart of Stone" was written by Brian Marnell and it was recorded by his band SVT. That band included former Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady. After Casady left JA in 1972, he formed Hot Tuna. When that band took a break, Casady then formed SVT with Marnell. The band issued two singles in 1979 (including "Heart of Stone") and then a full album in 1981. Nothing really came of the releases and the band ended up folding. But Balin kept "Heart of Stone" alive and recorded it for his album.


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