CD review RUSS BALLARD ‘It’s Good to be Here’

I guess that most of you have heard of Russ Ballard, at least you heard one of his songs. ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ is one of his biggest hits, covered by several bands of which Rainbow’s interpretation is probably the most known one.

Next to the timeless classic Ballard also wrote for band like Roger Daltrey, Santana and many more. Last but not least it was Kiss that turned ‘God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You’ into a smash hit, penned by Ballard too. In parallel the iconic Rock musician always released own material too, spread over several longplayers with ‘It’s Good to Be Here’ being the newest one.

‘It’s Good to Be Here’ isn’t actually as new as it it appears on first sight. The longplayer was already published in 2015, but at the time it was available only as digital download. BMG Right Management makes the album now available as CD, LP and Digital.

‘It’s Good to Be here’ is a Rock album that faces some harder songs like ‘Colliding’, equipped with an excellent chorus. ‘The First Man That Ever Danced’ is another tune on the album that brings the roots of Rock’n’Roll to forefront. Listening to this exquisite track shows that the first man that ever danced didn’t do it for a ballad. It was Rock’n’Roll.

Other songs on the album are very rhythm-focussed. ‘New York Groove’ is such a track and some of you know the rocker from the ‘Ace Frehley’-album. The earlier mentioned ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ finds a spot on the tracklist too, this time in a relaxed piano-version.

The piano version of the Ballard-hit isn’t the only soulful moment on the album. ‘Time Machine’ is a gently swinging tune with a very easy-going chorus and with ‘Wasted (The Last Ride) the longplayer carries another moment that is calmer and touching.

All in all it’s good that ‘It’s Good to Be here’ is here. The longplayer shows a legendary songwriter and musician at work, resulting in an album that shows why Russ Ballard was and is one of the most important players when it comes to Rock music.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. My Awakening
  2. Time Machine
  3. Kickin’ the Can
  4. Annabel’s Place
  5. Wasted (The Last Ride)
  6. Colliding
  7. Tidal Wave
  8. The First Man That Ever Danced
  9. The Misunderstood
  10. Proud Man
  11. New York Groove
  12. Since You’ve Been Gone
  13. You Can’t Do Magic

Label: BMG Right Management

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: February 21st, 2020

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