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Music Review: Georgia Satellites – In the Land of Salvation and Sin

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Despite the fact that their very first album contained a bonafide classic in the song "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," the Georgia Satellites were rock and roll history soon after their third long play release In the Land of Salvation and Sin (a long and awkward title – LSS for short). That's too bad: LSS is their best album, and an excellent album by most standards. The individual tracks are all strong, and they hold together well, despite the fact that some songs were reworking of selections from their first indie EP. Ex-Faces keyboard man Ian MacLagan gets a special acknowledgment in his sideman credit, and he deserves it for adding another dimension to the sound of the band.

The easiest way to describe this album to the millions of people have who heard the self titled debut or the hit single but missed LSS is like this: take the fundamental Satellites' sound, make it tighter so the rock flavoured songs are tough as nails and the poppier songs are nice and bright. Add to this the apparent quantum leap in Dan Baird's songwriting skills, and you end up with an album where the total really is greater than the sum of the parts.

Although few people are familiar with it, the few who have heard it appreciate it for what it is: a legitimate contender for nomination into the imaginary hall of fame category of great lost and forgotten albums of all time. From the opener, “I Dunno,” through to the closer, “Dan Takes Five,” Baird adopts the persona of a man on the move, on the run from love, life, and longing – a man that moves so quickly he might even have missed a most important discovery: in the end the salvation and sin are one and the same. But in the meantime, you can really go hard down the rock 'n' roll freeway.

After this – a greatest hits compilation with a smattering outtakes, live performances, and strays, and that's about all she wrote for the Georgia Satellites. Guitarist Rick Richards would go on to front a revised Satellites, while Dan Baird continues to make the occasional solo tour or album. His recent touring band has included (and likely still does) Satellites' drummer Mauro Magellan and former Jason and the Scorcher's six string slinger Warner Hodges.

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