уторак, 30. октобар 2007.

Russ Ballard - birthday, 31. october


Russ Ballard born 31 October 1945, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, England. Ballard attended the same secondary modern school as Cliff Richard before joining the Daybreakers, the backing group to Buster Meakle, another local singer (and future mainstay of Unit 4 + 2). By 1963, with Daybreaker drummer Robert Henrit, Ballard was a member of Adam Faith's Roulettes in which he played keyboards before transferring to guitar. Among tracks recorded by the quartet alone were a handful of Ballard numbers—including its last a-side, 1967's "Help Me Help Myself." While briefly one of the latter-day Unit 4 + 2 members, Ballard also co-wrote that outfit's final single, 1969's psychedelic "3.30," before he and Henrit joined Argent.

Ballard's compositions complemented those of leader Rod Argent and his confidence was boosted when his "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" was among the group's hits. Three Dog Night reached the US Top 10 with a version of Ballad's "Liar" in 1972.

After this lucrative syndication, Ballard remained with Argent for a further two years before showing his hand as a soloist. However, as neither RUSS BALLARD nor WINNING attracted sufficient attention, he elected to concentrate on writing adult-orientated material. He was especially favoured by America who he serviced well into the '80s with accessible catchy compositions. Other notable beneficiaries of his efforts were Hot Chocolate ("So You Win Again") UK number 1 and Rainbow ("Since You've Been Gone" and "I Surrender"). Ringo Starr recorded another Ballard composition "As Far As You Go" on his 1983 album, OLD WAVE. Ballard was also active as a session player for both old associates such as Faith (and his protege Leo Sayer) and Rainbow's Graham Bonnet as well as newer acquaintances such as Lea Nicholson, Starry Eyed And Laughing and Phoenix.

By 1979, he returned to the fray as a recording artist with 0N THE THIRD STROKE (with its "You Can Do Voodoo" single) which, like its BARNET DOGS and INTO THE FIRE follow-ups, was a likeable collection that sold enough to make further Ballard product a worthwhile exercise. The second album entitled RUSS BALLARD was issued in 1984. Its singles and those on its successor, FIRE STILL BURNS, were promoted on video with the artist still wearing the sunglasses that have been his visual trademark since treading the boards with Meakle's Daybreakers. A belated rise to a qualified prominence in his own right is not out of the question but Ballard's fame in the early '90s rests still on interpretations of his material by others. In recent times, the Little Angels, Magnum and Kiss have recorded his songs.

Kiss had a hit in 1992 with "God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You" after Ballard had been commissioned to pen the soundtrack to the 1991 movie, Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey.


  • 1975 Russ Ballard
  • 1976 Winning
  • 1979 At the Third Stroke
  • 1980 Russ Ballard & the Barnet Dogs
  • 1981 Into The Fire
  • 1984 Russ Ballard – 1984
  • 1985 The Fire Still Burns
  • 1995 Seer
  • 2006 Book of Love


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