Personnel: Don Barnes (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Carol Bristow, Lu Moss (vocals, background vocals); Donnie Van Zant (vocals); Jeff Carlisi (guitar, steel guitar); Jimmy Barnes (harp, harmonica); Jim Barnes (harp); Terry Emery (piano, percussion); Steve McRay (keyboards); Steve Brookins, Jack Grondin (drums).
Recording information: Studio One, Doraville, GA.
Released in 1982, Special Forces contains .38 Special's best song in "Caught Up in You," a hook-filled, smoothly sung radio rock gem that gets its energy from the grace and power of its chorus. But the hooks and the well-proportioned rhythms don't stop there. "You Keep Runnin' Away" gave the album its second charted single, which peaked at number 38, and the borderline boogie rock dash of "Rough Housin'" is among Special Forces' best cuts. Even secondary efforts like "Chain Lightnin'" and "Breakin' Loose" fit in comfortably with the rest of the tracks, offering up a hearty dose of the group's early Southern rock taste. Wisely, .38 Special kept the musical recipe similar to its last couple of releases, with the only striking difference coming from an even greater ability to design a memorable and punchy lead single. Because Special Forces administers a solid mix of Top 40 polish and pure guitar rock, .38 Special gained a much larger fan base upon its release. ~ Mike DeGagne