Balance’s music was prime time AOR suited for early 80’s radio, such was their commercial style.
Written by: gdmonline
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Peppy Castro – lead and backing vocals * Bob Kulick – guitars * Doug Katsaros – keyboards
Additional Musicians: Jerry Seigler, Willie Weeks – bass * Andy Newmark – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Lookin’ For The Magic * 02 I’m Through Lovin’ You * 03 Breaking Away * 04 No Getting Round My Love * 05 Fly Through The Night * 06 American Dream * 07 Haunting * 08 Falling In Love * 09 Hot Summer Nights * 10 It’s So Strange
Another ambassador for the GDM site is this ever so legendary outfit from New York called Balance. This band should have been huge and probably would have too had the circumstances been right. These guys all came together from a variety of past musical lives and ventures.
Peppy Castro had played in previous New York bands such as Barnaby Bye and Wiggy Bits, the latter also included some of the guys from the rather awesome Aviator. Meanwhile, Bob Kulick had played with Meatloaf and also had a strong association with Kiss. Keyboardist Doug Katsaros had been around the scene for many years too.
Balance’s music was prime time AOR suited for early 80’s radio, such was their commercial style. The strength of Castro’s breathy vocals combined with Kulick’s OTT guitar and Katsaros delightful ivory tinklings makes this a compulsory listen.
The opening track ‘Looking For The Magic’ has some west coast leanings, before we really kick in on the pomp overload with ‘I’m Through Loving You’. Katsaro’s keyboards are on overtime here. The single ‘Breakin’ Away’ was one they played on the US TV Music show ‘Solid Gold’ that I remember seeing, and wondering who the the hell were Balance, because it was great!
‘No Getting Around My Heart’ has a Toto or Ambrosia feel, and has some funky moments and great harmony vocals. ‘Fly Through The Night’ sort of meanders, and has a persistent guitar strut throughout. Very likeable.
‘American Dream’ has a punchy approach similar to Survivor, while ‘Falling in Love’ wimps out big time as a softly softly type ballad. The pomp urgency of ‘Hot Summer Nights’ makes a welcome return, as does ‘It’s So Strange’ the album closer.
‘Blance’ is a great album, only surpassed by a true AOR classic that was ‘In For The Count’ released the following year. As I said earlier, this band could’ve been huge, if not for Castro’s reluctance to travel and to seriously promote the band and their albums outside of New York, hence outside of the USA. We will never know what may have been.
Despite that though, Balance have remained AOR darlings among the hardcore supporters of the genre, long after their initial demise. 2009 saw a long awaited comeback with the ‘Equilibrium’ album, plus in 2010, this album saw another re-release on UK reissue specialists Rock Candy Records.
Unfortunately for long time supporters of the band, Bob Kulick passed away aged 70 in Las Vegas in May 2020. The remaining guys in Balance opted to continue on in 2021 with the release of a single ‘The World I Used To Know’ which featured Bob’s younger brother Bruce Kulick. At the time of writing, it’s uncertain if Balance will continue on or be put out to pasture.