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Hit The Ground Runnin’ – Sudden Impact (Reissue) Award winner

Hit The Ground Runnin’
Sudden Impact (Reissue)
by Metal Wim at 20 March 2022, 3:18 AM

I actually had never heard of the Philadelphia based Hard Rock band HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN’. Apparently, they were one of the many great bands in the AOR genre that never got signed to one of the major record companies. They were with a very small label, which released the original version of this album, “Sudden Impact”, in 1989. Years later it became a very sought-after item in the Melodic Rock world. This materialised when someone actually paid just under two thousand dollars for a copy of the original album.

Now, some 33 years later, AOR Heaven has decided to end the madness and rerelease “Sudden Impact”. And of course, the first question has to be if it the ridiculous price that was paid was justified. Well, yes and no. I can definitely see why someone would pay out of their nose to get hold of an original copy. HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN’ really has all the assets that a proper AOR band should. If you really wish to compare, you’ll have to mention REO SPEEDWAGON as the biggest similarity in sound. This is not only due to the music, which uses the same kind of build-up that REO used (as well as many other AOR bands of that era), but also because of the sound of the voice of Blair Ramsey.

He has that blight timbre in his voice, that very pleasant and easy-going tone and the very melodic way of pronouncing whatever he is singing about. Going back to the sound, though, I hear a lot of riffs and guitar use that could have been written by Bobby Barth (AXE), combined with (at times) the guitar sound of Tom Scholz (BOSTON). This combination mixed with the REO SPEEDWAGON connection make the really good, well written , perfectly played and crisp recorded songs a real treat to listen to.

I understand that the AOR genre doesn’t have the impact which it had until the grunge explosion took a lot of them to an early grave, but that doesn’t mean that the albums released during those late eighties until the early nineties have lost any of their appeal, because they definitely haven’t. HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN’ have recorded a perfect example of this with “Sudden Impact”. But no, it isn’t worth almost two thousand dollars to me. Especially now you can get hold of this album in so many ways. But I can understand the person who bought it. Plainly spoken; this is really good.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Magic
3. Moment To Moment
4. Slow Motion
5. Don’t You Look
6. Oh No!
7. Ah Original
8. Over & Over
9. Who’s Walking You Home
10. Too Late
11. While It Lasted
12. The Beginning (Swamp)
Blair Ramsey - Lead Vocals
Alan Auginnas – Guitars / Vocals
Paul Piccaro - Bass / Vocals
Jimmy Katone – Drums / Vocals
Rob Kay – Keys / Vocals
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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Edited 06 February 2023

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