Named after a 17th century axe murderer who beheaded her lovers post-coitus, Molly Hatchet released their first album – with its famous Frank Frazetta artwork – in 1978. Though never as famous as Skynyrd, the band nevertheless made an enormous contribution to Southern rock; 1979’s Flirtin’ With Disaster album sold three million copies.
However, like Blackfoot and .38 Special, the Hatchet lost their way during the 1980s, ramping up the keyboards in a failed bid to woo mainstream rock radio. In 2016, with a new album on the way, the band continues to tour across the world.
10) Satisfied Man, 1984
This single from The Deed Is Done – which saw a revised line-up fronted by Danny Joe Brown attempting to cross over into the mainstream, much like Blackfoot were doing at around the same time – isn’t universally popular with Hatchet devotees. The diehards dislike it for its keyboards and the fact that it was bought in from the outside writers Thomas DeLuca and Tom Jans. It remains, however, a great song.
9) Bloody Reunion, 1981
Four albums into their career and with Lynyrd Skynyrd still in a state of hiatus, Molly Hatchet had survived the seemingly fatal exit of frontman Brown to craft excellent, raucous Southern rock records. Produced to immaculate standards by Tom Werman, the album Take No Prisoners and this, its second single, were prime examples of their strengths, but nobody knew that the merry-go-round of lead singers was revving up again.
8) Dreams I’ll Never See, 1978
7) Beatin’ The Odds, 1980
6) Whiskey Man, 1979
What damned good would a Southern rock band be without its own love song to bourbon? Succinctly and crisply despatched, Hatchet’s came with a warning, however. Narrated from the viewpoint of one who’s been there, done it and come out the other side (‘It takes whiskey to make you tall/You ain’t so very damn tall at all’) its meaning was there for those that cared to see it.
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