“Against The Grain”
– The album contained a dozen original songs written by Dodson, Berly and King in the style of the band was unique but it has been compared to such American bands as CCR, Poco or even the Byrds at times but with a Canadian twist to the lyrics. The album garnered Juno Awards for ‘Best Vocal Instrumental Group,’ ‘Best Producer,’ ‘Best Single’ and ‘Best Composer’ and was released in England and Europe.
– The “Carryin’ On” album would mark a bit of a change in Stampeders style. This time out the band toughened up their sound and gave it more of a hard rock edge. The change seemed to appeal to a wider audience and attracted many new fans that dismissed the first album as commercial country rock.
“From The Fire”
– Based on a theme of western native American folk lore and nature, the songs on the album explored a variety of themes and showed that the Stampeders were not only as a singles band but a unit capable of breaking away from a formula style of writing and holding their own against any of the hard rock, progressive styled bands of the early 70’s.
– Although the band did return to the more commercial approach on some songs in the album, the singles from “New Day”, “Ramona”, and an alternate version (complete with moog!) of “Wild Eyes”, which originally appeared on Carryin’ On, and the live favorite “Marigold”, and the majority of the songs on the album were not typical of past Stampeders hits and would define the Stampeders heavier direction for the rest of the 70’s.
“Rubes, Dudes & Rowdies”
– The band’s American label, Bell Records, urged the group to return to their original pop crossover country sound, as opposed to Dodson’s “more rockier” approach and for this album they did just that for the most part. The album produced hit singles with the ballads “Minstrel Gypsy”, “Oh My Lady”, the catchy pop styled “Julia Get Up” and the 50’s styled rocker “Johnny Lightning”.
– The single and the jazzier, funky sounding Stampeders failed to click with long time fans of the band. The album sounded like the Stampeders were masquerading as “Kool and The Gang” which led to it becoming the band’s worst selling album of their career.
– For this release, The Stampeders returned to their popular hard rock style of the mid 70’s but it was too late. Despite being a rather good rock album, “Ballsy” would be the last album of original material by the Stampeders. The band had lost their immense fan base and music trends were changing, hard rock was out, new wave and punk bands were all the rage.