Melding hard rock songs with a bit of boogie and a lotta jam, Molly Hatchet is one of the most-loved Southern rock bands to date.
They carried that great 70s rock sound right into the 80s and beyond. But which tunes from their 50-year history are the greatest?
Let’s check it out!
Molly Hatchet’s Story
Molly Hatchet was a Southern Rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Formed by guitarist and songwriter Dave Hlubek in 1971, the band spent their first years playing local bars. Jacksonville, Florida, was the mecca for Southern Rock in the 70s. Hlubek and crew ran in the same circles as Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, and the Allman Brothers Band.
In 1978, Molly Hatchet got signed to a major record label and hit high on the charts with their debut, self-titled album. They went from playing dive bars to massive arenas within a few months. Their second album, Flirting with Disaster, was their most significant chart success.
And with success came excess. Dave Hlubek and company worked very hard and played even harder. This led to line-up changes too numerous to count. Incredibly, almost 40 people have played in Molly Hatchet.
The early line-up included Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland on guitar, singer Danny Joe Brown, and Banner Thomas on Bass. Drummer Bruce Crump was there for most of the ride, along with guitarist Duane Roland.
Molly Hatchet went on to release 14 studio albums. Although most of the original band members have passed, the band still plays out today. Their sound changed a bit with the shifting of musicians – sometimes more metal, sometimes more jammy. But always Southern.
Molly Hatchet was known for good rockin’ and good fun. Their heroic, menacing, and fantastical album covers were iconic. They took their name from the infamous Hatchet Molly, a prostitute known for decapitating her clients. And their sound is filled with playful swagger.
Here’s our pick for the seven greatest Molly Hatchet songs.
#7 Sweet Dixie
About the Song: Sweet Dixie is about having a good time. It’s a lively Southern rock jig that’ll make you jump up and dance!
Just give me those stars and bars, playing on the radio. A good cold beer and a rebel cheer, man I'm ready to go.
First Appearance: Sweet Dixie is the third track on Molly Hatchet’s 1983 album No Guts No Glory.
#6 Beatin’ the Odds
About the Song: This hard-rockin’ tune featured singer, Jimmy Farrar. Jimmy temporarily took over for singer Danny Brown and only sang on this record. The guitar riff is very metal and delivers that brute, early 80s vibe, kind of like Breakin’ The Law by Judas Priest.
Time and space stood still that day, With Victory's soul and mine. We were runnin' a race between heaven and hell, That we couldn't find the finish line.
First Appearance: Molly Hatchet released the title track as a single just before the full LP release in 1980.
#5 Whiskey Man
About the Song: Whiskey Man is a bold track about hard times brought by booze. This solid ass-kicker will remind you of Molly Hatchet’s mentors from Lynyrd Skynyrd. It even features a harmonica, which is called a mouth harp in the South.
It takes whiskey to make you tall, You ain't so very damn tall at all.
First Appearance: Whiskey Man thundered in as track one on the 1979 second album by Molly Hatchet, entitled Flirtin’ With Disaster.
#4 Fall of the Peacemakers
About the Song: Fall of the Peacemakers is a uniquely poignant track by Molly Hatchet. Written shortly after the assassination of John Lennon, this passionate tribute asks the world why so many leaders of peace get killed. This tune is often cited as a fan favorite. It gives a nod to Martin Luther King Jr., John F Kennedy, and John Lennon.
A voice from the past cried "Give peace a chance," He paid our price now he's free at last.
First Appearance: You can find this ode to John Lennon on the band’s fifth album, No Guts No Glory.
#3 Gator Country
About the Song: This one brings us back to the basics. For Molly Hatchet, Florida rules. The lyrics name-check all Southern greats, from Skynyrd to The Marshall Tucker Band. It’s got a killer guitar solo, great rhythm, and a familiar signature whistle from Danny Brown.
There's many roads I've traveled but they all kind of look the same. There's a gator in the bushes, Lord, he calling my name.
First Appearance: Gator Country licked onto Molly Hatchet’s debut, self-titled album, released in 1978.
#2 Dreams I’ll Never See
About the Song: Molly Hatchet took this Allman Brothers song and gave it a good ole salute on their first album. Their version of this lament is groovin’ and upbeat. It makes for a perfect road trip song, played loud with the windows rolled down.
Cause I'm hung up on dreams, I'm never gonna see, yeah. Lord help me, babe, Dreams get the best of me, yeah.
First Appearance: The cover of the 1969 Allman Brothers Band song landed on Molly Hatchet’s first album in 1978.
#1 Flirtin’ With Disaster
About the Song: As far as Molly Hatchet songs go, this one is an absolute classic. The song ranked in the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks in 1979. Starting with a mega guitar riff, this popular track will have you headbanging in no time. Flirtin’ With Disaster has been featured in several films and TV shows, and it remains a classic rock radio staple to this day.
I've got the pedal to the floor, our lives are runnin' faster. Got our sights set straight ahead, But ain't sure what we're after.
First Appearance: This famous Molly Hatchet song first appeared on the album of the same name in September 1979. The band released it as a single in March of 1980.
Which Molly Hatchet Song is Your Favorite?
Although the uninitiated in Southern Rock may only know ‘that one’ Molly Hatchet song, there’s plenty more where that came from. Those who like their folk songs delivered with a hard-rockin’ swamp vibe have a bounty to burn through. What do you think of our list? Tell us in the comments – hatchet away!
Friday 14th of January 2022
I had no idea about how they got their name! Seems fitting for a rowdy Southern rock band.
Friday 14th of January 2022
It sure suits them!