As I’ve shared previously, I first played music from the Balancing Act because of magnets. In conjunction with the L.A. band’s second and, as it happened, last LP, Curtains, I.R.S. Records inundated college radio with a huge batch of refrigerator magnets. Sporting the band’s odd little logo, the magnets were scattered across practically every metal surface in my happy broadcasting outpost in Central Wisconsin. That included all of the door jambs. I couldn’t cross from one end of the station’s offices to the other without being remind multiple times about the Balancing Act.
Luckily, I wasn’t being coerced into playing music I didn’t enjoy. The Balancing Act were right in my taste wheelhouse: catchy, straightforward, earnest, a little wry, and touched by the acoustic jangle that paid off for so many bands at a time when no artist dominated college radio quite as thoroughly as R.E.M.
Perhaps out of some odd allegiance to the promotional items (who knows what arcane influences all those magnets may have had on my sloshing brain), I mostly stuck with material off of Curtains, at least early on. Eventually, I branched out, finding my way to their preceding effort, Three Square and a Roof. That was released on Capitol Records, a major label that pursued college rock acts and then had no idea what to do with them.
I don’t have the same sort of automatic, nostalgic affection for the early album, but that’s my own dumb issue. The craft behind the songs is uniformly spot on. To end with a very cheesy transition into today’s selected song, Three Square and a Roof is certainly where my appreciation for the Balancing Act could have all began.
Listen or download –> The Balancing Act, “This Is Where It All Begins”
(Disclaimer: I didn’t dig on this one, but I’ve previously hunted for music from the Balancing Act, and I believe it to be out of print as physical objects that can be procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store. This track is being shared in this space with that understanding. Still, I know the rules. I will gladly and promptly remove it if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)