The recruitment of Jim Vallance behind the drums and bass player Mike Porcaro didn't bring .38 Special the kind of help the band was looking for with 1986's Strength in Numbers. Following a string of convincing albums (Wild-Eyed Southern Boys, Special Forces, Tour de Force) during the early '80s, the band decided to take a couple of years off before returning to the studio, but after doing so, it seemed that the bandmembers had left their knack for producing affable radio songs behind them. The album sports a minor hit in "Like No Other Night," but it can't compare to previous efforts like "If I'd Been the One," "Back Where You Belong," or "Teacher Teacher,". A little bit of color emerges from some occasional sax and trombone bits, but the overall package is below the standards of what .38 Special is capable of. Actually, it's with Strength in Numbers that the band began to diminish in all areas, and the albums that followed failed to demonstrate any solid songcraft beyond the group's respected singles.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne