Label: D.I.R. Broadcasting Corp. - none • Series: King Biscuit Flower Hour • Format: 2x, Vinyl LP, Partially Unofficial, Transcription, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Classic Rock
The trio met as sons of US Air Force personnel stationed in London, where they began performing live. Achieving significant popularity in the s, the Dinero - Lone Burney Orquesta Y Coros - The Beatles Rock And Roll was famous for its close vocal harmonies and light acoustic folk rock sound.
The band came together shortly after the members' graduation from high school, and a record deal with Warner Bros. Records followed. Its debut album, Americaincluded the transatlantic hits " A Horse with No Name " and " I Need You "; Homecoming included the single " Ventura Highway "; and Hat Tricka modest success on the charts that fared poorly in sales, included one minor hit song " Muskrat Love ".
Peek left the group inand their commercial fortunes declined, despite a brief return to the top in with the single " You Can Do Magic ". The group continues to record material and tour with regularity.
Peek left for the United States for a failed attempt at college during Soon after his return to the UK the following year, the three began making music together. Eventually, the trio dubbed itself America, chosen because it did not want anyone to think they were British musicians trying to sound American. Jeff DexterIan's roommate, co-produced the album and became the trio's manager.
Although the trio initially planned to record the album in a similar manner to The Beatles ' Sgt. The debut album America was released in to only moderate success, although it sold well in the Netherlands, where Dexter had taken them as a training ground to practice their craft.
Samwell and Dexter subsequently brought the trio to Morgan Studios to record several additional songs. One of them was a Bunnell composition called "Desert Song", which Dexter previously demonstrated during studio rehearsals in PuddletownDorset, at the home of Arthur Brown. The song had its public debut at the Harrogate Festival, four days later, to great audience response.
The song became a major worldwide hit in early The album resulted in a second major chart success with Beckley's " I Need You ", which peaked at number 9 on the US charts.
After their initial success, the trio decided to dismiss Samwell and Dexter and relocate to Los Angeles, California. The recording of a second album was delayed by the relocation, as well as an injury to Peek's arm. Deciding not to replace Samwell, the group opted to produce the album by themselves. The trio began their move away from a mainly acoustic style to a more rock music-oriented style with the help of Hal Blaine on drums and Joe Osborn on bass.
Peek began to play lead electric guitar on more tracks and the group expanded from an acoustic trio to embrace a fuller live sound, adding Dave Atwood who had played as a session musician on their debut album on drums and Dave Dickey formerly of the group Captain on bass. By the beginning ofAtwood had been replaced by Dickey's former Captain bandmate, Willie Leacox. America's second album, Homecomingwas released in November The group's output grew increasingly ambitious. Again self-produced, the album featured strings, harmonicas, an eight-minute title track, and tap dancing.
Beckley, Bunnell, and Peek were once again joined by Blaine on drums, while Osborn was replaced by their touring bassist, David Dickey. The album was not as successful as Homecomingfeaturing only one modestly successful single, " Muskrat Love " number 67 in the USpenned by Texas folk singer Willis Alan Ramsey. After the disappointing commercial performance of Hat TrickAmerica chose to enlist an outside producer for their next album.
They were able to secure the services of producer George Martin and recording engineer Geoff Emerickwho played a major role in shaping the sound of The Beatles. The resulting album, Holidaywas released in June by this time the group had consciously begun naming their albums with titles starting with the letter "H". With Martin's guidance, the album's style was very different from America's first three efforts, as he enhanced America's acoustic sound with strings and brass.
The trio soon found themselves in the top 10 once again with the first single from Holidaythe Bunnell-penned " Tin Man ", which reached number four, featuring cryptic lyrics set to a Wizard of Oz theme.
Martin worked with the trio again for their next LP, Concert Promo Spot I (Music & Voice) - Genesis - King Biscuit Flower Hour: Best Of The Biscuit Live recorded in Sausalito, Californiaand released in March America scored its second chart-topping success with Beckley's " Sister Golden Hair " in mid, a song that featured a memorable opening guitar riff admittedly inspired by George Harrison 's " My Sweet Lord " and frank relationship lyrics inspired by Jackson Browne.
Warner Bros. Martin, who produced the album, remixed those tracks, which were culled from the group's first three albums. During earlythe group recorded its sixth studio album at Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Coloradoinspiring the album's title, Hideawaywhich Martin produced. Released during Aprilthe two singles, " Today's the Day " and " Amber Concert Promo Spot I (Music & Voice) - Genesis - King Biscuit Flower Hour: Best Of The Biscuit Live ", only managed to reach number 23 and 75, respectively, in the Billboard charts.
Martin's implementation of more complex instrumentation on America's albums proved somewhat overwhelming to the Свят Вечір - Гайдамаки - Гайдамаки on stage, often compelling them to switch from instrument to instrument during songs.
Martin and the trio went to Hawaii during late to work on the group's seventh studio album, which was recorded in a beach house on the island of Kauai.
The album, Harborreleased in Februarycontinued the trend of decreasing sales for the group. It was their first album to fail to score either platinum or gold, and all three of its singles failed to chart. In MayDan Peek was kicked out of the band. He recently had renewed his Christian faith after years of recreational drug use and had begun to seek a different artistic direction from Beckley or Bunnell.
The album, produced by Chris Christianwas successful and Peek became a pioneering artist in the emerging Christian popular music genre. The title track entered the Billboard pop charts during the autumn ofpeaking at number Meanwhile, Beckley and Bunnell decided to continue as America, ending their contract with Warner Bros.
Recorded at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, the performance featured a backing orchestra conducted by Elmer Bernstein. The concert was recorded shortly after Peek left the group. The album was only mildly successful on the popular charts; whereas all of their previous albums, even Harborhad at least made the top 30, Live just barely inched into the top It was featured on the soundtrack for the movie California Dreaming.
Although the movie was unsuccessful and the soundtrack was issued by an obscure distributor known as American International, the single reached number 56 on the Before These Crimes - Mephisto Walz - Insidious. America's first studio album without Peek, Silent Letterwas released in June on their new label, Capitol Records.
The group began to use songs from other songwriters as they sought to increase their commercial success. The album scored no higher than number on the charts, leading Bunnell sarcastically to dub the album Silent Record. During the latter part ofCalire and Walsh were dropped from the on-stage line-up.
America continued to Concert Promo Spot I (Music & Voice) - Genesis - King Biscuit Flower Hour: Best Of The Biscuit Live as the s began. SchmitLeland Sklarand Steve Lukatherto help improve their sound. Alibi eschewed the strings and brass of a typical George Martin project in favor of a more popular-rock style. It also became the third studio album in a row without a successful single in the United States, although Beckley's "Survival" scored the top of the charts in Italy.
The album's sales peaked at number This album, though, could be the best-kept secret of the band's career. Cold Sweat - Third World - Journey To Addis next album, View from the Groundreleased in Julyhad the group finally score another commercial success. The album, recorded under the working title Two Car Garagefeatured a number of songs produced by the Concert Promo Spot I (Music & Voice) - Genesis - King Biscuit Flower Hour: Best Of The Biscuit Live themselves.
Former Argent guitarist Russ Ballardthough, had the greatest effect on the group's fortunes. Ballard produced and played all of the instruments and sang most of the background vocals on a song O Prazer da Vida (Sven Van Hees Bahia Remix) - Bah Samba - O Prazer da Vida crafted especially for the band, called " You Can Do Magic ".
The song rose quickly through the pop charts, and scored as high as number eight on the Billboard pop-singles chart for a number of weeks during Octoberthe band's first major success in seven years. Following "Magic" was the Holding On The Edge - Wyclef Jean - JOuvert " Right Before Your Eyes ", an homage to silent movie actors better known to listeners as "Rudolph Valentino" due to its memorable refrain.
Written by Ian Thomas brother of comedian Dave Thomas of Strange Brew fameand produced by Bobby Colombythe single barely missed a spot in the top 40 during early Although View from the Ground failed to achieve gold-rated sales, it scored as high as number 41 on the album charts, a significant improvement over the previous few releases.
Having had success with Ballard, Beckley and Bunnell asked the former Argent performer produce their next album, Your Movein its entirety. In the end, Ballard wrote most of the songs and performed most of the instruments in addition to his production duties. For the most part, Beckley and Bunnell were singers on an album that Ballard had crafted for them, although they did contribute some of their own material. On one track, Bunnell decided to rewrite Ballard's lyrics, and the successful song " The Border " was the result.
Set to the backing of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the saxophone work of Raphael Ravenscroftthe single scored number 33 on the charts in August It also made number 24 on the Dutch top A second single, Ballard's "Cast the Spirit", failed to chart. The album itself, released in Junewas reasonably successful at number 81, but something of a disappointment, when compared to its predecessor. America's work was also featured on several soundtracks during this period.
The soundtrack became popular in Germany, and the group frequently plays its title track, when touring in that country. Once again produced by Chris Christian, the album's title track featured Beckley on backing vocals.
Peek issued two more solo albums over the next few years: Electro Voice and Crossover Meanwhile, America opted for a decidedly different style from their previous offerings for their 12th studio album, Perspectivereleased in September Ballard was out, and synthesizers and drum machines were in.
Several different producers, including Richie ZitoMatthew McCauleyand Richard James Burgesshelped create an electronic popular style, that was very common during the s, but drastically different from America's usual style.
Although neither track was played on popular radio, both did achieve minor success on the adult contemporary charts. The album peaked at number during a three-week stint on the charts in October Their mainstream commercial success over, Beckley and Bunnell ended their Capitol contract with In Concertreleased in July In Concert became the first America album to miss the charts entirely.
Beckley and Bunnell spent the latter half of the Concert Promo Spot I (Music & Voice) - Genesis - King Biscuit Flower Hour: Best Of The Biscuit Live focusing on their live show, performing well over times a year around the world.
While America remained a hot ticket on the touring circuit, they were unable to land a recording contract in the years after they left the Capitol label. By the early s, the development of compact discs led to the reissuing of many older popular albums, providing acts such as America with revived sales.
DuringAmerica was able to offer four new tracks as part of a collection issued by Rhino Records called Encore: More Greatest Hitswhich was designed to complement the group's original retrospective. America's resurgence caught the eye of Chip Davis of American Gramaphone Records, who signed the group to his label.
In MayAmerica released its first new studio album in a decade, Hourglass. Produced primarily by Beckley and Bunnell, with help from Hank Linderman and Steve Levinethe album featured an eclectic group of songs. Despite garnering generally positive reviews, the album was a commercial failure.
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