In the desert you can't remember your name

America is a folk rock band formed in London 1970 by Dewey Bunnel, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley. They were sons of US Air Force personnel stationed in London, UK. The three members attended London Central High School at Bushey Hall where they met in 1967 while playing in two different bands. They used borrowed acoustic guitars and did three-part vocal harmony like Crosby, Stills & Nash. In 1969 they seriously starting to write songs and perform together.
They used the name America to prevent people thinking they were British musicians trying to sound like Americans. They were real Americans. Their first major live gig was on 20 December 1970 at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, as the opening act for The Who, Elton John, Patto and the Chalk Farm Salvation Army Band and Choir for a Christmas charity event. The debut album was originally intended to be in the style of Sgt. Pepper's from The Beatles but their managers/producers Samwell and Dexter persuaded them to improve their accoustic style instead. The untitled debut album was released in late December 1971 with only moderate success. Although it sold well in the Netherlands where Dexter had taken them as a training ground to practice their skills. The album was engineered by Ken Scott who would later produce and engineer for David Bowie and Supertramp.
A Horse With No Name - single cover
They recorded a new song first titled "Desert Song" but retitled to "A Horse With No Name" when it was released as a single in 1972. But when "A Horse With No Name" became a worldwide hit the album was re-released including this hitsingle. "A Horse With No Name" reached #1 in the US, #3 in the UK and #12 in the Netherlands. The album reached #1 in the US and #14 in the UK. Then the album achieved the status it deserved. The other single "I Need You" reached #9 in the US. The album also includes the song "Sandman" inspired by Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron VQ-2. Also known as "Batmen" and later "Sandeman" which was an air reconnaissance squadron of the United States Navy. The album displayed the band in front of part of a picture from 3 of the 8 indians imprisoned at Montana in 1887 after the so-called Crow War. The last indian war fought in Montana.
I Need You - single cover
Then in 1972 they dismissed their managers Samwell and Dexter and moved from London (UK) to LA (US). They also decided to produce their next album themselves. Then continued their career as a trio and later only as a duo since 1977 when Dan Peek left the band.
Picture of the 8 crow prisoners in Montana
Original album cover
America (1972)
Riverside / Sandman / Three Roses / Children / A Horse with No Name / Here / I Need You / Rainy Day / Never Found the Time / Clarice / Donkey Jaw / Pigeon Song
Three Roses
A Horse With No Name (Official Video)
Rainy Day

Post a Comment