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America

A light folk-rock act of the early '70s, America had several Top Ten hits, including the number ones "A Horse with No Name" and "Sister Golden Hair." Vocalists/guitarists Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley met while they were still in high school in the late '60s; all three were sons of U.S. Air Force officers who were stationed in the U.K. After they completed school in 1970, they formed an acoustic folk-rock quartet called Daze in London, which was soon pared down to the trio of Bunnell, Peek, and Beckley. Adopting the name America, the group landed a contract with Jeff Dexter, a promoter for the Roundhouse concert venue. Dexter had America open for several major artists and the group soon signed with Warner Bros. Records. By the fall of 1970, the group was recording its debut album in London, with producers Ian Samwell and Jeff Dexter.

"A Horse with No Name," America's debut single, was released at the end of 1971. In January 1972, the song -- which strongly recalled the acoustic numbers of Neil Young -- became a number three hit in the U.K. The group's self-titled debut album followed the same stylistic pattern and became a hit as well, peaking at number 14. Following their British success, America returned to North America, beginning a supporting tour for the Everly Brothers. "A Horse with No Name" was released in the U.S. that spring, where it soon became a number one single, pushing Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" off the top of the charts; America followed the single to the top of the charts. "I Need You" became another Top Ten hit that summer, and the group began work on their second album. "Ventura Highway," the first single released from this collaboration, became their third straight Top Ten hit in December of 1972. In the beginning of 1973, America won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1972.

Homecoming was released in January of 1973, becoming a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and peaking at number 21 in the U.K. America's essential sound didn't change with this record; it just became more polished. However, the hits stopped coming fairly soon -- they had only one minor Top 40 hit in 1973. Hat Trick, the group's third album, was released toward the end of 1973; it failed to make it past number 28 on the American charts. Released in the late fall of 1974, Holiday was the first record the group made with producer George Martin. Holiday returned America to the top of the charts, peaking at number three and launching the hit singles "Tin Man" and "Lonely People." "Sister Golden Hair," pulled from 1975's Hearts, became their second number one single. That same year, the group released History: America's Greatest Hits, which would eventually sell over four million copies.

Although America's 1976 effort Hideaway went gold and peaked at number 11, the group's audience was beginning to decline. After releasing Harbor to a lukewarm reception, Dan Peek left the group, deciding to become a contemporary Christian recording artist. The group continued as a duo; their last Martin-produced record, Silent Letter, was released in 1979 to little attention. America returned to the Top Ten in 1982 with "You Can Do Magic," an adult contemporary pop number that featured synthesizers along with their trademark harmonies. "The Border" became their last Top 40 hit in 1983, peaking at number 33. After releasing America in Concert in the summer of 1985, the group continued to tour successfully into the '90s, resurfacing in 1998 with Human Nature.

The early part of the new millennium saw America release not only a handful of live albums as well as a holiday-themed studio recording, but also the exhaustive, career-spanning box set Highway, released in 2000. On the heels of this renewed interest, America were tempted back into the studio in 2006 by longtime fans and musicians Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins. Although encouraging Bunnell and Beckley to stick to America's core sound, producers Schlesinger and Iha brought in younger musicians influenced by America to guest on the album, including Ryan Adams, Nada Surf, and others. Released in early 2007, Here & Now featured new material by America as well as covers written by bands heavily influenced by the soft rock pioneers. The duo of Bunnell and Beckley returned with the independently released covers album Back Pages in July 2011. That very same month, the duo's former bandmate Dan Peek died at his home in Missouri at the age of 60. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Back Pages

1. America

2. A Road Song

3. Woodstock

4. Caroline

5. Someday

6. Sailing To Philadelphia

7. Crying In My Sleep

8. Time Of The Season

9. Something In The Way She Moves

10. On The Way Home

11. Till I Hear From You

12. My Back Pages

x

Track List: The Definitive Collection Pop Collection

Disc 1

1. A Horse With No Name

2. I Need You

3. Riverside

4. Sandman

6. Ventura Highway

7. Don't Cross The River

8. Only In Your Heart

9. To Each His Own

10. Cornwall Blank

11. Muskrat Love

12. Green Monkey

13. She's Gonna Let You Down

14. Rainbow Song

Disc 2

1. Tin Man

2. Another Try

3. Lonely People

4. Hollywood

5. Baby It's Up To You

6. Old Man Took

7. Sister Golden Hair

8. Daisy Jane

9. Woman Tonight

10. Today's The Day

11. Amber Cascades

12. Jet Boy Blue

13. Watership Down

14. God Of The Sun

15. Sergeant Darkness

16. Sarah

x

Track List: Encore: More Greatest Hits

5. You Can Do Magic

6. Hollywood

7. Another Try

8. Old Man Took

9. Today's The Day

10. Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby

11. Survival

13. Right Before Your Eyes

14. Cornwall Blank

15. To Each His Own

16. The Border

x

Track List: America's Greatest Hits/History

1. A Horse With No Name

2. I Need You

3. Sandman

4. Ventura Highway

5. Don't Cross The River

6. Only In Your Heart

7. Muskrat Love

8. Tin Man

9. Lonely People

10. Sister Golden Hair

11. Daisy Jane

12. Woman Tonight

x

Track List: Holiday

1. Miniature

2. Tin Man

3. Another Try

4. Lonely People

5. Glad To See You

6. Mad Dog

7. Hollywood

8. Baby It's Up To You

9. You

10. Old Man Took

11. What Does It Matter

12. In The Country

x

Track List: Hat Trick

1. Muskrat Love

2. Wind Wave

3. She's Gonna Let You Down

4. Rainbow Song

5. Submarine Ladies

6. Ites Life

7. Hat Trick

8. Molten Love

9. Green Monkey

10. Willow Tree Lullaby

11. Goodbye

x

Track List: Homecoming

1. Ventura Highway

2. To Each His Own

3. Don't Cross The River

4. Moon Song

5. Only In Your Heart

6. Till The Sun Comes Up Again

7. Cornwall Blank

8. Head And Heart

9. California Revisited

10. Saturn Nights

x

Track List: America

1. Riverside

2. Sandman

3. Three Roses

4. Children

5. A Horse With No Name

6. Here

7. I Need You

8. Rainy Day

9. Never Found The Time

10. Clarice

11. Donkey Jaw

12. Pigeon Song

x

Track List: The Warner Bros. Years 1971-1977

1. Riverside

2. Sandman

3. Three Roses

4. Children

5. A Horse With No Name

6. Here

7. I Need You

8. Rainy Day

9. Never Found The Time

10. Clarice

11. Donkey Jaw

12. Pigeon Song

13. Ventura Highway

14. To Each His Own

15. Don't Cross The River

16. Moon Song

17. Only In Your Heart

18. Till The Sun Comes Up Again

19. Cornwall Blank

20. Head And Heart

21. California Revisited

22. Saturn Nights

23. Muskrat Love

24. Wind Wave

25. She's Gonna Let You Down

26. Rainbow Song

27. Submarine Ladies

28. It's Life

29. Hat Trick

30. Molten Love

31. Green Monkey

32. Willow Tree Lullaby

33. Goodbye

34. Miniature (Instrumental)

35. Tin Man

36. Another Try

37. Lonely People

38. Glad To See You

39. Mad Dog

40. Hollywood

41. Baby It's Up To You

42. You

43. Old Man Took

44. What Does It Matter

45. In The Country

46. Daisy Jane

47. Half A Man

48. Midnight

49. Bell Tree

50. Old Virginia

51. People In The Valley

52. Company

53. Woman Tonight

54. The Story Of A Teenager

55. Sister Golden Hair

56. Tomorrow

57. Seasons

58. Lovely Night

59. Amber Cascades

60. Don't Let It Get You Down

61. Can't You See

62. Watership Down

63. Who Loves You

64. She's Beside You

65. Hideaway, Part I

66. She's A Liar

67. Letter

68. Today's The Day

69. Jet Boy Blue

70. Hideaway, Part II

71. God Of The Sun

72. Slow Down

73. Don't Cry Baby

74. Now She's Gone

75. Political Poachers

76. Sarah

77. Sergeant Darkness

78. Are You There

79. These Brown Eyes

80. Monster

81. Hurricane

82. Down To The Water

83. Tin Man (Live Version)

84. Muskrat Love (Live Version)

85. I Need You (Live Version)

86. Old Man Took (Live Version)

87. Daisy Jane (Live Version)

88. Company (Live Version)

89. Hollywood (Live Version)

90. Sergeant Darkness (Live Version)

91. Amber Cascades (Live Version)

92. To Each His Own (Live Version)

93. Another Try (Live Version)

94. Ventura Highway (Live Version)

95. Sister Golden Hair (Live Version)

96. A Horse With No Name (Live Version)

Comments

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we will make it I will always be here for you
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....another fine example of a great singer/songw r i t e r band from the only era that really matters....w h a t do you call today's music anyway ??
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❤❤❤❤❤
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America, great band. & name for the best country on earth. My opinion & I'm right. Well, Switzerland don't forget about them that's probably the best place to live!! They live in PEACE!!
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❤❤❤❤❤
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nickyp51
Sad song
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Hey Joe, you can always change your name. Sweetie ❤❤❤��
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The horse's name was Friday.
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carolbeelynx
CA in the 70s, Best of my life! America certainly added to the niceness.
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America, enough said !!
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Two brothers . Their songs will be always be in our hearts. As one of the best. Rock song writers and performers ever!!!
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Life is a great tune.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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I say this is inspiring WOW.......
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The Music..is soothing like a big Faty...U Know....Hug! ! ! ! X x x x o o o o o o
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Play here...VEGAS
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Saw them last summer
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I work for wente vineyards in livermore california and was blessed to have America perform there the summer of 2011. What a great show What a great sound. Didn't realize we're the same age.
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Flying me back to Memphis with a US Marshal handcuffed me, I hope we get there after this misery. Going to the penitentiary
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Saw them about 20 yrs ago in the round @ Westbury Music Fair. Awesome! The other band on the bill---Poco! How cool was that?
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kitco101
I saw them in 1978 in Denver 3rd row center. What an awesome show.
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Psmallone i miss u
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JUST went to see them in Las Vegas. The ticket price was a bit high but WOW what a GREAT SHOW!!!! Best part, when Horse with no name started. I had time to go to the restroom, get a snack, play Blackjack, go to restroom one more time, get a beer and STILL be back to hear the end of that song. (I do HATE that song) but the rest of the show WAS GREAT!!
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Good cit
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����
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tomoverbeck
Gerry & Dewey are great! Long live their impact!
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B.F.V Germany 1972
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evebaldrich
:)
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I love "America",gr e a t songs.good memories. :)
Report as inappropriate
He rode in on Friday stayed 3 days & left on Friday...... . . h o w ?
The horses name was Friday ( I laughed anyway)!
Report as inappropriate
My song 1984......pl a y e d all the time that summer even though it was retro even then. This song always stopped me in my tracks. Prophetic about what was to come for me.....
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stacycollier . s c
This is kool....befo r e there was BET there was MTV. I love this song... childhood memories fur real
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I couldn't ...Believe.. ! ! ! ! ! ? X x x O O O O
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So cool, they set the tone!
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Two bothers!
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Best memories
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i love good music, Bad company, Sinatra, Spinners,The Floyd, B 52's, Mozart, Neil Young, Be Bop Deluxe, IZZY, David Childers, Rush, anything good, Rocking, Soul and everything else good....EXCE P T cRAP! America was/is still one of the greats. I'm sure I missed a hundred other bans. Just my ruminations. . .
Report as inappropriate
Horse w no name...my song 1984. It played everywhere I went. Wierd
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carolbeelynx
I luckily lived in Oakland CA 1969 thru mid 70's Heaven with music, art shows, and music. Wow what memories I have of those years. Best of my life.
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Yep me too lukesic
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lukeslc
I wish I were back in the 70s.
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Love all these music, they bring back memories of the good 70's and 80's.
Report as inappropriate
edkomasara
I was out with my 12 year old son and he saw the CD entitled America's Greatest Hits He looked at the song list and said I don't know any of these songs....I think he may have been looking for Yankee Doodle or something like that.
Report as inappropriate
Just great music, great memories, all that needs to be said
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Still listening, never gets old. But we do!!!!!
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They tour still. Proud to call them friends.
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AMERICA, the soundtdack of my youth. Thank you!
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I keep on thinkin about you...psmall o n e
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