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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Saw them in concert playing only their top hits and it was a concert that you didn't want to end.
luckyheartz7 7
So talented. I grew up with their music. <3<3<3
America is the freaking best,just like bread,their music drives me nuts.
Love this song.
I grew up with this
sizzzla2
Rainbow Song is so mellow. Love easy listening music!!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorow will be the best day of your life however if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop . This is so scary put this on at least 5songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
johnmargie6
Reminds me of my Woodstock days.
Great band. Great sound and story.
c.lenhart7
Love this group !!!
Love the men can be friends with women part of Sister Golden Hair. That's a true man...
nice hearing something by AMERICA
A Horse With No Name. Omaha is like that a bit.
Timeless
Love these guys majorly. Don't care for the country. The bands great. :)
75 camaro w/ this album in the 8 track, headed to my 1st duty station from Lackland AFB, Texas.
Alligator Lizards in the Air for LIFE!!!!
Flight Attendant
Missing my PSMALLONE
Bad a** song
dlearned19
Music from more simpler times.
1591425100
Love , Love. Makes you think about life!
Great music
Sister Golden Hair is one of my all-time favorites... . m i s s these guys
jbyrne70
Some of the best harmonies in the music bizz. As good or maybe better then CSNY
Missing my PSMALLONE...
sirena_619
http://infan t r y b l o g . c o m / t h e - b e r g d a h l - e m b a r r a s s m e n t /
Love, love, love America! Saw them a few times in concert and they were great! Would give anything to hear --America Live-- again. Notice it's not with their other albums listed above... :(
Like alot
Horse with no name...great jam
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Love this band and the easy flow of their music!
America is amazing and I wish I was still in the 70's eating ice cream cones and the world was a safer, happier place.
Love America ! Loved the 70s can we go back?
juanhuezo
I like this band one the best of this time 70
America, love you lots
The heat was hot.
America came to concert at a small intiatevenue here in Roges Arkansas.The plac only held 1150 people and I wast smart enough to buy my tickets in advance.I was DENIED at the gate. Bummer. Says a lot for Amerca though What a great band
fastcar3829
Drink up folks, the silver cup runneth over! America or wherever you may reside.
I LOVE America; my favorite is Ventura Highway.
eastabdan
Some errors on the printed lyrics for this one, but what an awesome tune! Takes me back to college days, my girlfriend, and....
Great stuff tonight on this station! No goen to Caroline iin my mind! Love it!
It's fun to discover that many songs you like are written by the same person.....Y o u Can Do Magic written by Russ Ballard. For fun, google his song list...inter e s t i n g group of hits.
Good memories .no songs about killing
loving the sweet, honesty in the songs!
historyboy8
Unfortunatel y my generation has nothing approaching this. It is a shame with the generations going downhill like this.
chrisgranell i
Classic
America and their Greatest Hits - every song is like reliving very good days all over again...than k you Pandora for keeping these memories alive and well....
Wish my generation had music like this.
tsmi5
Great Album! Brings back memories of childhood. Not bad for a bunch of Air Force Brats. ;)
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