Classic Songs Take On New Sound on Back Pages, A New Album From America

"It's a true reminder of how rich our generation has been in talent."

By , Columnist

“On the first part of the journey,” America, comprised of Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley, gave the world a great blend of folk and rock with the release of their grand debut, the eponymous America album. That album gave us the timeless “A Horse With No Name” following it up with “I Need You,” and “Sandman.” From there, the band provided many more hits songs, all memorable, all classic, over a collection of well-received albums.

After a time, America endured a decisive split with Dan Peek, a severed union that has never regained full flower. But, by the time of his departure in 1977, America's hit machinery had slowed to a crawl producing fewer hits. In fact, the band's cover of Russ Ballard's “You Can Do Magic” performed quite well for the remaining duo but little else.

Over the decades, America, still the truncated duo, performed with success at various venues and fairs. In 2007, Bunnell and Beckley released a strong album of original tunes. Reception of Here & Now was generally good, with the album selling well for an older act that had not recorded for quite some time. On July 26, America returns with a newly recorded album, Back Pages.


Back Pages concentrates not on original compositions by the remaining duo of Beckley and Bunnell, but rather on the coverage of words other than their own. As stated earlier, having had good success with “You Can Do Magic,” the song from Russ Ballard, the band has opted to retread that ground.

On Back Pages, the covered tracks originate with a highly regarded set of songwriters that include James Taylor (“Something In The Way She Moves”), Bob Dylan (“My Back Pages”), Joni Mitchell (“Woodstock”), Neil Young via Buffalo Springfield (“On The Way Home”), Paul Simon (“America”), and Rod Argent via The Zombies (“Time Of The Season”). More musically current, they record songs by Mark Knopfler (“Sailing To Philadelphia”), Gregg Alexander via New Radicals (“Someday We'll Know”), and a new track from Fountains of Wayne (“ A Road Song”). Back Pages delivers 12 tracks of important works with the specific, well known America folk-rock sound. It's an album that Beckley and Bunnell wanted to release because of the impact the songs have had on them as well as on us.

"After nine days, I let the horse run free..."

Tracklist of Back Pages:

  1. America

  2. A Road Song

  3. Woodstock

  4. Caroline No

  5. Someday We'll Know

  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

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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