“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:
A Road Song
Someday We'll Know
Sailing To Philadelphia
Crying In My Sleep
Time Of The Season
Something In The Way She Moves
On The Way Home
Till I Hear From You
My Back Pages