As AMERICA continue their 50th anniversary world tour, the iconic multi-platinum-selling group were profiled this past weekend on the critically acclaimed CBS “Sunday Morning” TV show (July 7). View it here.
The group’s lead singers, songwriters and guitarists Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, spoke to correspondent John Blackstone about their legacy at an array of locations including, fittingly, in a car on the Ventura Freeway to talk about their classic hit “Ventura Highway.”
The crew also captured the band at their June 21 headline show at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where a full house of fans experienced a show filled with hits and deep album cuts. Music journalist Bob Lefsetz praised the band in a June 24 review of the concert [read it here]: “…when you see the band live you see why they continue. Because it’s fun, because it’s an adventure, because of the connection with the audience, because of the music…And as I sat there as the music washed over me and resonated, in my own private reverie, I said to myself THIS IS IT! And I wanted more.”
AMERICA are currently performing shows in Italy, before they return to North America later this month for additional shows on the tour (full itinerary below).
This year, the group’s anniversary is being commemorated with two special releases. On July 12, Rhino will issue 50th ANNIVERSARY: THE COLLECTION, available as a 3CD, 2LP, a single CD and digitally. This compilation encompasses songs from all seven albums that America recorded in the Seventies with Warner Bros. Records.The set also includes “You Can Do Magic,” a Top 10 hit from the album View From The Ground released by Capitol Records in 1982.
Capitol/UMe recently issued (on May 24) America: Classic Album Collection– The Capitol Years–a 6CD box set and digital collection presenting the GRAMMY®-winning band’s 1979-1985 Capitol Records albums together for the first time. All six albums have been newly remastered by Andy Pearce for the collection, which also includes four bonus mono single edits.
Almost 50 years ago, the Grammy Award-winning band was formed by Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek (who departed the band in 1977 and passed away in 2011) after meeting as sons of U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in London, where they began performing live. They released their debut album on Capitol in 1971, which hit #1 in the U.S and featured the #1 Billboard pop hit “Horse With No Name.” The Wall Street Journal (7/17/18) recently interviewed Dewey and Gerry about the evolution of the classic song for Marc Meyers’ recurring “Anatomy of a Song” feature.
AMERICA has influenced generations of musicians with their distinctive brand of acoustic-driven, harmony-rich rock, mixed with pop smarts, in soul-searching classic songs that reflected the times they were living in.
The band’s huge radio success throughout the ’70s and early ’80s at times overshadowed the lyrical depth of their songs such as the questing “Horse With No Name” (with its environmental message at the end); the frank romantic politics of “Sister Golden Hair”; the war paranoia of “Sandman” (written in part from conversations with returning airmen from Vietnam); and the cautionary life advice of “Don’t Cross The River.”
As further testament to the band’s staying power and influence, AMERICA‘s recordings have been licensed for a multitude of placements in films (including American Hustle,The Nice Guys, The Last Unicorn and Girl Most Likely), television shows (among them The Sopranos, Friends, Breaking Bad and Saturday Night Live) and video games (including Grand Theft Auto). See their Soundtrack credits on IMDB here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2085638/
The band’s ongoing 2019 tour dates are here:
Porto Recanati, IT
Arena Beniamino Gigli
RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
American Music Theatre
Anderson Center for Performing Arts (Binghamton University)