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America's Greatest Hits: History

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Editors’ Notes

History is a succinct, no-filler compilation of America’s standout tunes from their 1971-75 heyday. This package makes it clear that singer/songwriters Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek were capable of delivering everything from quirky Neil Young-style folk-rock (“A Horse With No Name”) to soaring lovelorn balladry (“I Need You”) and sparkling California pop (“Sister Golden Hair”). A careful listening reveals the difference in the members’ styles — Beckley shows his affinity for Paul McCartney/Graham Nash-like British rock in “Only In Your Heart,” Bunnell reveals a jazz influence in “Tin Man” and Peek displays a country tinge in “Don’t Cross the River.” What binds these tracks together is the trio’s impeccable vocal harmonies, shining through on every tune included here. Legendary producer George Martin’s elegant and resourceful touch is evident on tracks 7 though 12. History presents America at the height of their powers, crafting songs distinguished by their ear-catching melodies, eclectic arrangements and a certain lyrical innocence that would be hard to achieve today.


Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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,...
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