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Album Review

In an odd farewell to its first chapter of existence, Kayak decided to record a live album of group and fan favorites. What made this album peculiar was that the band played live, but to no audience. Instead, they set up in the studio as they would have for a concert and recorded Eyewitness in essentially one take. The result is a crystalline collection of re-recorded old songs interspersed with a few new pieces. While Edward Reekers assumed the lead vocal duties, as he had since 1978, it was appropriate to hear former vocalist and current drummer Max Werner sing on some of the older numbers from Starlight Dancer and Royal Bed Bouncer. Regardless of who sang lead, Eyewitness is a reflective collection of one of the most interesting progressive pop groups of the '70s, even though the band had passed its prime at the onset of the '80s. Keyboardist and songwriter Ton Scherpenzeel was the driving force of Kayak, and although the group gradually shifted from rock to pop, his songs always retained catchy melodies and a discernible degree of uniqueness. This was an appropriate swan song for Kayak, as it melded the past with the present and avoided all the pomp and circumstance that plagues too many acts when they decide to call it a day.


Formed: 1968

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With their instrumental prowess and keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel's facility at writing lyrics in English, you might be forgiven for mistaking Kayak for a bunch of clever proggers from London. But this Dutch band began in 1968 in the city of Hilversum, where Scherpenzeel and drummer Pim Koopman attended a music conservatory. After the addition of guitarist Johan Slager, bassist Cees van Leeuwen, and vocalist Max Werner, the group solidified by 1972 and commenced recording. Stylistically they featured...
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