12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

From its sparkling opener “Riverside” onwards, America’s self-titled debut album is a captivating ride through classic folk-rock territory. Singer/songwriters Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek take inspiration from the Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and other sources while creating their own distinctive sound. Shimmering vocal harmonies and crisp acoustic guitar work are applied to a batch of tunes that reflect the youthful enthusiasm (and occasional angst) of the trio. Beckley’s yearning “I Need You” and Bunnell’s jazzily atmospheric “Three Roses” establish America’s knack for winsome love songs, while the ominous “Sandman” and “Donkey Jaw” provide some dark shadows to round out the album’s generally sunny tone. The chart-topping “A Horse with No Name” remains the best-known tune here — its mysterious imagery and Neil Young-esque ambiance established America as a hit-making entity right out of the box. At times — especially on “Children” — the sheer beauty of the trio’s combined voices create a sonic poetry above and beyond the content of their lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

From its sparkling opener “Riverside” onwards, America’s self-titled debut album is a captivating ride through classic folk-rock territory. Singer/songwriters Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek take inspiration from the Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and other sources while creating their own distinctive sound. Shimmering vocal harmonies and crisp acoustic guitar work are applied to a batch of tunes that reflect the youthful enthusiasm (and occasional angst) of the trio. Beckley’s yearning “I Need You” and Bunnell’s jazzily atmospheric “Three Roses” establish America’s knack for winsome love songs, while the ominous “Sandman” and “Donkey Jaw” provide some dark shadows to round out the album’s generally sunny tone. The chart-topping “A Horse with No Name” remains the best-known tune here — its mysterious imagery and Neil Young-esque ambiance established America as a hit-making entity right out of the box. At times — especially on “Children” — the sheer beauty of the trio’s combined voices create a sonic poetry above and beyond the content of their lyrics.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
85 Ratings
85 Ratings
PurePlay Radio ,

America - How an "Album" should sound

This is as fresh today as it was when it came out. Shocking to hear how clean and beautiful it is.
The song selection and depth of emotion are fantastic.

leverich1991 ,

A horse with no name...

Hands down, the best folk-rock song ever made. What an unbelievable sound for 1972.

Beaux Luis ,

An Exceptional Debut

When this album was first released, I already had developed a tad arrogant sense of my love of music. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young had artistic and commercial credibility stemming in part from their Woodstock appearance and the fact that they were one of the first rock super groups. America was deemed critically deficient by hardcore music lovers. "A Horse with No Name" was relegated to Top 40 AM radio bubblegum by Rolling Stone magazine. Still, I loved this album as much as I loved "C,S and N" and "Deja Vu" though I listened in private for fear of being taken to task to my arrogant, rock lover friends. The aforementioned "Horse", "Clarice", "Here" and "Rainy Day" sound as fresh as they did in 1972. I never knew the band had such deep English roots until much later.

This album is packed away in storage......I loved it enough to buy it again.

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