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America

About America

America are an American rock band that was founded in England in 1970 by friends Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley. They met during high school and the band was formed after they graduated. The trio called themselves America as “they did not want anyone to think they were British musicians trying to sound American”.

America released their eponymous debut album in 1971 and had on it the chart-topping hit “A Horse With No Name”. “I Need You” also performed well, garnering a peak of #9 on the U.S. charts.

Homecoming (1972) helped the band achieve the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. On it was another one of their most famous tracks: “Ventura Highway”.

Their third album did not share the same multitudes of success as its predecessors. Hat Trick (1973) was notably adventurous, featuring various questionable sounds, including that of tap dancing. Having suffered the commercial failure of Hat Trick, America employed an external producer, George Martin, who had previously helped The Beatles with their success, and subsequently released Holiday (1974). This album reintroduced the band to the top ten, with “Tin Man” reaching #4.

Hearts (1975) followed, as did their second chart-topping single: “Sister Golden Hair”. After this, the band took a turn for the worse. Their next two albums, Hideaway (1976) and Harbor (1977), both failed to chart and Peek later left. The other two members continued on.

Their next two albums were not received any better. Silent Letter (1979), comically dubbed Silent Record, and Alibi (1980) both failed to chart and starred no successful singles.

Things began to look better for America with the release of View From the Ground (1982). “You Can Do Magic” peaked at #8. Having seen this success, they asked Russ Ballard, the producer of the previous album, to produce the next one. Your Move was what came next. While it was still successful, breaking the top 100, it was no match for View From the Ground.

It seemed like their days in the limelight were up. Perspective (1984) did poorly on the charts, and their followup live album, In Concert (1985), became their first album that failed to even reach the charts. They left their record deal after.

It was almost ten years before they released another studio album. Hourglass (1994) failed, again, to rejuvenate America’s former glory. They managed to secure a record deal with Oxygen Records and with them, released an album entitled Human Nature. Again failing to achieve commercial results, Oxygen dropped them.

In 2006, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. However, no new music was released for another year, totaling at nine years between studio albums.

Here & Now (2007) was what America needed. The album introduced a new demographic to the band and helped reintroduce them to a public who had not heard anything from them in years. It managed to garner #52 on the charts. Five years later, in 2012, they were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Another eight years went by before their next studio release, Lost & Found (2015). It was received well critically and consisted of songs written by the two members between 2000-2011.

The two remaining members, Bunnell and Beckley, continue to tour.

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