America – ‘Back Pages’: A Review

August 4, 2011

America - Back PagesYou may say “Oh no, not another cover release!”, but outside of  the Christmas release ”Holiday Harmony” or “California Dreaming”, previous America efforts contain mostly the band’s own self penned songs. Back Pages starts out intriguing from the start. Joining Bad Company with a song named the same as the artist, “America” is really very well done here.

“A Road Song” is a pretty nice mid-tempo song that America has always been excellent at. This shows more of that ambient Country sound found quite often here. “Woodstock” is a strong version with the steel guitar in the background, found on a lot of the songs, sure having an eerie sound. Penned by Joni Mitchell and covered extensively, it’s credible by America. Nice sitar touch!

The Brian Wilson song “Caroline, No” sounds really nice here. Listening real close it’s better than nice — it’s awesome! Another spectacular song. “Someday We’ll Know” had me wondering if this could be the marvelous song by The New Radicals, and indeed it is. Done very well here I must say. This is also one of my favorites. “Sailing to Philadelphia” is a pretty good version of the Mark Knopfler song.”Crying in My Sleep” finds Gerry Beckley showing how much a part of America he is. Nice song Gerry! “Time of the Season” the Zombies song does not stray too far from the original.

The James Taylor song”Something In The Way She Moves” although not a favorite is still pretty good. The Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield ”On the Way Home” song really shines. They made it their own. This is my favorite song here. “My Back Pages”, the Byrds classic penned by Bob Dylan, is done with simply a piano and concertina and an interesting departure from guitar versions. Bare bones works on this one. I would be happy to call this a four star effort, but four and a half and a great performance is my take on this. So mega happy is in the building. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell are America.

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One Response to America – ‘Back Pages’: A Review

  1. Patrick Steele on August 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I just received my copy of America’s “Back Pages” in the mail from and I’m impressed with it. Of course the CD isn’t available in any stores. I asked the clerk at a Best Buy and he just looked at me and said “Huh?”. Well thank God for the internet. I have every studio recording by the group and I love the new CD. Their version of Brian Wilsons’ “Caroline, No” is outstanding. Their voices are still as strong as when they started in 1970. I intend to play the CD over and over. I also bought Gerry Beckley’s “Unfortunate Casino” and I am just getting to know the songs. My favorite Beckley songs from the past include “Kiss Of Life” (a beautiful song that not many people have heard) “Emma” “Lazarus” and “Now Sue” to name a few. I wonder if Dewey would ever release a solo CD. They both have distinctive voices and blend so well together. I hope they continue to record and I will suport them by buying the CD’s. In conclusion, I would love to thank them for all the great music they have made over the years.