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For Rock Hall’s Consideration: America

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In the singer-songwriters movement of the 1970s, America were perhaps one of the biggest groups to come out of that era. Hence their name, the group formed in the UK, and one of them Dewey Bunnell was born there (while Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek was born in the US). But it wasn't long before they would be a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1971, America released their self-titled debut album, which was a moderate success in Europe. But when the album made its way to America the following year, it became the group’s first and only number one album, featuring the classics “A Horse With No Name” (the band’s first chart topping single) and “I Need You”. That would be followed by 1972’s Homecoming, which featured “Ventura Highway”, which was said to be the first song to contain the phrase “purple rain”, which later became the song, album and film from Prince. The song was also sampled by Janet Jackson.

After a slight stumble with 1973’s Hat Trick, (which the lead single “Muskrat Love” later became a hit for Captain & Tennille) America rebounded with 1974’s Holiday, and the singles “Tin Man” and “Lonely People”. In 1975, they topped the charts again with “Sister Golden Hair”. After that successful run, America continued to tour and record, although their popularity was on the wane, but they to score a few hits including the top ten “You Can Do Magic” in 1982.

By the turn of the new century, America began reaching a younger generation, with the release of 2007’s Here and Now, which paired new material, with the classics. It featured musicians including Ryan Adams and members of My Morning Jacket. The band has also received accolades from the entertainment industry, with an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: America, eligible since 1996.


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