This album is a "home-rolled" compilation of several live tracks from the early
70's and mid 80's. Most of the live tracks are from a 1972 New Year's concert
in Holland. The CD cover lists track 9 as "Ain't It A Shame (About The Rain)"
but the real title is "The Rain Song".
Riverside is from a 1972 concert in Los Angeles. Twist and Shout
and My American Dream are from a 1986 Dan Peek concert.
Also included are the title track from the
California Dreamin' soundtrack and one selection from a Christmas album.
For a time
John Corbett made the CD
available to America Fans for $15 (to cover his costs).
However, John has moved to the United Kingdom
to continue his education and he no longer has time
to make the CD's. Your best bet for now is to find another
fan that already has it and see if they'll make a copy for you.
California Dreamin' was released as a single in 1979 and reached #56 in
April of that year.
Here are some ponderings from John Corbett concerning this album:
The majority of the first ten tracks were taken from the 1972-73 period when
America was at the peak of its popularity, although some of the non-album
tracks seem to have come from early in 1972 before "Horse With No Name" broke
the charts, most likely from a radio show somewhere in Europe. My guess is
that the early shows generally come from clubs. America started off in a
lunchroom in Ontario on their first U.S. tour in the summer of '72, and didn't
really graduate to arenas until around 1973. My guess is much of that material
comprised their pre-America (the album) days when they were an opening act in
London with a growing reputation. Word has it that not only did they open for
Elton John once, but that they were also featured on the first episode of
"The Old Grey Whistle Test" TV concert series in 1971. I have inquired to
BBC about getting a hold of that show, but they say it's locked up due to
copyright obligations (pity). The only tracks from the first ten which seem to
come later than early 1972 are "Don't Cross The River" and "Submarine Ladies",
which didn't surface until early and mid-1973, respectively. Tracks 11 and 12
are excerpted from a tape of a 1986 concert by Dan Peek. Track 13 is the
original version of "California Dreamin'" taken from the 1979 film of the same
name. It was their only charted hit between 1976 and 1982 in the U.S. Track 14
was taken from a Christmas compilation from the early 1980's which was
re-released in 1995 on a
album that was a charity CD, with the proceeds going to benefit the Children's
Miracle Network and City of Hope pediatrics.
While the quality of the
first 12 tracks leaves a lot to be desired, it's the best quality that we
currently have available. I'm trying hard to get more material from this time
period, and as I do, I'll make it available to everybody else who frequents
Steve's website. Keep your eyes open, too, and let me know if you stumble
Regarding whether or not those early extra tracks were famous in any way,
they probably were well-known among watchers of the group. I recall reading
an early 1972 review of an America performance in which it was noted that
they had a good rendition of Arlo Guthrie's "Coming Into Los Angeles", which
of course appears on this album. Apparently, this and the other songs received
fairly regular concert exposure before America developed its own repertoire of
commercially successful favorites like "Horse", "I Need You", "Riverside",
"Here", etc., to captivate the audience. What would be interesting to see is
what songs they made and covered in the 1970-71 period, but understandably,
recordings from this period ought to be sparse. That's why the "Old Grey
Whistle Test" show seems to me of critical importance in giving us the flavor
of some of their earliest, post-Daze material.
Although Heard is distributed by John Corbett, the songs were actually
compiled by Mark Cole and this is what he had to say about the album:
The first nine tracks are from a 1971 New Years Eve concert in Holland. This
is probably the earliest America concert recording in circulation. The
concert is totally unplugged and includes songs that never made it on an
America album and early versions of some latter America classics. Riverside
is from a 1972 concert and contains an additional verse not found on
the America album. Twist and Shout is from a 1986 Dan Peek concert in Coco
Beach, Florida. My American Dream was a country demo single that Dan recorded
in the late 1980s and promoted in Nashville. California Dreamin' was from the
1977 movie soundtrack and Hark, The Herald Angels Sing was found on several
Christmas compilation CDs in the early 1990s.