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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Fly By Night - 1980 Zoo Road
Fly By Night - 1980 Zoo Road

ARTIST: Fly By Night
ALBUM: Zoo Road
LABEL: Maniac
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Randy Graybill - vocals, guitars;Bob Anderson - guitars, vocals; Rick Bailey - keyboards; Charlie Fry - bass; Gary Golden - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Find You * 02 3-42 * 03 Give 'Em The Gussy * 04 Bucky * 05 Zoo Road * 06 Love Strange * 07 Troubador * 08 Solitaire * 09 Don't Get Caught

With a handle like this, one could be forgiven for thinking this lot were a Rush cover band. Not quite. Though their musical dabblings are 70's bound, Fly By Night deliver a mixture of pomp and quirkiness. They are caught somewhere between Canadians Cinema Face and Lynx, and their one-off album 'Zoo Road' has been considered a closet classic by cult AORsters and pomp fans for years. From the same region as fellow pompsters Hybrid Ice, this Pennsylvania outfit do have an acquired taste, their brand of pomp will take a few listens to come to grips with. They even chuck in a saxophone. It's not totally unheard of within the context of pomp/AOR. If a band like Link or Michael Stanley Band can get away with it, then these guys can too.

The Songs
Occasionally you'll find the odd progressive rock moment rising to the top. It's like the band have a progressive base, but have moved on in the pursuit of other styles. It was 1980 when this was released, so the mixed-bag sound that eventuated was a victim of the times one would suggest. Certainly the keyboards you hear on 'I Find You' are updated, and not bogged down with 70's era mellotrons. The quirky pomp of '3-42' takes bits of 10cc rhythms (think 'Art For Arts Sake'), along with Ian Thomas (lyrics) and Lynx (music). Interesting indeed! The band let their hair down with the instrumental 'Give 'Em The Gussy' and continue their rockier ambitions with 'Bucky' and the title track 'Zoo Road'. Some ripper guitar work can be found here. Onto side two, where 'Love Strange' tosses acoustic guitar, piano and saxophone into the mix. If you thought 'Troubadour' sounded poncey and pompous, then the music is a good fit, with lyrics filled with many a fantasy element. 'Solitaire' gets my vote as one of the better tracks here, the guitars again, zing with a certain edge - the solos here are superb. 'Don't Get Caught' is the closing cut, a sub-boogie romp, which could've been Blue Steel or Crimson Tide on any other given day.

In Summary
In true regional Pennsylvania fashion, Fly By Night despite their smalltime status, have played many a gig - some in association with Hybrid Ice. Though the state might be better known for producing the likes of Dakota, Richie Kotzen and Jimmy Harnen, there was still a place for bands like Fly By Night to do their thing. Despite the advancement of time, this is unlikely to see an official re-release, big bucks on Ebay is the only option for the dedicated collector.

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#1 | richardb on June 08 2008 08:50:37
A great album, one which surely appeal to fans of pomp with an 'off the wall' approach e.g like Berlin Airlift and Russia.

Richard B
#2 | Eric on June 08 2008 13:36:20
Agree. I have seen comparisons to Gentle Giant which I never really heard, but to each his own...
#3 | bawb on January 18 2009 11:45:57
I received the link to this page yesterday(1/17/09). My thanks to the hardcore fans who keep tracking me down. I enjoyed tripping though the site.
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