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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Snail - 1978 Snail
Snail - 1978 Snail

ALBUM: Snail
LABEL: Cream Records
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2009, Renaissance Records (2 on 1 with 'Flow')


LINEUP: Bob O'Neil - guitars, vocals * Jack Register - bass * Jim Norris - drums * Ken Kraft - guitars, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Joker * 02 Catch Me * 03 Music Is My Mistress * 04 Childhood Dreams * 05 Try And Wonder * 06 Keep On Livin' * 07 You Gotta Run * 08 Carry Me * 09 Freedom In The Country

Santa Cruz, California's favourite sons, Snail released two records during their lifetime which seems to have extended into the 21st century with the occasional reunion show. Back in the day gigs with Thin Lizzy, Sammy Hagar and a co-headlining show at the Santa Monica Civic Center with Rubicon among others, brought Snail out of the west coast bars and into concert halls, but outside of Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, no one knew who the hell they were. Not really surprising as this was the case with many bands of the day suffering the same fate and signed to Cream Records (Legs Diamond anyone?) certainly didn't help their cause. Yeah, it was cool that this (debut) album cover was consistently displayed as a backdrop in the faux living room of the 1970's American TV show 'Mork & Mindy' with Robin Williams, but ever the cynic; I doubt this translated into album sales.

The Songs
I remember this album getting a lot of 'buzz' back in the day, but now all these years later, I wonder what the fuss was all about? This is pretty much 70's Midwestern AOR, California style. Slight Progressive rock tendencies in a laid back manner, that could only come from the 'Me' decade. I hear elements of Kansas, The Eagles, maybe a little Orleans and Minnesota's own James Walsh & Gypsy but nothing that screams potential hit single. Having said this, the Snail debut was perfect fodder for FM radio way back when and I clearly remember hearing this album and 'Catch Me' over the airwaves, but again, it all sounds somewhat average in hindsight.

In Summary
Snail would release a second album called 'Flow' which believe it or not, generated a minor FM hit single. Both albums are easy to find in any second hand shop or the internet and are worth the occasional spin.

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#1 | Nick C on January 19 2007 21:35:26
Hahaha! I remember it on Mork and Mindy too.....didn't she also have Jackson Browne Running on Empty on the wall as well?
It's not a bad album and neither is Flow, they are worth tracking down I guess as they are dirt cheap and I think people with a preference for a little more laid back west coasty AOR might find something endearing in the grooves. I haven't played either for a while but I wouldn't dream of throwing them away...might give them an airing this weekend in fact! Grin
#2 | gdazegod on June 19 2009 04:28:46
This is quite good actually. Eagles, Firefall.. that sort of thing. A review of their second LP 'Flow' is in the wings.. Thumbs Up
#3 | reyno-roxx on June 19 2009 20:07:00
Isn't this due on CD as a two on one package via Renaissance shortly?
Ken Kraft currently has a band called White Album Ensemble.
#4 | oldereck on May 28 2010 01:07:14
The double album CD 'Snail/Flow'was released last year and is available on a few websites. A live CD 'Let It Rock' was also put out and can be ordered directly from Ken. The latest CD is called 'Nine Song Nightmare' which to me may be the best of the lot. Recorded 1975-76, there's lots of heavy dualing guitars throughout.....not metal, just great AOR jamming with melodic vocals. Ken and Vince Sanchez remastered the session and just put it out. (May 2010). A worthy score from Ken directly. This band was playing the Summer Festivals as far back as 1969-70 (pre Ken Kraft) where they sounded like Eric Clapton's 'Cream'. I have some music from then as well. Snail was hugely underrated outside of the general Santa Cruz area. I could provide this music, but not sure how to do it for this site.
The White Album Ensemble sells out every show which benefits a charity geared to 'guitars not guns' for kids in the area. The charity provides guitar lessons for the younger generation and gets them off the street and into music. When they get good enough, a concert is put on (like the movie 'School of Rock') and the guitars the kids were learning their licks on is given to them. Sort of a graduation diploma only better.
#5 | swazi on August 13 2012 22:38:07
I have only heard the s/t part of the 2 on 1 CD so far, but I think it's bloody good!
#6 | octanoid77 on April 27 2014 00:36:19
Can anyone identify the other albums in the Mork and Mindy record store? The Cars, Snail, Tom Petty, what are the others? Here's a screenshot:

I was watching an episode today, I got curious...
#7 | gdazegod on May 20 2014 00:11:37
I tried hard to identify those others, particularly that one immediately above Snail. Is the first letter an L, P or D perhaps? This assembly of album covers must be from around 1978, or possibly early 1979.
#8 | gdazegod on May 20 2014 00:14:43
Haha.. I found one of them. The one at top right (second top right actually), is the 1978 self titled release from Greek artist Demis Roussos. He had a hit single in the 70's called 'My Friend The Wind'.
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