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Tranquility - 1972 Silver




ARTIST: Tranquility
ALBUM: Silver
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: AL 31989
YEAR: 1972

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Shaddick - electric & acoustic guitar, lead vocals * Tony Lukyn - electric & acoustic pianos, clavinet, vibes, organ, mellotron, lead & backing vocals * Berkeley Wright - electric guitar, background vocals * Kevin McCarthy - electric guitar, lead & background vocals * Bernard Hagley - bass, flute * Paul Francis - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Eagle Eye * 02 Can I See You * 03 Linda * 04 Whip Wheel * 05 The Driver's Engine * 06 Couldn't Possibly Be * 07 Nice And Easy * 08 Dear Oh Dear * 09 Silver * 10 The Tree


Background
The second and best album from this UK based progressive pop band that sadly failed to make much of an impact. While their pre-contract history is sketchy; Tranquility seems to have been a vehicle for vocalist and lead guitarist Terry Shaddick who wrote the majority of the material although some interesting names pop up throughout the bands short life span including on the first album drummer Eric Dillon who Glory Daze train-spotters will recognize from Lion's 'Running All Night' LP and on both records Kevin McCarthy from proto-prog favourites Cressida. Tranquility toured both England and America with The Byrds and Yes in support of the debut but line-up changes soon followed and 'Silver' released just before Christmas 1972 was buried under bad timing and a lack of proper promotion, at least as much as I can tell.


The Songs
This is a seriously strong collection with comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash and in many instances Starcastle in the lush vocal arrangements as well as fellow Brit prog also-rans Capability Brown and Wally. The lovely harmonies on opener 'Eagle Eye' and especially 'Can I See You' are nothing short of angelic and while the album is speckled with a breezy Country rock influence, some of the instrumentation would not have been out of place on an early Yes album as evident on the understated but dramatic ending of 'Whip Wheel'. The poppier side of the band really kicks-in on side two with 'Nice And Easy' featuring gorgeous Mellotron and sounding an awful lot like 10cc while the record company's single pick 'Dear Oh Dear' emulates both Stackridge and Paul McCartney's 'When I'm Sixty Four' with aplomb. Tranquility are at their most progressive on the title track with some of the sweetest electric piano I've encountered this side of The Doors 'Riders On The Storm' as well as vocal harmonies as close to Starcastle as I've ever heard from an English band. Ok, maybe Druid hit that mark too, but these guys were so often scarily similar to Champaign's finest that if Roy Thomas Baker had been stacking the vocals, we might have been talking a stone-cold classic.


In Summary
More U.S shows followed in 1973 as an opening act for Spooky Tooth, Edgar Winter, J. Geils Band and Mahavishnu Orchestra but commercial success for Tranquility was just not on the cards. Despite a pirate of the first album a few years back neither has been released on CD officially and as such are high on my hit list for the digital treatment.


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Comments

#1 | super80boy on November 29 2013 17:07:11
The lead off track 'Eagle Eye' with its great instrumentation and shimmering uptempo melodies is really a standout and should have been a radio single. 'Whip Wheel' is a cool effort and there is some nice funky rhythms in 'Couldn't Possibly Be'. The chorus in the title track is quite infectious.

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