Get this crazy baby off my head!



Pilot - Two's A Crowd - 1977 - Arista

Pilot had lost half of their members by the time they recorded the ironically titled Two's a Crowd in 1977. The remaining duo of David Paton and Ian Bairnson enlisted the help of Alan Parsons and various session musicians to make this, Pilot's fourth and rarest album. Long out of print, Two's a Crowd was reissued in 2005 as a limited-edition CD in Japan after apparently winning a poll of Japanese music buyers. If true, that startling development took no one by surprise more than the bandmembers themselves, who re-recorded most of the songs for a 2002 comeback album titled Blue Yonder because Paton and Bairnson didn't think the original album would ever see the light of day again. Despite the obscurity of Two's a Crowd (it produced no hits and has had none of its cuts appear on the various Pilot anthologies), the album is well worth the attention. It's a classic Pilot album through and through, comparable in sound and execution to the group's previous three albums. The would-be hit single, "Get Up and Go," is a catchy, jangly pop song in the vein of the band's earlier hit "Just a Smile," and "Library Door" may be Paton's prettiest ballad. "Monday Tuesday" is the sort of light pop Paul McCartney produced in the '70s, but other songs retain some of Morin Heights' harder edges. Fans who balk at the $25-$40 import price tag can take comfort in the knowledge that its price will only increase on the collectors' market after the limited edition has sold out. © Greg Adams, allmusic.com, www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:dxfixqt5ldse

The great pop rock band, Pilot, from Scotland, are probably best remembered for their two big hits, "January", and "It's Magic", but the band were not just one of the many "manufactured" 70's pop bands. These guys could play and write great songs. Very much influenced by the Beatles, and the Hollies, Pilot were a great eclectic pop vocal harmony group, with well crafted songs with irresistible, catchy pop hooks that still sound fresh today. Pilot recorded four great albums. Check out their great "January", and "Second Flight" albums. As stated before, A.O.O.F.C is not limited to blues, jazz, progressive, and electronic music. If an album or artist has musical merit, it will not be ignored by this blog


A1 Get Up And Go - Paton
A2 Library Door - Paton
A3 Creeping Round Midnight - Bairnson
A4 One Good Reason Why - Bairnson
A5 There's A Place - Bairnson
A6 The Other Side - Paton

B1 Monday Tuesday - Bairnson
B2 Ten Feet Tall- Paton
B3 Evil Eye - Paton
B4 Mr. Do Or Die - Paton
B5 Big Screen Kill - Bairnson


Ian Bairnson Guitar
David Paton Bass, Vocals
Steve Swindells Keyboards, Vocals
Henry Spinetti, Trevor Spencer Drums
Marilyn Bairnson Vocals

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios January - June 1977. N.B: The album was reissued on CD in 2002 on JAK records, entitled "Blue Yonder". The songs were recorded with new arrangements. The 1977 tracks, "The Other Side", "Mr. Do Or Die", and "Big Screen Kill" were excluded. The newer tracks, "I Wonder", "When The Sun Comes", and a live track from 1975, "Hold Me" were included.


'70s soft-rockers Pilot originally formed in 1973 with its bandmembers (David Paton on bass and vocals; Billy Lyall on synthesizer, flute, and vocals; and Stuart Tosh on drums) all hailing from Scotland. The group added a few additional members along the way (including two chaps who were former members of teeny boppers the Bay City Rollers, plus session guitarist Ian Bairnson), before issuing their self-titled debut in 1974. The album spawned a Top 20 hit with "Magic," but it was their 1975 single "January" (off their sophomore effort Second Flight) that proved to be the biggest success of the group's entire career, rocketing to the number one spot. Further albums followed (1976's Morin Heights and 1977's Two's a Crowd) as well as a few more moderate-sized hit singles ("Call Me Round," "Just a Smile") before Pilot folded. Tosh soon resurfaced as part of 10cc, as both Paton and Bairnson concentrated on studio work, playing on Kate Bush's 1978 debut, The Kick Inside, as well as recordings for Alan Parsons and Chris de Burgh. Lyall issued a solo album in 1976, Solo Casting (which featured his fellow Pilot bandmates), and later joined the group Dollar, before passing away in December of 1989 from an AIDS-related illness. © Greg Prato, allmusic.com


PILOT, one of the great unsung heroes of the British pop/rock scene, promised and in fact duly achieved so much in their short-lived but active career in the '70s. Like many other bands of the era they found themselves caught up in a phenomenon that went beyond their control - a struggle between artistic pursuit and idolized publicity which left them in agonizing dilemma that can be well attributed to ending their career much too soon. Nevertheless they managed to leave four sparkling albums in their wake. It's 1974 and there's a strange new development in Britain. From Scotland a group called the Bay City Rollers has created a hysterical teenybop audience. The music doesn't particularly matter. The faces do. And then come PILOT, from Edinburgh, and they just so happen to have a couple of pretty faces. They also just happen to have an abundance of excellent pop music, of a standard not heard here in years. Two former members of the Rollers, David Paton and Billy (William) Lyall, left and formed with Stuart Tosh and the later Ian Bairnson PILOT. So they're young, pretty and affected by the sudden rise. The tour. Screaming teenage girls everywhere. But still they attempt to put on a show. It would have been so easy just to go on the road and not care about the frills. After all, the audience didn't particularly care. But PILOT did. I remember a show at the Manchester Free Trade Hall. In the auditorium, there were all the symptoms of a Bay City Rollers' gig. What was going on on stage was something in distinct contrast. There were four musicians: David Paton (bass, vocals), Stuart Tosh (drums, vocals), Billy Lyall (keyboard, vocals) and lan Bairnson (guitar). Their reaction to the audience hysteria was surprisingly cool. If I'm not wrong, they were treating these raving young maniacs out front with overt contempt. Bairnson was particularly indifferent to it all and, collectively, there was the impression of a desire to stop the foolish, immature madness and get on with the music. It was all very far away from the intention when the group was formed back in Scotland. Teenybop was a different planet. It all started in Edinburgh's Craighall studios, where Billy Lyall was an engineer. For two years, Lyall and David Paton has spent their spare time in the studio knocking out demo tapes. Stuart Tosh was called in to play the drums but it took a bit of time before lan Bairnson could be persuaded to align himself to the cause of PILOT. Bairnson, in fact, was a tough nut to crack. Willing as he was to give the other three a hand on guitar, he wasn't prepared to commit himself to something as concrete as becoming a band member, especially as they didn't even have a recording contract. Even when they signed to EMI, Bairnson wasn't tempted and is credited on playing on only one track on "From The Album Of The Same Name" (1974). David Paton was left to play guitars, a task he handled capably and imaginatively. Tapes in hand, Billy, David and Stuart headed for London and EMI took an instant interest, signing them a couple of months later. Their first single, "Just A Smile", made little impression, which in retrospect might appear rather unfortunate. The song gave a hint of what was to come from PILOT: good, classy and colourful pop songs. Somebody made the mistake of comparing them to the Beatles, but it was a comparison that really wasn't far off the mark. The roots were the same. With "Just A Smile" shoved conveniently into the past, PILOT progressed with another song from the early demos. This one was called "Magic" and it fulfilled the promise of their debut, neatly claiming a place in the singles' chart and grandly announcing the arrival of a new force in British pop. Another band making a heavy impression in those days was Sparks, and PILOT accompanied them on a British tour as support. They went down well. It should be noted too that PILOT's producer at the time was a young man who had just served his apprenticeship as an engineer. His name was Alan Parsons. Parsons and PILOT's career was progressing nicely, thank you, and they seemed inseparable, Even now, with Parson's having achieved the unique distinction of making his own hit albums, the producer boldly claims fondness for PILOT and states genuine disappointment that they failed to stay together. With lan Bairnson finally dragged into the melée, the Scottish band went on to greater success. In "January", they made more than just a number one single. David Paton penned a classic pop tune that will undoubtedly grace the airways of Britain as each new year introduces itself to a drowsy nation. They made four albums, all exceptionally good. "From The Album Of The Same Name" (1974) was under-rated by critics, as, indeed were all their releases. Apart from the obvious tracks like "Just A Smile" (mp3) and "Magic", there were other gems in "Lovely Lady Smile", "Girl Next Door", "High Into The Sky" and "Don't Speak Loudly". With teenybop raging wildly in Britain, most people failed to see beyond the pretty faces. They didn't see a uniquely inventive pop group, rich in melody and lyric. David Paton has never received the credit he is entitled to for his contribution to PILOT and one can only hope that now, with the past well and truly buried, the band might be rewarded with just acclaim, belated though it is. "Second Flight" (1975) was a fine album, good songs performed with beautiful precision by a band that fully understood pop sensibilities. PILOT were indeed the first power pop band of the Seventies. More memorable tracks. "Call Me Round", "January" (mp3), Billy Lyall's "Passion Piece", "You're My Number One" and the tender "Love Is". PILOT headed for Canada to record their third album for EMI. For "Morin Heights" (1976), they also changed producer, opting for Roy Thomas-Baker instead of Alan Parsons, a daring but successful move. Billy Lyall, hurt by the teenybop identification had by this time left the band to concentrate on producing, writing and arranging, but Tosh, Paton and Bairnson rallied to the call and came up with what I consider their best album. Not only did Roy Thomas-Baker capture the songs perfectly, but his production added a sharpness to the arrangements that gave further proof of PILOT's talent. "Canada" (mp3), "First After Me", "Penny In My Pocket", "Trembling" and "Too Many Hopes" were among the best tracks on what amounted to their most consistent and fulfilling album. After that, it all went wrong for PILOT. Stuart Tosh was next to drop out, shortly afterwards joining 10cc. Paton and Bairnson held it together for one more album, "Two's A Crowd" (1977). They hadn't lost their ability to compose wonderful melodies as "Get Up And Go" (mp3), "Library Door" or "Monday Tuesday" but finally sussed that the magic was gone. Ironically, for all the teenybop affiliation, the individual members of PILOT are now openly acknowledged as the best players in the business and are never short of session work. Tosh, now resident in New York, continues with 10cc. Lyall, who recorded an average solo album, was a respected arranger and producer. He died 1989 of Aids. Paton and Bairnson are two of the most noted players on the session circuit. They are an integral part of the band that Alan Parsons has formed to record his hugely successful Project albums. It's a shame that Paton still hasn't been acknowledged as the brilliant pop writer he is. [ © HARRY DOHERTY in the booklet of "Best Of Pilot" add. lines from webmaster of PILOT homepage ] © http://www.merkel-sb.de/intro.htm


A.O.O.F.C said...


A.O.O.F.C said...

p/w aoofc

José Carvalho said...

I'm surprised to see this one in cd my old vinyl still has a nice sound but I can't miss this share, thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, José. It's a very good pop rock album from Pilot. TTU soon

Mike said...

I own all of Pilot's releases, including the remake of this called Blue Wonder/Yonder or something similar. I'm not sure about the sudden AM soft rock quality of much of said material here but Mr. Do or Die was pretty good although it should've had one less verse IMO, sort of like how Steely Dan's Jack of Speed would've likewise benefitted. Sometimes less is more. Whatever the song is where they sing, "Don't get troubled by the rain on the other side" is probably the best of what's here.

But some of their very best stuff was on their earlier albums. If you're interested I can send some your way.

P.S. Why didn't your blog allow comments before from regulars? I meant to comment before about that Gallagher & Lyle album.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. Thanks for comments. I have all Pilot's releases, but thanks for offer. I had comments limited for a while because I was receiving all kinds of stupid remarks and spam comments. Sorry if you needed to comment before, but there are a lot of morons out there wasting peoples time. I'm always grateful for genuine comments like yours. Thanks, and talk to you soon

jman said...

great album could you post the album blue yonder and if you have it billy lyalls solo album also i think there may be a pilot a and b sides album plus now im getting cheeky any solo stuff you may have by dave and ian cheers

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, jman! Try Music Blog Of Saltyka And His Friends

It's one of the best blogs on the planet. Give Saltyka my regards! Cheers! (A.O.O.F.C)....Please keep in touch