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19.4.10

Crack The Sky


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Crack The Sky - Live Sky - 1978 - Lifesong Records

This album is a must-have for any fan of aggressive, prog rock, if only for the guitar solo of the William Tell Overture that finishes "Surf City." Crack the Sky were famous as a live outfit, and on Live Sky, they pulled out all the stops. Though the band had the chops and precision to do note-perfect replications of the cuts on their albums, the versions here are extended and include all sorts of musical excursions. Extending "Ice" past 12 minutes may have been a bit of a stretch, but on the whole the album is a success. Several different cuts from Live Sky managed airplay in various parts of the U.S., and broadened the band's audience while encouraging the faithful. © Richard Foss © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:difuxqe5ldse

Even without John Palumbo, "Live Sky" demonstrated Crack The Sky's dynamic prog. rock sound. There is a twelve minute version of "Ice" with outstanding vocals by Gary Chappell and superb keyboard work from Vince DePaul. "I Am the Walrus" is a great cover of the Beatles' classic song, and proved the intelligent and clever musicianship of the band. Crack The Sky could have been a huge band, but in the music business you're only as good as your last album. Although the band have reformed at various intervals since 1975, arguably, they never bettered their classic mid seventies s/t release which received Rolling Stone magazine's 'album of the year' award, or their 1976 "Animal Notes" album.

TRACKS

1."Hold On" – 2:48
2."Maybe I Can Fool Everybody (Tonight)" – 6:30
3."Lighten Up McGraw" – 5:06 - Rob Stevens, Rick Witkowski, Joe Macre
4."She's a Dancer" – 9:08
5."Ice" – 12:18
6."Surf City" – 7:42
7."I Am the Walrus" – 5:36 - John Lennon, Paul McCartney

All songs composed by John Palumbo, except where stated

N.B: In 1988, four of the tracks on this album ("Maybe I Can Fool Everybody (Tonight)", "Lighten Up McGraw", "She's a Dancer", and "I Am the Walrus") were included on the CD release of "Live on WBAB". In 2006, six of the tracks, remixed and remastered were included on "Alive and Kickin' Ass", a CD compiled from the same 1978 shows as Live Sky. "She's a Dancer" on Live Sky is an edited version; The full original track is on the "Alive and Kickin' Ass" album. The album posted here was recorded at Tower Theatre-Philadelphia, PA w/ Record Plant Truck And Agora Theatre-Cleveland, OH.

BAND

Rick Witkowski - Lead Guitar
Jim Griffiths - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Joe Macre - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Vince DePaul - Keyboards
Joey D'Amico - Drums, Vocals
Gary Lee Chappell - Lead Vocals

SHORT BIO

Progressive rock group Crack the Sky was formed in the Ohio River Valley region (Steubenville, OH) in 1975 by frontman John Palumbo, guitarists Jim Griffiths and Rick Witkowski, bassist Joe Macre, and drummer Joey D'Amico. According to the website at www.crackthesky.com, the band was originally dubbed ArcAngel, building a loyal following on the Cleveland and Baltimore club circuits before signing to the Lifesong label to issue their self-titled debut LP, which earned critical acclaim for Palumbo's acerbic lyrics and the songs' complex structures and time changes. Commercial reward was minimal, however, and after completing Crack the Sky's second LP, 1976's Animal Notes, Palumbo exited to pursue a solo career. D'Amico assumed lead vocal duties on 1978's Safety in Numbers, with singer Gary Lee Chappell featured on the Live Sky release. Crack the Sky then disbanded, but in 1980 Palumbo, Witkowski, and keyboardist Vince DePaul briefly reformed the group to record the White Music album before again dissolving. Palumbo then formed another new lineup for a series of albums including Photoflamingo, World in Motion I, and Raw before reuniting with Witkowski, D'Amico, and DePaul for a series of 1986 live dates at the Baltimore club Hammerjacks and eventually a new 1989 studio LP, From the Greenhouse. Dog City followed in 1990, and Crack the Sky infrequently reunited throughout the decade to come. © Jason Ankeny © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0ifuxqw5ldte~T1

9 comments:

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

LINK

p/w aoofc

Eric said...

I have this on vinyl.
Really good live album from a fave band of mine.

Great musicianship, interesting / quirky lyrics.

I don't believe this has ever been re-issued on cd (legit).

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

Not that I'm aware of Eric. There is a reissued cd with bonus tracks of the band's s/t album which is good. The band should have been huge

Muddy said...

Thanks. I haven't thought about Crack The Sky in a very long time, but I do remember I loved their LPs back in the 70s.

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

Hi, Muddy. CTS were a very original bunch of musicians with at leat two great albums. Shoulda been huge, but Lady Luck wasn't with them. Keep in touch, and thanks

stuckinthe70s said...

thanks - steve

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

Thanks for your interest, Steve

Radio Free Wohlman said...

Hi AOOFC,

RFW here!

I never knew abouth the Live and Kickin' Ass release - do you have it!

Love The Crack The Sky!

Thanks,

Dave

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

Hi, RFW. Don't have album at the moment. I hope to get hold of it in the next 14 days, and will def. post. Thanks & cheers!