Our America albums ranked list looks at the studio albums of one of the most loved bands in classic rock history. America arrived on the scene in 1971 with there debut album entitled America. The band’s first big hit entitled “A Horse With No Name,” put them on the map instantly and made them a household name around the world. The trio consisting of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peak would celebrate a great six year run together releasing a steady stream of hit albums and singles. In 1977, Dan Peek left the band after the release of the Harbor album to pursue a career in Christian music. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell continued on as America touring together and releasing eleven more studio albums with their latest being released in 2015 entitled Lost & Found. Here are ten of our favorite America albums.
# 10 – Here And Now
We open up our Top 10 America albums with one of the group’s most recent albums. America had not released a new studio albums since the late 1990s entitled Human Nature which did not make this list. Here and Now is a much stronger album. In fact, its the best album the band has released since the early 1980s. This is a stunning record that delivers beautiful songs in those rich America harmonies. Standout tracks include “Chasing The Rainbow, Always Love and Ride On.”
# 9 – Silent Letter
Continuing with our Top 10 America albums we turn to the album Silent Letter. The album was released in 1979. America fans were not sure what to expect from this album because it was the first America album released after Dan Peek had left the band. America were now a duo as opposed to their long running trio status. Silent Letter was also the last album produced by famed Beatles producer George Martin. Still, with all those finalities, this was a really good album that showed promise that America would continue on.
# 8 – Harbor
Well, speaking of the departure of Dan Peeks. The album Harbor is the last record to feature original America member Dan Peeks. That was sad news because there was something special about the Harbor album despite it’s lack of any big time singles. This was a record filled with songs of hope that just made you feel good. The Harbor album was released in he winter of 1977
# 8 – View From The Ground
America’s View From The Ground was the third album to be released after the departure of Dan Peek. It had been five years since Dan Peek had left the band. In the early 1980s a new wave of very modern sounding bands were the big rave, bands like A Flock Of Seagulls, Men At Work, and Duran Duran had caused a shift of music in the new MTV era. America was such a old school 70s sounding band. Yet View From The Ground sounded fresh. Sales were fueled by a major comeback single that was a big hit entitled “You Can Do Magic.”
# 6 – Hat Trick
In 1973, America released their third album entitled Hat Trick. While not as successful as their first two albums, the record still produced the big hit single “Muskrat Love.” The album featured Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peak. The album also featured Joe Walsh on guitar on the song Green Monkey and the Beach Boys Carl Wilson singing back up on the title track. There may have been only one hit single from the album, but overall this was a really good America album.
# 5 – Hideaway
Hideaway is easily one of our favorite America albums. There was just something special about this one. Beatles producer George Martin worked his magic on this album. Hideaway delivered the fantastic singles “Today’s The Day,” and “Amber Cascades.” The song “Today’s The Day,” became a number one hit on Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts. Yet, just about every song on this album was filled with stunningly beautiful melodies and rich wonderous harmonies. This is probably the most underrated America album of their career. The album was released in 1976.
# 4 – Homecoming
In 1972 America released their second album entitled Homecoming. This was an amazing record that despite only one hit single remains an album that should be in every classic rock fan’s collection. That one hit single entitled “Ventura Highway,” was a stunning song for the ages. It became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. It’s one of those songs that you just want to pop in the care 8 track player…oops I mean USB stick and roll down the window. In fact, that goes for the rest of this fabulous album. Other standout songs included “To Each His Own, Don’t Cross The Rivers, Only In Your Heart and California Revisited.”
# 3 – Hearts
The Hearts album featured our favorite America song of all time in the single “Sister Golden Hair.” So maybe we are a little biased towards this album. However, we think a lot of other people felt the same as the proof is on the charts. “Sister Golden Hair,'” went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. The follow up single “Daisey Jane,” also became a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a dear fan favorite. Hearts was America’s fifth album released and one of their top 3 albums of all time at least in our opinion. The album itself also did extremely well on the Billboard Album charts where it peaked at number four in a year where there was so much competition from all the great classic rock stars of the 1970s.
# 2 – Holiday
1974 was a magical year in music. So many classic records and hit singles were released. America did their patr in contributing to that classic year with their very special Holiday album. The album contained two of the band’s biggest songs in the hit singles “Tin Man and Lonely People.” Both songs were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. “Tin Man,” is one of Dewey Burnell’s greatest songs with the memorable lyric ” No Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have” A lyric one never forgets.
# 1 – America
At number one on our Top 10 America Albums list is the grand album simply entitled America. This was the band’s debut album that was released in 1971. The album contained multiple hit singles including “I Need You,” and the band’s signature song “A Horse With No Name,” which was originally released as a single that was not on the original pressing but was quickly added to the album. The America album became the band’s first and only album to hit number one on the Billboard Album Charts. The record is largely responsible for inspiring the soft rock movement of the early 1970s along with artists such as James Taylor, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce.
Top 10 America Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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