The 10 Greatest Songs By America
via Musikladen / Youtube
America helped in jumpstarting the popularity soft-rock genre in the 70s – and that’s a fact. The harmonies of America (Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley) were among the best of their day. They had an unmatched ear for arrangement, and their songs like “Horse With No Name” and “Ventura Highway” are now considered timeless masterpieces. Below, we’ll delve further into America’s song catalog that will surely put a smile on your face.
“A Horse With No Name” – America (1972)
America released its debut single, which was titled “A Horse With No Name.” It quickly climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, becoming one of the band’s only two songs to ever reach number one on those charts during their history.
“I Need You” – America (1972)
The second single from their first album, “I Need You” delves into more traditional American music in the vein of “A Horse With No Name.” You can hear how well they harmonize on this rich track.
“Ventura Highway” – Homecoming (1972)
Dewey Bunnell said in an interview via Songfacts about how he came up with the song. “I remember vividly having this mental picture of the stretch of the coastline traveling with my family when I was younger. Ventura Highway itself, there is no such beast, what I was really trying to depict was the Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1, which goes up to the town of Ventura.” The song remains one of the band’s greatest tracks ever recorded.
“Tin Man” – Holiday (1974)
America makes another pop culture reference to The Wizard of Oz in their song “Tin Man.” The song was a smash for the band, climbing all the way to number four on the Billboard charts.
“Lonely People” – Holiday (1974)
It was in response to the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” that “Lonely People” was composed. According to Dan Peek, “Eleanor Rigby” is an “overwhelming picture…of the masses of lost humanity, drowning in grey oblivion,” therefore the song represents the lighter side of it.
“Daisy Jane” – Hearts (1975)
America’s song “Daisy Jane” has been a favorite for decades. With the help of “Daisy Jane” as a radio staple, the group secured one of their most financially successful albums, Hearts.
“Sister Golden Hair” – Hearts (1975)
Gerry Beckley was the songwriter of the song “Sister Golden Hair,” which was included in America’s fifth studio album titled Hearts (1975). It was their second single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and it stayed at the top spot for one whole week.
“Today’s The Day” – Hideaway (1976)
According to Dan Peek, Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” was influenced by “Today’s the Day.” The song was the number-one single in the United States for eight consecutive weeks, beginning in November 1976 and ending in January 1977.
“You Can Do Magic” – View from the Ground (1982)
Recording of “You Can Do Magic” took place following Peek’s departure from the band in the late ‘70s. It connected the band’s 1970s style to the music they would make in the 1980s.
“Can’t Fall Asleep To A Lullabye” – Perspective (1984)
Not quite a household name, but with a cameo from Journey’s Steve Perry, “Can’t Fall Asleep To A Lullabye” is certainly deserving of its inclusion here. Billy Mumy, who portrayed Will on the 1960s TV series Lost in Space, is recognized as a co-writer of the song, which is another interesting fact.