Friday, February 8, 2008

Crack The Sky: Debut Vinyl LP

Crack the Sky is the debut album by American rock band Crack the Sky, released on LP in 1975 by Lifesong Records (catalog #LS-6000).
If you don't know who Crack The Sky is do yourself a favor and download this and Animal notes.
I have had these two LPs forever and listen to them frequently.
All the Crack The Sky albums I posted here are worth a download. The music is serious, the vocals are great, guitars are awesome. The lyrics by John Palumbo interesting and thoughtful. If you like prog rock, hard rock, intelligent music, whimsical like Zappa or Thomas Dolby or maybe even Martini Ranch then you know what you are in for. Ripped today in MP3@320, so enjoy this masterpiece.
I go to plenty of music blogs and see stuff posted of bands I never heard of and often I just fly by looking for something familiar. These guys wouldn't post their favorite albums to share if they didn't strongly think someone else out there would enjoy them as much as they have.

All songs written by John Palumbo

"Hold On" – 3:00
"Surf City" – 3:54
"A Sea Epic" – 6:33
"She's a Dancer" – 3:54
"Robots for Ronnie" – 4:39
"Ice" – 4:36
"Mind Baby" – 4:32
"I Don't Have a Tie" – 3:04
"Sleep" – 7:48

The band
John Palumbo — Lead vocals, keyboards, guitar
Rick Witkowski — Lead guitar, percussion
Joe Macre — Bass guitar, back-up vocals
Jim Griffiths — Lead guitar, back-up vocals
Joey D'Amico — Drums, back-up vocals

Additional musicians
Michael Brecker — Horns ("She's a Dancer", "Mind Baby")
Randy Brecker — Horns ("She's a Dancer", "Mind Baby")
David Sanborn — Horns ("She's a Dancer", "Mind Baby")
George Marge — Woodwinds ("Robots for Ronnie", "Sleep", "A Sea Epic")
Tom Jones — Trombone ("Sleep")

79MB, MP3@320, 40 Minutes

From Wikipedia
Crack the Sky is a progressive rock band formed in Baltimore,USA in the 1970s. They have had only meager success, but continue to release records to a small but devoted fan base to this day.


Crack the Sky traces its roots to an early seventies band called ArcAngel, which featured John Palumbo on vocals and Rick Witkowski on guitar.

Crack the Sky was formed in the mid-seventies by Palumbo and Witkowski, after they signed with Lifesong Records. In addition to Palumbo and Witkowski, the original band included other former members of ArcAngel: Joey D'Amico on drums, Joe Macre on bass, and Jim Griffiths on guitar.

In 1975, the band released their critically acclaimed first album, the eponymous Crack the Sky. Although declared the "debut album of the year" by Rolling Stone magazine, promotion and distribution problems prevented its widespread success.[1]

Animal Notes, the band's second album, was originally written as a rock opera about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Like the band's debut release, it was critically acclaimed, but the high concept and lack of "radio singles" contributed to lack of sales.

As a result of a breakdown in communications with their record label, and a divergence in creative approaches, Palumbo left the band in 1977 to pursue a solo career. The remaining band members, with vocalist Gary Lee Chappell, released Safety in Numbers in 1978. In addition, the live album Live Sky was released by this lineup of the band. Following this, Crack the Sky disbanded, and Classic Crack, a greatest hits compilation, was released by Lifesong in 1980.

In 1980, Palumbo reunited with Witkowski and keyboardist Vince DePaul to release White Music. This record featured a number of the "singles-quality" songs that had earlier proved elusive to the band, including "All American Boy", "Skin Deep", and "Hot Razors in My Heart."

Palumbo reformed the band once again in 1981 with DePaul, Carey Ziegler, Michael Taylor and John Tracey, and produced Photoflamingo. This release, and subsequent efforts including World in Motion 1 and The End, failed to garner the critical and public acclaim of the earlier releases, and the group disbanded again in 1983. A notable song from this era is "All Fly Away", about the fears of nuclear holocaust.

Palumbo released the studio album Raw in 1986. Although the album has the signature Crack the Sky sound and feel to it, it featured no past members of the band besides Palumbo (guitarist Jamie LaRitz is the only other musician credited).

Palumbo reunited Crack the Sky with Witkowski, DePaul, Ziegler, and D'Amico for a series of live shows in 1986 at the Baltimore club Hammerjacks. Between then and 1989 this band performed a number of shows in the Baltimore area, including Painters Mill Music Fair.

In 1988, Palumbo joined with Witkowski, DePaul and D'Amico to produce From the Greenhouse, in many ways a return to the band's classic sound, with solid efforts including the title track and the song "Lost In America". During this time, this lineup performed occasionally in the Baltimore area with Ziegler joining on bass.

Crack the Sky released Dog City in 1990. The period between then and 1996 saw little activity except for the release of the compilation disc Rare! in 1994.

Palumbo gathered the band together again in 1996 beginning a series of live shows at small venues in the Baltimore area. The band at this time featured the same lineup as 1993's The End, with the addition of Nat Kerr on keyboards. A new studio album, Cut, was released in 1999, as well as a double disc release featuring one of the band's live shows at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Maryland.


Crack the Sky (Rick Witkowski and John Palumbo), June 26, 2004Crack the Sky continues to perform occasional live shows and collaborate on new music under Palumbo's guidance. The albums Ghost and Dogs from Japan were released to critical acclaim in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and the band continues to enjoy a devoted fan following. The band completed a new concept album in 2007, entitled The Sale, which features the return of original bassist Joe Macre performing and co-producing the record with John Palumbo.[citation needed]


Full-length albums
Crack the Sky (1975, Lifesong)
Animal Notes (1976, Lifesong)
Live on WBAB (1976, Lifesong)
Safety in Numbers (1978, Lifesong)
Live Sky (1978, Lifesong)
Classic Crack (1980, Lifesong)
White Music (1980, Lifesong)
Photoflamingo (1981, Lifesong)
World in Motion 1 (1983, Criminal)
The End (1984, Criminal)
Raw (1986, Grudge)
From the Greenhouse (1989, Grudge)
Dog City (1990, Grudge)
Rare! (1994, Yodelin' Pig)
Crack Attic (1994, Renaissance)
Cut (1998, Stepford Wives-2007 Aluminum Cat Recordings)
The Best of the Rest (And Then Some) (2000, Winthrop)
Live—Recher Theatre 06.19.99 (2000, self-release)
Ghost (2001, self-release)
Dogs from Japan (2004, Red Line)
Alive and Kickin' Ass (2006, Lifesong)
The Sale (2007, Aluminum Cat Recordings)

Compilation appearances
Supper's Ready—A Tribute to Genesis (1995, Magna Carta) (song: "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)")
John Palumbo (Keyboards, guitars, lead vocals), Ian Palumbo (guitars, back-up vocals), Tim Deaner (back-up vocals), Dr. Maurice Hayes (narration)

Crack Pack horn section
Sometimes the band has a horn section—known as the Crack Pack Horns—accompany them at live shows or on album tracks.

Tom Williams — Trumpet (1980s–1990s)
Tom McCormick — Tenor saxophone (1980s)
Dave Fairall — Tenor & alto saxophone (1980s–2000)
Paul Soroka — Lyricon (1980s–1990s)
Chris Walker — Trumpet (1990s–2000)
J.J. Gunning — Trombone (1990s–2000)
Ronnie Fowler — Horns (1986)
Jim Stienfeld — Horns (1986)
Keith Zaffino — Horns (1986)


e said...

thanks for these. from all you've said and I've read since you posted these I'm in for a treat. much appreciated...

WVKayaker said...

Hopefully you won't be disappointed.
Thanks for the feedback e!

multielvi said...

Although I have all of these (and more) I just want to applaud you for showcasing one of the most underappreciated bands ever.

WVKayaker said...

Nice to hear from you again...How 'bout sharing those (and more) CTS albums?
Thanks for the feed back!

Anonymous said...

Here are some more goodies for Crack The Sky fans. First is one of their post-heyday albums "Cut", released in 1998. The lineup for this album is as follows.

John Palumbo - guitar, keyboards & vocal

John Tracey - drums & backing vocal. Lead vocal on "Hey Earl"

Carey Ziegler - bass

Bobby Hird - guitar & backing vocal

Rick Witkowski - guitar

Ron Zebron - guitar

Ali Palumbo & Kara Gilanelli - backup vocals

And here is the playlist.

1. Why Me?

2. Cut (The Sequel)

3. Oh Madonna

4. God

5. Eye To Eye

6. The Art Of Wondering

7. We Want Mine (Still)

8. Hey Earl

9. I'm Gonna Kill Myself

10. Little Stinky

Here is the link.

Next is a live broadcast from WBAB in Long Island NY. Originally aired in 1976 with the original lineup still intact. The CD was released in 1988 and is now pretty much a collectors item. The show is only 47 minutes so they added some tracks from "Live Sky" as filler. Since that album has already been posted, those cuts have been omitted from this download.

Here is the track list.

1. Ice

2. We Want Mine

3. A Sea Epic

4. Mind Baby

5. Rangers At Midnight

6. Wet Teenager

7. Hold On/Surf City

Here is the link.

The last one for now is "Rare!", a collection of outtakes, demos, and live cuts that was released in 1994. The quality is a bit poor on some of the demos, but it is still a disc that CTS fans will enjoy. Due to size restrictions download is in two parts.

The tracklist

1. Mr. President

2. Love Me Like A Terrorist

3. From The Greenhouse

4. Lost In America

5. Boilermaker

6. Mr. D.J.

7. Drifting Back To Motown

8. Dancing With The Fuhrer

9. Monkey Time

10. Last Time

11. Crying Father From Idaho

12. Jungle Man

13. Atlantic City

14. Blowing Up Detroit

15. Let It Be

Here are the links.

Anonymous said...

Thanks much for posting these; I have the first 2 albums, and always had treasured them. You saved me the hassle of recording them myself!

One comment though; the tracks here have virtually no bass, and sound very AM radio. The "Animal Notes" rip includes the song "Hold On - 02 Surf City.mp3", which is from the Debut album. It has a far richer sound, with the missing bass. What happened then, was it a bad rip, or what?

thanks, Deeno

Camarillo Brillo said...

Deeno...try using your eq to boost the bass...straight rip from the LP...good luck


wow, thanks for this record! unfamiliar with them, but stumbled upon it while looking for stuff about the new Mastodon record with the same title as this band (maybe others have now recently). I'm a huge prog, Zappa, Steely Dan, 70's fan, so this seems right for me!

You're apparently a dedicated blogger/sharer; thanks a lot for the work!


oh yeah, check out some of my own home recordings if you like, and please comment!

Camarillo Brillo said...

You're welcome and thanks for the feedback VARIABLE QUALITY!

What This Is All About

I've been collecting live music from various sources since the mid to late 70's. Radio shows, TV broadcasts, radio show pre-FM CD's and vinyl LP's and some trades. Most of the shows posted here, I recorded and ripped myself. I always had top of the line stereo equipment and cassette and open reel recorders for those on air broadcasts.

I've downloaded plenty of bootlegged concerts from various blogs. As a rule I will only post stuff from my collection and not what is already available out there.

I also post out of print CDs and LPs from my collection.
I will repost from my readers anything someone sends me as long as it is either out of print or something that's not from someone else's blog. If you want to share a link for a cool item on your blog, or someone else's, please feel free to post it in the comments........

Enjoy and please leave a comment and pass this blog along.

Can you believe that so many out there are starving for the old WHFS? Amazing!

If you leave a comment, how about using a nickname instead of Anonymous. At least make up something please. Thanks!

I have reconsidered my position...and will re-upload dead links, so long as you go to that particular post and make the request from the comments page...

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