Dec 122011

I confess to being rather pleased that I managed to stump the Hall on my recent Mystery Date suggestion. Even sweeter was the fact that the song in question was a somewhat fluffy pop confection rather than some obscure and arcane bit of prog, which I could have so easily submitted. Mr. Moderator revealed it to be “A Night on the Town (With Snow White)” by Crack the Sky on last week’s Saturday Night Shut-in program. Mr. Mod helpfully went into the history of an all-but-forgotten band that in a kinder universe would have been one of the major acts of the late 1970s. I want to emphasize here that the Mystery Date song is not really representative of CTS’s ability. I present my evidence to the Hall jury…after the jump!


  4 Responses to “Coulda Been a Contendah”

  1. Interesting backstory — demi-prog or art-pop? I remember Crack The Sky albums being a staple in the cutouts at Target in Minneapolis. Lifesong, I am pretty sure, also was the label Henry Gross, who’s had the Carl Wilson-inspired hit about the dead dog “Shannon.”

  2. pudman13

    OK, this is a band I know well, and I have a few comments about this history. I love the first album and agree that its a lost classic that well should have been much more renowned than it is. But I stop there and completely disagree with the critical POV about ANIMAL NOTES. The second album was a HUGE letdown after the first, and subsequent work was even worse (though I sure do love “Lighten Up McGraw” from the third LP.) As talented as they were, I’m just not sure they had long term songwriting inspiration in them. I should also note that they’re a rare band where you really do need to hear one of their live albums to truly understand them. The live albums are hit and miss with some embarrassing moments, but the mix of styles, interjection of comedy, and extended songs offer a completely new glimpse of who they are. Try to dig up a live version of “Ice,” which may or may not have been the best song on the debut, but when stretched to about twice its 6-minute studio length in concert, it’s absolutely positively their best song. It’s a shame they didn’t record the complete version in the studio for that album.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Not really my flavor, too much Kentonite nonsense in there. To my ears, like a combo of Rush, Cheap Trick and, I dunno, Yes or something. I mean, I don’t hate it, but all those Kansas-like harmonies just sorta hurt my ears after a while. Thanks for sharing, though — seriously!

  4. Really nice piece on a band worthy of some modern-day remembrance. The first two songs had a prock feel that made me think of my latent love for Be Bop Deluxe. Then the music takes a fascinating turn toward the, I’ll generously call it “ambitious” orchestral pop of Billy the Kid Joel. Musically that’s a giant YUCK for me, but i appreciated their reach and execution.

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