Reviewed by Eric on 23 May 2005
The late rock critic Lester Bangs once said ‘never trust a band with a logo’. Whatever. Knowing Bang’s writings and attitude, he thought The Ramones and Velvet Underground had it all figured out? The Kayak logo is a classic, up there with the Yes and Angel logos and it was part of the rock scene and culture of the time.
This CD contains two of the best Kayak albums in my opinion. Having said this, I bought the US/ Janus Records version of Starlight Dancer when it first came out and what we have here is not that record. The US version featured artwork from the 1976 release The Last Encore, and the mix of I Want You to Be Mine is a bit different on this disc as is the track listing. To be honest, I prefer the US version despite its poor sound (something Janus was infamous for). Special mention for one of the most hauntingly beautiful prog instrumentals I have ever heard- Irene.
Phantom Of The Night featured former Kayak roadie Ed Reekers on vocals (check out his wonderful solo album) is as equally good, and the US cover art is far more appealing than the ‘Grim Reaper’ cover of the European version. What was that about? In fact Keep the Change did get some airplay here in the States, yet the album did wind up in the cut-out bins rather quickly.
Years ago I was in contact with Ton Scherpenzeel and he told me he never believed Kayak had any following in the US. The label I was working for at the time tried to convince him otherwise, but it wasn’t worth the effort to pursue it any further. Still, I love this band, always have, and always will. Logo and all.