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Crack the Sky is an American progressive rock band formed in Weirton, West Virginia, in the early 1970s. In 1975, Rolling Stone declared their first album the "debut album of the year", and in 1978, Rolling Stone Record Guide compared them to Steely Dan.[1] Their first three albums charted on the Billboard 200. In 2015, their debut album was ranked number 47 in the Rolling Stone list of "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time ".[2] The band continues to release albums and perform to a small but devoted fan base to this day.

Crack the Sky traces its roots to early-seventies bands called Uncle Louie and Sugar. Uncle Louie featured John Palumbo on vocals and Rick Witkowski on guitar, while Sugar featured Joe Macre on bass and Jim Griffiths on guitar. Witkowski and Palumbo had auditioned for Terry Minogue, a nephew of Terry Cashman of CashWest Productions. Minogue convinced CashWest to give them a development deal so they could get a band together and record demos. Minogue later said, "They played some of the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life." Words (as the band was then known), initially a 10-piece band, sized down to five core members. The first incarnation of Crack the Sky included drummer Joey D'Amico, bassist Joe Macre, John Palumbo, Rick Witkowski and Jim Griffiths on guitar. During that time, CashWest Productions started Lifesong Records, and Crack the Sky became the first band to release an album on that label.

In 1975, the band released their first album, the critically acclaimed eponymous Crack the Sky, which reached 161 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Although praised by The New York Times and declared the "debut album of the year" by Rolling Stone, promotion and distribution problems with Lifesong Records prevented its widespread success.[1] According to Terry Minogue, "Records were promised but never arrived at the distribution centers. The record would be on the radio but there would be no product on the store shelves or visa versa [sic]. When people wanted it, it would never be available."[1] By what some[who?] termed blind luck, the marketing did work in Baltimore, only because a surplus of records was shipped there and put on display in stores when the album was receiving radio play. Subsequently, the album became very popular in Baltimore. Laidback Larry Allen, music director at WYDD in Pittsburgh, professed love for the album and played Crack the Sky in heavy rotation, but no other place did.[citation needed] In 2015, their debut album was ranked number 47 in the Rolling Stone list of "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time".[2]

Animal Notes, the band's second album, was intended originally as a rock opera about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but in production, the concept was reduced to only one song, "Rangers at Midnight". Like the band's debut release, it too was critically acclaimed, reaching number 142 on the Billboard 200 album chart, performing better than their first album. This time, the high concept and lack of "radio singles", due to the band's disdain for commercial music, contributed to lack of sales. The song "We Want Mine" was a slam at Lifesong Records for royalty withholdings.

By this time, Crack the Sky had finished two cross-country tours and had opened for Styx, Supertramp, Rush, Foreigner, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, ZZ Top, Kansas, Edgar Winter, Frank Zappa, and Boston.

In 1980, Palumbo reunited with Witkowski and DePaul to reform the band and released White Music later that year. This record featured a number of the "singles-quality" songs that had earlier proved elusive to the band, including "All American Boy", "Skin Deep", "Techni Generation", and "Hot Razors in My Heart". "Techni Generation" saw small airplay in the Pittsburgh area during this time.

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" The album peaked at 186 on the Billboard 200, and received a mixed review from People.[1] During this time, this lineup performed occasionally in the Baltimore area with Ziegler joining on bass.

Quelle: Wikipedia

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