Tranquility


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-72)

- Eric Dillon -- drums, percussion

- Jim Leverton -- bass

- Tony Lukyn -- keyboards, synthesizers, vocals

- Kevin McCarthy -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Terry Shaddick -- vocals, lead guitar

 

  line up 2 (1972-74)

NEW - Paul Francis -- drums, percussion (replaced Eric Dillon)

NEW - Bernie Hagley -- bass, flute (replaced Jim Leverton)

- Tony Lukyn -- keyboards, synthesizers, vocals

- Kevin McCarthy -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Terry Shaddick -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW - Berkley Wright -- vocals, lead guitar

 

 

 

- Maggie Bell (Paul Francis)

- Buster (Paul Francis)

- Caravan (Jim Leverton)

- Cressida (Kevin McCarthy)

- Fat Mattress (Eric Dillon and Jim Leverton)

- Headstone (Tony Lukyn)

- Hemlock (Eric Dillon and Jim Leverton)

- Jonesy (Bernie Hagley)

- Juicy Lucy (Jim Leverton)

- Lion (Eric Dillion)

- The Lonely Ones

- Rare Bird (Tony Lukyn)

- Vanity Fare (Bernie Hagley)

- Savoy Brown (Eric Dillon and Jim Leverton)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Tranquility

Company: Epic

Catalog: EPC 64729
Year:
 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 194

Price: $30.00

 

I'

 

"Tranquility" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) 

 

(side 2)
1.) 


45s:
Thank You/Saying Goodbye (Epic EPC 7603) 1971
Saying Goodbye/Happy Is The Man (Epic EPC 8243) 1972
Dear Oh Dear/Nice And Easy (Epic EPC 1486) 1973
Midnight Fortune/One Day Lady (Island WIP 6192) 1974

 

 

Also featured on the first album are appearances on electric bass by John Perry and Jim Leverton, both members of Caravan at different points in the future, as well as playing on many other records. There was also an extra drummer called Eric Dillon. This odd balance of personnel creates the suspicion that Tranquility was not so much an established band as a vehicle for displaying the considerable talents of Terry Shaddick who composes, writes lyrics, sings, plays guitar and has his fingernails painted in different shades of blue! Every one of the eleven songs is written solely by him except for two joint efforts. This is a strong, quirky collection of songs in a vaguely progressive, vaguely pop direction, given a considerable weight in performance by the four multi-layered vocalists, probably heard at their best on “Saying Goodbye” and “Lady Of The Lake”.

 
45s:
1 Thank You/Saying Goodbye (Epic EPC 7603) 1971
2 Saying Goodbye/Happy Is The Man (Epic EPC 8243) 1972
3 Dear Oh Dear/Nice And Easy (Epic EPC 1486) 1973
4 Midnight Fortune/One Day Lady (Island WIP 6192) 1974

rogressive Rock act. Keyboard player Tony Lukyn is ex-HEADSTONE, the act that would evolve into RARE BIRD. Guitarist Kevin McCarthy was previously with CRESSIDA. Drummer Eric Dillon and bassist Leverton, both ex-FAT MATTRESS, would later form Hard Blues Rock act HEMLOCK for a 1973 album. Leverton later worked with JUICY LUCY before reuniting with Dillon in SAVOY BROWN. During 1980 Dillon was a member of LION.

TRANQUILITY's second album, 'Silver' released in 1972, found Leverton and Dillon deposed by drummer Paul Francis and bassist Bernard Hagley.

In later years Terry Shaddick would become a much in demand songwriter penning a plethora of Pop hits including OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN's number 1 'Physical'!

 

"

(CBS Inner Sleeve Issue III, 1973)


Tranquility fell into that odd category of bands, such as Foghat and Rare Bird, or to bring the comparison slightly more up-to-date, Hole, who were almost completely unknown or ignored at home in the UK, but surprisingly popular in the United States. So who were they, and why is it, with the recent re-appraisal of similar bands, such as Rare Bird, with the advent of Internet music news-groups subscribed to by fanatical fans, that still no-one has heard of Tranquility in the UK?


The band was formed in 1971 by Ashley Kozak, formerly Donovan's manager, and built around the song writing abilities of Terry Shaddick. Kozak had long wished for a "...gentle tranquil band that could create its own hybrid of pop, rock and English folk music" (CBS Inner Sleeve Issue III, 1973), and in Shaddick, he saw the focal point for creation of just such a band.


In a way, the band started where Donovan and Open Road had left off, and the first album was a curious mix of Beatles/Hollies-type pop, through soft 'countryesque' folk songs, and into territory currently being tested by the recently reformed Rare Bird or new band Home. The LP's opening track, "Try Again", would even have comfortably fitted on Genesis' first Charisma LP, "Trespass".


We're moving ahead a bit here, however. The original line-up included a 'heavyweight', to make up for the lack of well-known names. Eric Dillon, direct from Noel Redding's ill-fated Fat Mattress, was brought in on drums., and the rest of the line-up was completed by Terry Shaddick, on guitar, Kevin McCarthy, from Cressida, on bass, Tony Lukyn, on piano and organ and Berkeley Wright, on lead guitar. Kevin initially played bass on four songs before leaving the band only to rejoin again some months later on guitar. In the meantime Eric's ex Fat Mattress buddy, Jim Leverton, was invited to join on bass. He stayed for a while before being replaced by John Perry from Grapefruit.


The band was signed to Epic, an offshoot of CBS Records, probably on the strength of the Donovan connection, as Donovan had been signed to Epic in the US throughout the 1960s, and had just signed with them in the UK, following the lapse of his Pye/Dawn contract. The band now went into Olympic Sound Studios in London with engineer Keith Harwood, to record their first album, before launching into a promotional tour of the USA. By the time the tour of the States was organised, John Perry and Eric Dillon had both left to be replaced by Bernie Hagley, on Bass, and Paul Francis, from Tucky Buzzard and Fuzzy Duck (sounds like the drinking game when you start to get it wrong!), on drums, also by now, Kevin McCarthy, had been drafted back into the band on rhythm guitar..


After a few warm-up dates in England, which include two nights at the Rainbow Theatre Finsbury opening for the Byrds, they were off to the USA. The response of the American crowds to this unknown British support act was quite astounding, and the band found themselves being offered extra dates for their tour, leading to an extra two months touring around America. This caused some problems, however, because the band had not yet released their LP, and the American fans clamoured for a record, as did their US record company.


To satisfy demand, Epic in the US rush-released the album "Tranquility", E 31084, with photos on the sleeve of the band before the change of line-up and not of the members that had actually toured the States. There were eventually three different versions of the rear cover art work released. Version one included some photos taken at Berkeley's wedding and showed Terry, Tony, Berkeley, Eric Dillon and John Perry (with Maggie Gapp, Ashley's assistant sitting on his lap) Version two was in black and white but showed the line-up that toured the States including Bernie Hagley and Paul Francis. The third version was also of the same line up but this time using colour photos shot in a Hollywood Studio and included a photo of Ashley and his wife Gypsy at the bottom of the rear sleeve.


The LP was released in the UK (EPC 64729) with an extra two tracks, "Black Currant Betty", and a snippet of "Saying Goodbye" played backwards as an introduction to "Try Again". To promote the album, the single "Thank You" / "Saying Goodbye" (S EPC 7603) was released with a production credit of 1971, despite being issued in early 1972. This was followed up in late 1972 by a special single re-recording of "Saying Goodbye", coupled with "Happy Is the Man" (EPC S 8243).



Mark Clinton Jones, Bristol, 17 September 2001. (www.vynilattic.co.uk)
Since writing the above (slightly updated 7 January 2003), I have received many e-mails from fans asking where they can get the CDs...well, no CDs yet, but I'm still nagging Sony for a reissue! You never know.



Here is an account of Tranquility appearing on TV in the US from Rick Snyder (by e-mail, 27 September 2001).


Yep -- I actually did 'see' "Tranquility". The television show, as I said before, was called "Headshop" and it broadcast in the early '70s on a small UHF channel (Channel 52, specifically) out of Corona, California. The show featured two hosts (at separate times) over their history: A young, articulate black gentleman named David Moses -- and the even more youthful-appearing and even *more* articulate Elliott Mintz (later gaining recognition as an entertainment newscaster on a major network -- and achieving much greater notoriety as a cautious public relations expert for such stars as Don Johnson and the dynamic duo of John & Yoko).

When "Tranquility" were announced, the TV screen revealed unto me a vision that would cause any reasonably insecure heterosexual male to recoil in near horror (we *are* remembering that this was the early '70s, aren't we?): Billowing puffy-sleeved shirts hovering over tapered, well-fitting satinesque bell-bottoms and, in the case of lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Terry Shaddick, some not-so-subtle mascara application overwhelmed by a full set of "I-dare-you-not-to-look-away" darkly painted fingernails. One must keep in mind that ol' Terry was not the best looking of the bunch to begin with; a rough complexion surrounding scraggly teeth, all topped off with a long, side-parted mane of "Brillo"-ish hair. However, when they launched into "Walk Along The Road", I was bought and sold by their tight instrumentation, inspired vocal harmonizing -- and, of course, by the greatness of the song itself. Very soon thereafter, my brother managed to find their debut LP in the used bins at the local independent record shop (quite possibly an audition copy that never managed to make the cut of some short-sighted radio programmer or record reviewer, due to the recency of its release).


The rest of their self-titled disc was not to disappoint, either. Songs like "Try Again", "Thank You", "Where You Are (Where I Belong)", "Lady Of The Lake" and "Happy Is The Man" kept the disc moving along at a brisk, yet high-quality, pace. I played the damn thing over...and over...and over -- to the point that my brother eventually relinquished ownership of the LP to me, since he'd probably had enough of it by then anyway.
When it came to trying to find fellow converts to bond with, there were no "Tranquility" fans to be found, however. Too pop to be part of either the upcoming "Glam Rock" or the established "Prog Rock" scenes that they shared some visual/musical elements with, it seemed that they had found themselves floundering in a musical limbo -- a marketing nightmare that consigned the debut LP of this talented bunch of neo-hippie gypsies to the used bins that I managed to discover them neglectably ensconced in.
With the release of "Silver" there was a glimmer of hope that they might get rescued from total obscurity as "Couldn't Possibly Be" and "Eagle Eye" managed to gather a little steam on the local airwaves. The promise of stardom still eluded them, however -- as their proverbial "15 minutes of fame" didn't seem half that by the time they decided to knock it on the head once and for all.


Thank you Rick
________________________________________

Singles

Thank You / Saying Goodbye (Epic S EPC 7603) - released 1972

"Saying Goodbye" is the LP version, timed at 5.42.

Saying Goodbye / Happy Is the Man (Epic EPC S 8243) - released 1972

"Saying Goodbye" is a specially recorded single version, timed at 2.45.

Dear Oh Dear / Nice And Easy (Epic EPC 1486) - released 1973

Midnight Fortune / One Day Lady (Island WIP 6192) - released 1974

Oddities

"The Driver's Engine" from "Silver" was covered by Henry Gross on his LP, "Plug Me Into Something".

It also looks as though Terry Shaddick finally made some money by composing Grammy Award winning songs for Olivia Newton John. Including her number one hit "Physical"

Berkeley Wright plays on the following albums (and has also played with Richard Pinhas)...

Pascal Comelade - Musiques Pour Films, Vol. 2 (1996) Banjo, Guitar
Pascal Comelade - Samedi Sur La Terre (1997) Guitar
Pascal Comelade - Musique de Genres (1997) Banjo
Pascal Comelade - Tal Jazz (1998) Banjo, Guitar

Bernie Hagley played saxophone on "Growing" by Jonesy (Dawn label LP). Before joining "Vanity Fare" in 1974

 

If you ever had a chance to experience the recordings and/or (even more rare) live performance of the band "Tranquility" from 1971 - 1974, you would never forget them —Tight, angelic three and four part harmonies, doubled in parts, were their staple, fueled with engaging and memorable melodies —Now, the aforementioned, really, for me, corresponds, specifically, with the pinnacle of their creative prowess, which all came together on their second album, "Silver" —I, along with my musical compatriots were sure they were going to cut a huge swath at the top level of the rock and roll food chain, as they seemingly had it all —I dug that album so much, I bought three copies! —Then, inexplicably, Tranquility was gone as quickly as they had arrived —Ever since those days, I had wondered —Oh, I had heard that leader and songwriter, Terry Shaddick had co-written Olivia Newton John's 1981 hit, "Physical" with Steve Kipner but, that's all anyone seemed to know —Even in the age of cyberspace, there just didn't seem to be a whole lot of info.

Fast forward to 2009 —I ran into a blog (no longer in existence) where folks were sharing their tales of Tranquility experiences and bemoaning the fact that "Silver" was not available in a digital format —Terry Shaddick's ex-wife, Virginia happened to chime in to share some interesting info; some, of which, seem to indicate that Terry was in L.A. and, still writing —She, also, wrote that she used to have "Silver" in digital on a hard drive but, she thought it had gone by the wayside —Well, a couple of weeks later, Virginia throws-down with a link for downloading mp3 versions of all the cuts from "Silver" —Okay, it's true —It is compressed audio —But, hey —My vinyl's probably not quite the way I remember —So, I was stoked to snag a copy —And, there ya have it —That's how I lucked upon this treasure

 

 

 


Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Silver

Company: Epic

Catalog: KE 31989
Year:
 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 194

Price: $30.00

 

 

Having garnered a spot opening for The Byrds during a brief 1972 US tour, the band's unexpected American success saw Epic Records offer them an opportunity to record a follow-up album. Heading back to England, the band went through a couple of personnel changes that saw drummer Eric Dillon replaced by Paul Francis, bassist Paul Leverton replaced by Bernard Hagley, and the addition of lead guitarist/singer Berkley Wright.  Produced by Ashley Koyaks, 1972's "Silver" didn't mark a major change in musical direction from their debut.  Epic clearly spent a little more money on the recording sessions (at least allowing the band to buy a couple of synthesizers for Tony Lukyn  - check out the opener 'Eagle Eye'), which served to give the album a fuller sound. With singer/lead guitarist Terry Shaddick again handling most of the writing chores (keyboardist Lukyn contributing the country-tinged ballad 'LInda'), the album found the band trying to find a musical sweet spot between blatantly commercial and hipper, rock oriented numbers.  Their musicianship remained impeccable - how many bands can claim three talented guitarists, let alone three good lead singers?  And that may well have been their downfall.  Pop fans were probably put off by their more rock oriented moves, while rock fans probably wanted little to do with their country, or pop moves.   In practical terms the overall impact was minimal, which meant if you admired the debut, the follow-up (which only saw a US release), was probably going to appeal to you as well.   

 

back cover left to right:  Paul Francis - Terry Shaddick - Berkley Wright - Tony Lukyn - Bernard Hagley

center front: Kevin McCarthy

- 'Eagle Eye' started the album off with a melodic rocker.  Kicked along by some nice jangle rock guitars, the song showcased Shaddick's knack for pretty and catchy melodies, as well as the band's patented lush harmony vocals.  To my ears, this one sounded a lot like a Terry Thomas and Charlie composition.   rating: *** stars

- Opening up with a slightly dreamy, almost lysergic quality, the mid-tempo ballad 'Can I See You' was one of the album highlights.  Simply a beautiful song with some killer harmony vocals, its hard to believe this one didn't generate some radio attention for the band.   rating: **** stars

- Penned by keyboardist Lukyn, the country-tinged ballad 'Linda' was one of the album's 'growers'.   With a breezy melody, the song's winning edge came in the form of some killer Shaddick acoustic slide guitar.   rating: **** stars

- 'Whip Wheel' started out as a decent enough pop song showcasing some nice Lukyn electric piano.  And then about two thirds of the way through, the song took an abrupt and unexpected change in direction heading towards a far harder, almost Floyd-styled hard-rock sound.  Powered by some David Gilmore-styled lead guitar, the results were great.  Short, but great.   rating: **** stars

- Kicked along by some stellar jangle rock guitars, 'The Driver's Engine' found the band returning to a country-rock orientation (emphasis on rock).  Another one that gets better the more you hear it - this one's always reminded me of something Mike Nesmith might have written and recorded with The Monkees.  Insidiously catchy.   rating: **** stars

- Another album highlight, 'Couldn't Possibly Be' may have had the album's strongest melody and when it got going, it was easily the toughest rocker.  Yeah, the lyrics were a bit spacey, but who cared.   rating: **** stars

- A breezy pop track with touches of English Vaudeville, 'Nice and Easy' found Shaddick and company stepping into their best Paul McCartney impressions.   Another one that climbed into your head and simply wouldn't leave, it would have made a nice single.    rating: **** stars

- While 'Nice and Easy' brushed up against Vaudeville, 'Dear Oh Dear' found the band diving headlong into the genre - imagine 'Winchester Catehderal' by the New Vaudeville Band and you'll have a feel for what this one sounded like.  Whatever cute factor the song initially had, quickly wore off leaving you to wonder what in the world Epic was thinking when they tapped it as a single.  rating: ** stars

- The title track captured the band at their most ethereal.  A haunting, harmony rich ballad, 'Silver' was easily the album's prettiest number. Admittedly, the freak out segment towards the end wasn't necessary, but it didn't detract from the overall song.  Imagine Terry Thomas and Charlie blending their voices with Crosby and Nash and you'd been in the right aural neighborhood.  rating; *** stars

- To my ears the brief acoustic closer 'The Tree' sounded like a hyper-sensitive Donovan track.  Probably the album's lone misstep.   rating: ** stars

 

As mentioned, the album spun off one single:

 

 

  Dutch picture sleeve

 

- 1973's 'Dear Oh Dear' b/w 'Nice and Easy' (Epic catalog number 5-10976)

 

It's not an album for everyone, but anyone who likes melodic pop is probably going to get a kick out of both of the Tranquility albums.

 

In an effort to support the album Epic brought the band back to the States slotting them as the opening act for a slew of nationally known bands including David Bowie, The Eagles, J. Geils Band, Humble Pie, and even Yes.  Unfortunately those shows did nothing to help sales and Epic subsequently dropped the band from its recording roster. 


"Silver" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Eagle Eye   (Terry Shaddick) - 3:54

2.) Can I See You   (Terry Shaddick) - 5:44   

3.) Linda   (Tony Lukyn) - 4:03

4.) Whip Wheel   (Terry Shaddick) - 5:16

5.) The Driver's Engine   (Terry Shaddick) - 3:38

 

(side 2)

1.) Couldn't Possibly Be   (Terry Shaddick) - 4:16

2.) Nice and Easy   (Terry Shaddick) - 3:12

3.) Dear Oh Dear   (Terry Shaddick) - 3:20

4.) Silver   (Terry Shaddick) - 7:20

5.) The Tree   (Terry Shaddick) - 1:05

 

The band spent the next two years trying to break in the US.  In 1974 they signed with Island apparently recording what was intended to be a third LP, though all to emerge was an instantly obscure single:

 

- 1974's 'Born Again' b/w 'One Day Lady' (Island catalog number WIP 6192)

 

Dropped by Island, the band called it quits and the members scattered.  

 

- Francis became a sessions player.

- Bernie Hagley was briefly a member of Jonesy and then joined Vanity Fare.

- Leverton hooked up with Caravan.

- Shaddick turned his talents to songwriting, enjoying a slew of hits with material like 'Physical' for Livia Newton John.

 

 

 

 

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