1975 Ambrosia – Holdin’ On To Yesterday
Four musicians who wanted to produce music that was a blend of musical styles chose the name Ambrosia to reflect that kind of mix. The four members were Burleigh Drummond on drums, Christopher North on keyboards, David Pack on guitar and vocals, and Joe Puerta on bass and vocals.
While all the members of the group shared at least some writing credits on their songs, David was the primary writer and Joe and Burleigh were his most frequent co-writers. The band’s music tended to be progressive in nature, but ballads kept creeping into their albums.
The group auditioned for A&M Records, but it was 20th Century Fox Records that signed the group and released their first two albums. Freddie Piro produced the band’s first album. The first single from the album was Holdin’ On To Yesterday, which peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1975.
Alan Parsons created a remix of the song with a pumped-up bass that sounds significantly better than what I remember hearing on the radio.
Alan also produced the band’s second album and all four members of the group played on the first Alan Parsons Project album. David later wrote, sang, and played on several of the later Alan Parsons Project albums.
The group’s second single had an unusual co-writer. Cat’s Cradle is a science fiction novel that Kurt Vonnegut wrote, and the novel contained a poem that the group put to music. The result was the single Nice, Nice, Very Nice, a single that peaked at only #63 on the Hot 100.
In 1976 the group was invited to contribute a song to the documentary film All This And World War II. The film interspersed video clips from World War II with music written by the Beatles and performed by a variety of other artists. The film bombed, but the creators made money from sales of the double album they released from the soundtrack. Ambrosia recorded the first song on the film, their new version of Magical Mystery Tour. The single managed to reach #39 in 1977 and proved to be a popular inclusion on their tours.
While the group only reached the top forty one more time in 1980, they continued touring for two more years. Bruce Hornsby joined the group briefly during that period before leaving for a successful solo career.
When the band’s 1982 album failed to connect with the public, the band broke up. David then produced a solo album in 1985.
In 1989, the group reunited and returned to touring. A few lineup changes occurred. The biggest change came when David announced he was leaving the group permanently in 2000. He became a Grammy-award winning producer who worked with a lengthy line of A-list musicians.
The band still continues to tour and maintains a website at https://www.ambrosialive.net/
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