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Kayak

With their instrumental prowess and keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel's facility at writing lyrics in English, you might be forgiven for mistaking Kayak for a bunch of clever proggers from London. But this Dutch band began in 1968 in the city of Hilversum, where Scherpenzeel and drummer Pim Koopman attended a music conservatory. After the addition of guitarist Johan Slager, bassist Cees van Leeuwen, and vocalist Max Werner, the group solidified by 1972 and commenced recording. Stylistically they featured the instrumentation and chops of progressive acts like Yes and Genesis, but the pop song structures of Supertramp and the Alan Parsons Project; as time passed they increasingly favored the pop side of the equation. Royal Bed Bouncer, the most even balance between these two styles, was to be a commercial and artistic high point for the band. They continued to meet with minor success throughout the '70s on a variety of record labels, and in 1974 toured in support of Queen -- a move that influenced the flavor of their later work.

Like most progressive bands, Kayak never had a terribly stable lineup; at one point they went through three bassists in as many years. With Scherpenzeel as the sole constant, Kayak's first lineup also proved to be their finest; but Koopman's asthma forced him to retire in 1976, and Werner was so tortured by stage fright and unfounded doubts over his singing ability that he demanded the vacated drum chair for himself, leaving the vocal duties to new member Edward Reekers. Scherpenzeel's central role in the band eventually wore on the others, and Kayak fell apart in 1980. Scherpenzeel continued on to work with the English band Camel and then compose primarily for the theater. Koopman and Reekers worked in music production and performance; Werner left the stage to become a postal worker; and van Leeuwen became -- of all things -- a prominent lawyer. The band reunited in 1997 for a Dutch TV special, though no new recordings have yet emerged. ~ Paul Collins
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen

1. Merlin

2. Tintagel

3. The Future King

4. The Sword In The Stone

5. When The Seer Looks Away

6. Branded

7. At Arthur's Court

8. The Otherworld

9. The Purest Of Knights

10. Friendship And Love

11. The King's Enchanter

12. Niniane (Lady Of The Lake)

13. The Last Battle

14. Avalon

x

Track List: Coming Up For Air

1. Alienation

2. Man In The Cocoon

3. Time Stand Still

4. Freezing

5. Medea

6. Daughter Of The Moon

7. Undecided

8. Sad State Of Affairs

9. About You Without You

10. The Mask And The Mirror

11. Selfmade Castle

12. What I'm About To Say

13. Wonderful Day

14. Broken White

15. Coming Up For Air

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I know I have mentioned this problem before (as has one other poster), but THIS BIO NEEDS TO BE UPDATED. I just finished listening to Avalon, from the album MERLIN: BARD OF THE UNSEEN, which came out in 2003, while one of the albums in your Selected Discography, COMING UP FOR AIR, appeared in 2005. Yet the bio's writer states No new recordings have yet emerged...an d between 1997--the apparent date of this bio--and 2015, Kayak released at least 10 albums! PLEASE catch up!
Report as inappropriate
Seems to me somebody out there ought to pay attention to these comments. As Johannes Wich-Schwart z pointed out, The bio needs to be updated--and that was 3 YEARS AGO. Please, admin/progra m m i n g people, I know you must be awfully busy, but don't you think that something should be done about a bio that is now so old that it's no longer accurate?

Report as inappropriate
Oops, sorry, I wanted to order airline tickets.
Report as inappropriate
The bio needs to be updated--Kay a k has released a slew of new albums over the past few years.
Report as inappropriate
I want you to be mine is a classic rock favorite
Report as inappropriate
Royal Bed Bouncers was definitely my favorite of all their lp's
Report as inappropriate
duuhh3
:-(

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