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KAYAK

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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Kayak biography
Founded in 1972 in Hilversum, Netherlands - Disbanded in 1982 - Reformed in 1999 (still active as of 2017)

KAYAK is a Dutch band, originating from the early seventies. The band began as a symphonic progressive rock act with an emphasis in songwriting, but from 1977 on KAYAK changed direction moving into crossover territories. KAYAK revived in the 21st century, recording new albums and touring again.

The original line-up of KAYAK was quite strange. Most members were trained musicians at the conservatoriums of Holland. Max WERNER was a professional drummer that had to sing and Pim KOOPMAN was a professional piano-player that had to play the drums (which actually was his true love). Luckily Ton SCHERPZEEL was able to play on the keyboards, which was his profession. Later on, from 1977, Pim KOOPMAN left the band and Max WERNER became the drummer. A long-time fan, Edward REEKERS became the new vocalist.

Their debut "See See The Sun" (1973) is often seen as their biggest contribution to the symphonic prog genre. Their mix of na´ve, but very melodic symphonic songs is attractive and evokes early GENESIS, YES and some have mentioned SUPERTRAMP (which I never fully understood). KAYAK has two main composers, Ton SCHERPENZEEL and Pim KOOPMAN. The typical classical influenced style of SCHERPENZEEL remained recognizable throughout KAYAK's long career. The vocals of Max WERNER ('73-'77) are very distinctive because of his high-pitched voice that has a powerful strength-through-weakness appeal. KAYAK used many of the recognizable symphonic prog key-instruments, such as Moog and Mellotron. KAYAK's second album in 1974 was a good continuation of KAYAK's melodic/symphonic prog style, but it had a bigger focus on long compositions which was profitable for the music. "Royal Bed Bouncer" (1975) continued this course, whilst "The Last Encore" (1976) has a distinctive atmosphere with lots of great progressive songs that were perhaps the most original the band created in their progressive period. The first four albums of KAYAK are recommended to fans of the symphonic progressive rock genre.

After this the band wanted to have better sales and changed direction in to pop-territories with "Starlight Dancer" (1977), which only had the title track as a progressive song. The 1979 album "Phantom of the Night" became the biggest hit in the charts, but in the beginning of the eighties they disbanded after making their last progressive effort; the 1981 semi-p...
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Golden Years of Dutch MusicGolden Years of Dutch Music
Universal 2015
$12.25
$15.24 (used)
Phantom Of The Night / Starlight Dancer ... KayakPhantom Of The Night / Starlight Dancer ... Kayak
Reissued · Studio
Vertigo Phonogram
$34.99 (used)
Phantom of the Night-The AnthologyPhantom of the Night-The Anthology
Renaissance Digital 2009
$1.99
$2.16 (used)
See See the SunSee See the Sun
Remastered
Esoteric 2012
$10.24
$20.53 (used)
SeventeenSeventeen
Insideoutmusic 2018
$9.44
$12.98 (used)
Anywhere But HereAnywhere But Here
Renaissance Digital 2012
$2.98
$10.85 (used)
MerlinMerlin
Remastered
Pseudonym 2003
$107.66
$23.05 (used)
KayakKayak
Remastered
Esoteric 2012
$13.71
$27.76 (used)
Journey Through Time: Complete Studio Album CollectionJourney Through Time: Complete Studio Album Collection
Box set
Imports 2017
$399.99
Royal Bed BouncerRoyal Bed Bouncer
Remastered
Esoteric 2012
$18.99
$20.53 (used)
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KAYAK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KAYAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 139 ratings
See See The Sun
1973
4.03 | 139 ratings
Kayak II [Aka: Alibi]
1974
3.77 | 107 ratings
Royal Bed Bouncer
1975
3.45 | 81 ratings
The Last Encore
1976
3.09 | 69 ratings
Starlight Dancer
1977
3.47 | 85 ratings
Phantom Of The Night
1978
3.17 | 64 ratings
Periscope Life
1980
3.33 | 92 ratings
Merlin
1981
3.77 | 88 ratings
Close To The Fire
2000
2.82 | 52 ratings
Night Vision
2001
3.88 | 127 ratings
Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen
2003
3.89 | 82 ratings
Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man
2005
2.66 | 67 ratings
Coming Up For Air
2008
3.33 | 58 ratings
Letters From Utopia
2009
3.50 | 49 ratings
Anywhere But Here
2011
3.73 | 52 ratings
Cleopatra - The Crown Of Isis
2014
3.83 | 124 ratings
Seventeen
2018

KAYAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.86 | 26 ratings
Eyewitness
1981
3.61 | 21 ratings
Chance For A Live Time
2001
4.31 | 13 ratings
KAYAKoustc live
2007

KAYAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.76 | 28 ratings
In Concert - Merlin, Bard Of The Unseen
2003
2.46 | 9 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
2006

KAYAK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.35 | 19 ratings
Starlight Dancer (US)
1978
1.62 | 4 ratings
The best of Kayak
1978
3.00 | 4 ratings
Phantom Of The Night (Italian Production)
1978
4.04 | 7 ratings
Original Tapes
1988
3.20 | 6 ratings
Kayak
1988
3.08 | 10 ratings
The Best Of Kayak
1988
3.12 | 6 ratings
Original Hits
1995
3.62 | 11 ratings
3 Originals
1998
3.97 | 7 ratings
The Singles
1999
4.19 | 8 ratings
See See The Sun / Kayak
2000

KAYAK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
See See the Sun / Give It a Name
1973
2.10 | 2 ratings
Lyrics / Try to Write a Book
1973
4.00 | 1 ratings
Chance for a Lifetime / My Heart Never Changed
1975
3.00 | 1 ratings
Want You to Be Mine / Starlight Dancer
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Phantom of the Night / Ivory Dance
1978

KAYAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 82 ratings

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Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars In a Rock Opera about a character who really existed, it's also important that the novelization is coherent with the real history as much as possible. Another important required characteristic is that the story flows from one song to the other without having to interrupt it too often by a narrator. Last but obviously not least, the music must be good. KAYAK surely succeeds in creating good music to support the story. Both the songs and the instrumental symphonic parts are good and the passages are melodic but never trivial as usual with this Dutch band. I don't know if a real musical has ever been performed. Probably not. KAYAK is a band that usually doesn't perform out of its Country, mainly beacause its mastermind Ton Scherpenzeel doesn't want to put a feet on an airplane and this is quite a big limit.

Back to the story: the character of Michel de Notre Dame, aka Nostradamus is famous for his hermetic profecies, and there's a huge amount of books about him and his writings. In a "compact version" of this opera, released as a single CD, there's a narration, in English and in Dutch about what the true story might have been, with an interesting, realistic, hypothesis.

An exhaustive review of all the songs would take long and wouldn't be of any use if one is interested in this double CD. Some of the songs are really excellent and who is practical with the musical style of KAYAK will find here them at their best.

Being it an Opera, some themes are recurring several times. "Celestial Science" and "A Man with Remarkable Talents" are two of themost important themes, but my personal favorite is "Save My Wife" which is dramatic, sad and has a melodic structure tytpical of the best KAYAK songs.

A great concept album from the same land of "The Human Equation". It's a pity that while Arjen Lucassen has been able to bring his one to a theather and to a DVD, KAYAK failed to do the same. A complete Rock Opera that probably will never be peroformed on stage, if not just by the band playing the songs.

 Close To The Fire by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.77 | 88 ratings

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Close To The Fire
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars My first encounter with Kayak was when I went to the record store way back when, and asked the clerk if there was anything new and interesting and he suggested Kayak's "Phantom of the Night". It ended up becoming one of my personal favorites back then, but especially because of the emotional tracks more than the upbeat ones. "Daphne (Laurel Tree)", "Phantom of the Night" and "Ruthless Queen" became songs I loved to sing out loud. After 1981 however, they suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth and I always wondered what happened to them. When I joined up on this site several years back, I was quite surprised to see they were alive and kicking again, so I started to check out some of their newer albums.

Kayak was one of those bands that played pleasing progressive rock and formed their band back in 1973, releasing some decent and accessible prog albums through the 70s. Then, after the release of "Merlin" they split up around 1982, and not much was heard about them for several years. Two of the band's founders, Ton Scherpenzeel and Pim Koopman decided to start working on some new material, but without intending to release it as Kayak, until Max Warner, the band's original lead singer, decided to have a go at the new lyrics to the new songs. When that experience ended up being positive, they decided to bring the band back together, at least with most of the same line up they had for the album "Royal Bed Bouncer". Thus, "Close to the Fire" released in the year 2000, was born. Even though Warner didn't want to continue past this, Scherpenzel and Koopman decided to continue on. The band is still putting out occasional albums and making top-notch crossover prog, however, only Scherpenzeel is the sole original member.

The music on this album still has that accessible Kayak sound that made them popular in the Netherlands and made them well known internationally. The big difference is that the album gives the band an updated sound, as if they were never even gone for several years. There are upbeat tracks and slower ballads, just like their fans expected from their previous albums, but the music has a slight edge that gives them their progressive status, though it definitely isn't what you would call heavy prog by no means, yet it is still a cut above the standard fare with emotional guitar solos, excellent keyboard and synth hooks and the occasional quirkiness.

Don't expect anything groundbreaking here however. There is really nothing astounding here either. The music is pretty safe, nothing really challenging, it just rides the line between power pop and light progressive music. As in the past, there are some nice guitar melodies, synth solos and a variation of tracks from slow ballads to moderate flowing melodies to upbeat and happy songs, with a slight touch of progressive sensibilities just to keep things somewhat interesting, but nothing that demands complete attention. They are songs that you can be inclined to sing along with, but, as was the case with "Phantom of the Night", nothing that will really etch itself into your psyche or soul. It's good, but it's also quite easy to listen to, so it's lasting power is doubtful. There are a couple of things of interest here, namely that "Full Circle" has a guitar solo from guest Adam Latimer of "Camel", and that the last track is a reimagining of one of Kayak's classics from the "Phantom of the Night" album, the song "Ruthless Queen" sung by guest Syb V.D. Ploeg.

In the end, it is good to hear their soft prog return, but more heart and soul will be required to produce an album that will leave an impact. Close to the Fire is a good 3 star album, but nothing that will help the band become progressive superstars.

 Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 82 ratings

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Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by MalenaRoss

5 stars Amazing concept symhonic rock opera by Kayak. I think it`s remarkable album by truely talanted band leaded by Ton Scherpenzeel. Please do not compare to Alan Parsons or Camel - it`s differet - it`s quite unique. What a great mixt of a story and musical ideas - you can hear Ton`s modulation and his playing is fabulous. Also i do like lead singers. It has powerful anthems , superbly gentle ballads , fairy instrumentals - Friend of the Star - wow! please dig into it, to me it`s even cooler than Merlin - but it`up to you to decide. Give it a try! 5 stars for sure!!
 Starlight Dancer by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.09 | 69 ratings

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Starlight Dancer
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by WFV

2 stars Faceless pop rock with prog flourishes that follows the formula Genesis used for success during this period. Of course Genesis had by far the better musicians but Kayak, as they always do, give it their best go. There are some titles I wouldn't mind hearing again, but the rest is bland. None of the instruments really stand out and the vocals pretty much follow the same formula. The harmonies aren't really that prevalent, there's little mellotron and the hooks don't dig in. Sometimes I like these later seventies records where the band morphs their prog sound to fit the times. Camel's Breathless comes to mind. This one, however, can go back on the scrap heap.
 Seventeen by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.83 | 124 ratings

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Seventeen
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Let me start by saying that I've never listened to Kayak prior to the release of this album. This is quite a shame since I've now gone back and explored some of their catalogue and found it to be quite impressive. So if you're in the same spot as me and love crossover prog bands like Supertramp, Barclay James Harvest, ELO, Procol Harum etc then don't hesitate and give Kayak a go.

My first encounter with Kayak occurred just a few months ago when I stumbled upon a video trailer for Seventeen on InsideOutMusicTV YouTube channel. I have heard of Kayak before but somehow assumed that they were similar to their countrymen Golden Earring and thus was nothing that would interest me. The music that I've heard in the trailer really sparked my interest due to the strong melodies, stellar keyboard work from Kayak veteran Ton Scherpenzeel and the interesting band lineup that featured Kristoffer Gildenl÷w (ex-Pain of Salvation, For All We Know) on bass and Collin Leijenaar (ex-Neal Morse) on drums/percussion. The album was due in early 2018 and I was quite interested in hearing more of the material. I went on Spotify and found three singles All that I Want, Feathers and Tar and the shorter version of La Peregrina. All that I Want was easily the least progressive of the bunch but featured strong verse and chorus that made it enjoyable for me. Feathers and Tar and La Peregrina completely stole the show for me. Both of the songs begin with very melodic guitar style of Marcel Singor and he is, together with Ton Scherpenzeel, the one that has the most time in the spotlight during the album's duration. Singor really made an impression on me and I'm interested in hearing more of his other work in the future.

There was just no way that I could let this album pass me by so I did the obvious and ordered the 2-CD edition of the album from Kayak's website. Once I got the album, I must have played it at least a dozen times without every getting tired of the material. Once the opening track Somebody starts playing there's just no way for me to stop the album from going all the way to the last track To An End. Beside the shorter songs and interludes like X Marks The Spot and Ripples On The Water (featuring Andy Latimer on guitar), there are three centerpieces in the form of La Peregrina, Walk Through Fire and Cracks . I'd say that La Peregrina is easily my favorite out of the three and I really enjoy it musically and contextually (story about the famous pearl La Peregrina throughout different eras with reflections on immortality of objects and the mortality of men who think that they can own the pearl). This 12 minute opus feels much shorter than its playtime might imply and I still haven't gotten tired of this composition and all of its twists and turns. Walk Through Fire is probably the composition that has grown on me the most over time. At first, I didn't think much about the lyrics and the melodies but it did sort of fall into place eventually and Walk Through Fire is definitely a great piece of music that most prog fans will enjoy. Cracks is the last of the three longer compositions on Seventeen and is definitely my least favorite. I feel that the structure of this composition is all over the place and it lacks the melodic punch that Ton Scherpenzeel is usually known for with his material.

Even though we're still in the beginning of the year, I'm very certain that Seventeen will be one of my top 10 favorite albums that I will take with me from 2018. Not only does the album deliver in its centerpieces but there are just so many great moments spread out all over this album that makes for a great overall experience!

***** star songs: Somebody (3:04) La Peregrina (11:42) Falling (3:08) Feathers And Tar (3:14) God On Our Side (3:30)

**** star songs: Walk Through Fire (10:23) Ripples On The Water (3:40) All that I Want (3:47) X Marks The Spot (1:58) Love, Sail Away (3:12) To An End (3:32)

*** star songs: Cracks (8:50)

 Seventeen by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.83 | 124 ratings

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Seventeen
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

5 stars Review # 80. Kayak is a Dutch band that was formed in the early 70's. The band was active from 1973 up to 1982, during which, they released 8 studio albums. In 1999, the band was reformed and they are active since then. Almost a month ago, they released their new studio album named as Seventeen; which, as you can understand, indicates that it is the band's seventeenth studio album. Personally speaking, if I had to choose between their 2 periods, I would choose the 2nd one, because their music has improved a lot during the last 17 years. Seventeen is the band's first studio album in their new company Inside Out; I don't know if that had any impact on their music or not, but for me, Seventeen is one of their best works ever! From the ones that I've heard at least. (I have 7 of their albums in my collection).

In Seventeen, the band seems to be in great form, balance and inspiration, which is proven by the quality of the songs. Speaking about the band, I think that I should mention the participation of Andy Latimer of Camel as a special guest, but unfortunately in only one song. The album includes 12 songs and has a total running time of almost an hour. The 2 over- ten-minutes-long songs that are included here can be characterized as the album's highlights. But if you ask me, the whole album is a highlight by itself. I have it for almost 2 weeks now and I keep listening to it on and on. It is a wonderful piece of work, and with every new listen I discover something more in it.

This is one of these albums that you listen from the beginning 'till the end, without feeling the need to press 'skip'. Every song has something to offer to the listener, from the simplest 3:00 minute long one, up to the far more complicated 'epics'.

But have in mind that, the album's general style can be characterized as Prog with Pop influences. Maybe the Hard-core Prog fans will not appreciate it that much. There are many short songs included here, soft and mellow, in the style of Supertramp let's say.

I am not going to mention the songs one by one; there is no need to do so. If you want my opinion, give this album a couple of listens, and decide by yourselves. For me, it is an excellent and very enjoyable album, and I'm perfectly happy with it! Although it is still very early, I'm pretty sure that, at the end of the year, it is going to be included in my annual top-10 album list for 2018. Album's highlights: Somebody, La Peregrina, Falling, Walk Through Fire, All that I Want, Love Sail Away, God on our Side, Cracks. My rating is 4.5 stars.

 Seventeen by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.83 | 124 ratings

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Seventeen
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

5 stars Finally came the new album "Seventeen" of the famous Dutch band Kayak! This is their 17th album too. The band was founded in Hilversum, the Netherlands in 1972, and dissolved in 1982, but reorganized in 1999 and is still active today. Initially their style was the most popular symphony of the time, but later became somewhat popular. After the revival of the 21st century, they devoted themselves to the creation of rock opera. They released three pieces, each featuring Merlin and Nostradamus And Cleopatra's story, in which Merlin that Zhang is the re-production of the old album, a medieval style. These albums have received a good rating. Their symphony melodies are very attractive, Moog and Mellotron are used frequently, and keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel also joined Camel (it was during the dissolution of Kayak, Kayak reconstituted that he quit Camel back to the old ), Explains why Kayak's style is a bit like Camel, beautiful, meticulous, melodic, and sometimes majestic, with late-rocking and pop flavors (which is what keeps pace with the times). Last year, the band released a box called "Journey Through Time," recording all of their studio albums and two addendums, leaving a space in the box. The band explained that this was their 17th album. This year, 1 On May 12, Kayak fans are finally able to fill this space with a new album. The new album has been four years since their last album. The band said on the official website: "Kortom: het bootje slaat welens om, maar weigert voorlopig te zinken." (In short: Kayak Meaning kayak, then the name of the band with the sex) will turn, but will not sink.) Now, they are back! Speaking back to the new college, the reason for this is also because Camel guitarist Latimer also guest guest, Camel last year announced on the official website of the band assembly and explore their future path, can not think of his new special did not come out, Latimer and old friends Scherpenzeel made Kayak's new music together, and Latimer was busy himself, helping with the band's bassist Colin Bass. I have not got the exacting creator of "Seventeen" for each song, but there are many guitar solos that have the charm of Latimer ("Falling", "Walk Through Fire", "Ripples on the Water" ... oh my god! Latimer has been involved in the creation of almost all songs!), Elegant and long, soothing, and sometimes straight to the heart, soul-stirring! The album is exactly 60 minutes, the basic structure of three songs about ten minutes, plus nine more than three minutes of short songs, so that both the avant-garde and popular potential. Although such a structure is similar to the rock opera they had previously done, the band said it was not a concept album. In addition to symphony and opera blend, the new album is also some folk features, the introduction of some folk music melodies, and melodious flute (Latimer should not be the style), more than three minutes of short songs are beautiful and beautiful, some very witty relaxed, Some are rock-and-roll and form a contrast with those magnificent and complex long songs. Scherpenzeel's keyboard is still hot and pleasant, he is also used for the synthesizer as pure fire, the piano played smooth as water. For the three long songs, they are all standard symphonic shaking structures, which have brought back the feeling of the 1970s. They mainly focus on the melodious guitar solo. The piano is laid out in the back and strings are added to enhance the momentum. In addition, I must mention that the voice of lead singer Schwertmann did not show the old state, but it sounds very comfortable. The first song "La Peregrina" as its name, which a synthesizer solo very "pilgrimage" atmosphere. The second "Walk Through Fire" opening is the Latimer iconic style, followed by the Northwestern European folk style melody to join the last hot guitar, string and synthesizer have hurricane, the perfect ending in the passionate chorus. The third song "Cracks" is more conventional, without the first two so prominent, which is the album's weakness, the first half is too exciting, the second half is relatively mediocre. However, flaw does not cover Yu, the old cannon this combination has brought everyone a classic! Proper four-star semi-critical, the top10 contender of the year!
 Lyrics / Try to Write a Book by KAYAK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
2.10 | 2 ratings

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Lyrics / Try to Write a Book
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Even though KAYAK from Netherlands had some symphonic prog flavours especially on their earliest albums, their music had very clear pop tendencies right from the start, and naturally the pop side pretty much took over from prog during the seventies. Perhaps one could use the term symphonic pop with keyboard-oriented bands such as Kayak, Supertramp, The Alan Parsons Project, ELO, certain phaces of Procol Harum, etc. The A-side song of this single comes from Kayak's debut album See See the Sun (1973).

'Lyrics' sounds rather sweet - I mean, actually really too sweet - as a highly melodic song with an emphasis on piano. It's not exactly sentimental or emotional, more like playful and witty. The fast-paced notes keep jumping up and down. I'm not fond of it, because of the zaccharine taste.

The B-sider 'Try to Write a Book' wasn't originally included on the album, but appears on the reissue of it. My initial reception was "What a silly little song with horrible singing", but it deserves a closer listen. It's only two minutes short and yet it manages to be quite progressive. It has some resemblance to the psychedelic side of The Beatles ('I Am the Walrus', etc.). It has a monotonously beating but funnily twisted rhythm pattern. Luckily it's not plain humour music, just mock-serious black humour and wit. In the end, this song is slightly more interesting than the sweet 'Lyrics'.

Two stars will do, without any speculation whether the single would be a valuable rarity if you saw it on sale (possibly so).

 See See The Sun by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 139 ratings

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See See The Sun
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars (This review, like many others, is loosely based on a chapter of my prog book Aamunkoiton portit - soon on print again!) It seems that the Dutch band KAYAK aimed at an international fame right from the start, on the heels of Focus. On their earliest, more symphonic albums one can hear British prog influence, mainly from Yes and Genesis, but unfortunately the more commercial approach took over in the latter half of the seventies. My first acquaintance with Kayak was "The Best of" compilation, concentrating on the late 70's / early 80's period. Its music is rather sweet, highly accessible, melodic and often quite catchy too, not very far from the hits of The Alan Parsons Project, except with more emphasis on keyboards (and, of course, not quite that well produced). However, on their more recent albums they have again had more progressive ambitions. Now back to the beginning, for this is their debut.

When the band was founded in 1972, Ton Scherzenpeel, Pim Koopman and Max Werner were young music students in Hilversum. After Cees van Leeuwen joined on bass, Scherzenpeel (who had studied double bass as his major) concentrated on keyboards. He and Koopman had been writing songs already for five years. Kayak signed a contract with EMI, and the group entered a proper recording studio for the very first time. "We were like kids in a toy store as we were testing what we could do with the 16-track equipment", Scherzenpeel recalls in the CD liner notes. According to him, See See the Sun is an album full of ideas, not all of them being worked to perfection. After two weeks' studio sessions the tapes were taken to Abbey Road studios for Alan Parsons to mix. Dark Side of the Moon had made Parsons a hot name, so this was clearly a calculated move from EMI in order to increase the international appeal.

The results may not be the most original prog of the time, but surely it's well produced and extremely convincing debut from young musicians. The opening track 'Reason for It All' has notable Yes flavours up to vocal harmonies and Wakemanesque harpsichord decoratings. Slightly oversugared song 'Lyrics' already hints at the later pop direction. Several compositions contain ambitious complexity without feeling very meaningful. Among my favourites is the lengthy and dreamy 'Lovely Luna', in which I sense a similarity in atmosphere to 'The Moon Is Down' by Gentle Giant. 'Ballet of the Cripple' is like a mixture of Mellotron-heavy Genesis and the more straight-forward Electric Light Orchestra. In the end they were at their most original on emotionally loaded songs such as 'Forever Is a Lonely Thought'.

The adventures in the British prog influences continued on the albums Kayak (1974) and Royal Bed Bouncer (1975), on which Ton Scherpenzeel's creative force was perhaps at its strongest. After fairly good The Last Encore (1976) there occurred some changes in both the line-up and musical style; the most commercial phase produced the albums Starlight Dancer (1977), Phantom of the Night (1979) and Periscope Life (1980). See See the Sun is warmly recommended for listeners of keyboard oriented light prog - and Supertramp, whose album Crime of the Century (1974) Kayak's bright sound has been compared to.

 See See The Sun by KAYAK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 139 ratings

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See See The Sun
Kayak Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kayak's debut album finds the band crafting a blend of prog rock sensibilities and aesthetics with pop catchiness and accessibility. Compared to their subsequent self-titled album, which was rather mannered and polished, this time around the band's sound is a bit rougher and rowdier, and I'm inclined to give it a slight edge over its successor but not much of one. Both this debut and the subsequent released proved that an interesting sound could be developed by bridging the prog and pop worlds, and if you enjoy one you will probably enjoy the other, and See See the Sun deserves a certain kudos for blazing this trail not just for Kayak but for other artists like Supertramp.
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