Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kayak - 1977 - Starlight Dancer

Starlight Dancer

01. Daughter or son (3:38)
02. Starlight dancer (4:59)
03. Want you to be mine (3:38)
04. Letdown (2:49)
05. Irene (4:24)
06. Golddust (2:39)
07. May (4:42)
08. Turn the tide (3:36)
09. Dead bird flies forever (4:18)
10. Sweet revenge (3:33)
11. Where do we go from here? (4:40)

- Ton Scherpenzeel / pianos, synthesizer, organ, harpsichord, vocals
- Charles Louis Schouten / drums, percussion, marimba, vocals
- Johan Slager / guitars, vocals
- Max Werner / Mellotrons, percussion, vocals
- Theo de Jong / bass guitar

Guest musicians:
- Fred Leeflang / soprano saxophone
- Rick van der Linden / Yamaha GX1 synthesizer

As much as I love Kayak, this album clearly comes from their poppy rather than their prog period. Not that I find something wrong with that, but others will. For me, it is a 4 star recommendation as far as I'm concerned on the strength of the best songs (five score 9/10 or 10/10, this represents about 1% of all songs that score this high on the DP list). In a prog site, 3 stars should suffice though. 1. Daughter or son (3:38) A nice enough melody, but there is nothing special about this song. Not exactly a catchy opener. 7/10. 2. Starlight dancer (4:59) One of my all-time favourite songs. Bohemian rhapsody meets Star Wars. This is the one song that would have warranted a longer version, building upon the many gorgeous themes. Still 10/10. 3. Want you to be mine (3:38) One of the better tracks certainly, great vocal effects, good melody, good execution. 8/10. 4. Letdown (2:49) What's in a name. A song without much pretention, straightforward poppy, and utterly disposable. 6/10. 5. Irene (4:24) A beautiful instrumental, for me in the top10 instrumentals of all time. A melancholy melody, with instrumentation dominated by various keyboards, and beautiful electric guitar work. 9/10. 6. Golddust (2:39) An interesting interlude, more inventive than tracks 1 and 4. Short but effective. 8/10. 7. May (4:42) A beautiful little ballad, piano dominated. Gorgeous melody, great singing. Needed a lot more variation to score a 10/10 though. 9/10. 8. Turn the tide (3:36) One of the better up-tempo songs of Kayak (I seem to like them best in their ballads). Should have been a world-wide hit, really. A solid 9/10. 9. Dead bird flies forever (4:18) This is one of Kayaks best songs, and it is a pity that it is so little known even in Holland. It is a gorgeous ballad, more akin to early Pink Floyd than anything else. I still find it incomprehensible that it was cut from the album for the US release in favour of some older compositions. 10/10. 10. Sweet revenge (3:33) Back to up tempo, one of the more rocking tracks, great keyboards. 8/10. 11. Where do we go from here? (4:40) Reminiscent of Alan Parsons more than anything else. Beautiful keyboards intro promising a little more than the song eventually delivers. Still a solid 8/10. If you do not like your prog on the poppy side, better not venture here. If you have a more open mind in this respect, this is a great album to sample the poppier side of Kayak.



  2. One of my favorite albums from Kayak. The US version has different songs though.