Kayak - See See the Sun. 1973 Netherlands

Kayak - See See the Sun. 1973 EMI

We continue on with our Benelux theme, and more recently, those that have a new Esoteric reissue.

CD reissues: 1995 Pseudonym; 2012 Esoteric (UK)

Packaging details: The debut by Kayak was released in various countries via the EMI or Harvest imprints. The top cover is the original and all reissues have continued to use it (fortunately). The second cover shown here is the original USA release. The Pseudonym version has one additional (short) bonus track. The Esoteric reissue contains the usual comprehensive booklet filled with history and photos. I was too late in the game to get the Pseudonym copy, so I now own the Esoteric CD. I've never owned this on vinyl.

Notes: Kayak were about 3 years ahead of their time, whereby mixing pop music and progressive rock seamlessly. Their sound – as brought forth by others of course - would ultimately dominate American FM radio throughout the late 1970s, yet Kayak were nothing more than an aficionados pick for best band you’d never heard of. What’s most interesting, to me anyway, is that Kayak were the blueprint for the Midwest Progressive Rock sound that I frequently speak about on the CDRWL, and yet Kayak were not a band from St. Louis or Chicago – but rather from the distant Netherlands, a country more known for the quirky sounds of Focus or Golden Earring. While there is no doubting Kayak’s fondness for current era Yes, Kayak also pay homage to a number of popular bands including no less luminaries such as The Beatles. Alan Parsons’ contribution to this album can only be seen as an influence on the young engineer’s future career. Organ, mellotron, shifting signatures, and long tracks assure its progressive credibility, but in the end Kayak were pioneers of a later sound – one that wasn’t necessarily embraced by all, but for certain was popular in the arenas of the day. One track worth calling out is the stunning beauty of ‘Lovely Luna’.

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