Lake: The Rock Band You Won’t Remember

Lake was a German rock band, popular in the late 1970s that had a debut album that sounded a lot like Foreigner and Supertramp. Two very good bands to be compared. I still have my vinyl copy of their debut album purchased in 1977, which I nearly wore it out from repeated playing.  Lake continued through the 1980s with a changing line and a progression of less successful albums.

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The first album was their best of their six studio albums.  They scored a contract with Columbia in the U.S. for several albums.  Lake combined hard rock and progressive rock, and nice production gloss.  The lyrics, written by vocalist James Hopkins-Harrison, are not sappy, they speak of love in the 1970s, sometimes heart-felt, sometimes lasting only a night of consenting lust.  Each song has a different tempo and feel, but consistently good musicianship.  The guitars and keyboards work together to create the rhythm and melody, with enough roughness to rock but enough polish appeal to pop audiences.

There were two singles from Lake, their debut album, “Do I Love You” and “Time Bomb.”

“On the Run”  – Based on a keyboard riff and guitar fills, this is hard rocking song, with strong melodies.  Vocals by singer James Hopkins-Harrison are great throughout the album.

“Sorry to Say” – This song songs a lot like Foreigner with the guitar and synthesizer combo.  A story about the realities of a one-night stand.

“Time Bomb”  – The second single from the album.  A bouncy song, a bit of gimmick, with soaring vocals and a very glossy production.  If you like Supertramp, this song is a very similar style.

“Chasing Colours” Electric piano, organ and guitar treat.  These guys could do no wrong on this album, the melodies are off the charts.  Bouncy riffs everywhere.

“Do I Love You”  – A mid-tempo ballad with strings and sweet harmony vocals, this is a very catchy. lovely song.  I wouldn’t say it was the best song on the album, but it was the right choice to sent it out as a single.  The band could pound out rocking riffs and switch gears with great ballads.

“Key to the Rhyme”  – A serious, driving piano riff song.  This may be the best song on the album. Finely crafted. Simply divine.

“Jesus Came Down”  – Not exactly a religious song, just a song that says the world has not changed since his time.  A really find song musically, with a big guitar solo to fade out.

“Between the Lines”  – A ten-minute song that really shows the groups musical versatility.  The organ intro gives it an Emerson, Lake & Palmer vibe, but this is very much a guitar song.  If you want to sit back and enjoy a song that has a long great musical interlude.

 

When Lake II arrived the following year, it is did not sound as fresh or as original.  Sophomore efforts are often disappointing because they are made quickly and expected to meet or surpass the debut.  Groups often spend a few years writing and performing before they get that first recording contract.  They use the best material from those early years, having time to perfect and polish it.  The follow-ups often fall short, Lake II did.  The following albums Paradise Island and Ouch did not get much promotion and quickly disappeared.  With a mostly different line-up the band released a live album and two smaller label albums before taking a lengthy hiatus. In the 2000s, the band reformed with mostly new members and released several new albums.


2 thoughts on “Lake: The Rock Band You Won’t Remember

  1. Interesting timing for me to see this post. There’s an online free-form station I listen to (theroots.fm), and just yesterday they played a song by Lake and I was wondering who they were.

    Like

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