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I'll Broker No Dissent: The 6 Best Kayak Ballads! Period.

By Rick Koster

Publication: theday.com

Published February 28. 2014 2:00PM   Updated February 28. 2014 2:29PM

My pal and colleague Milton Moore has gone wonderfully pyrotechnic on The Day blog section lately with a series of clever and informative think/listen pieces. What's cool about them is that you, Beloved Reader/Listener, can digest his provocative writings whilst simultaneously hearing the precise music in discussion via Milton's provided Spotify playlist.

I think this is a fine idea.

In that spirit, over the last few days, my heart, brain and very soul have been collectively seething, writhing, twirling and – yes – wailing. Why?

Because I've been wrestling with a paramount issue: what are the six best ballads by the Dutch band Kayak?

(If you don't think this is important, wait until this blog goes viral!)

The thing is - in that Milton context -- my love of Kayak is apparently so isolated that Spotify doesn't have any of the songs I want you to hear. Obscene!

Fix that, Spotify!

In the interest of accuracy, Spotify features many CDs by a latter-day lineup of Kayak featuring vocalist Edward Reeker -- and, yes, that's an unfortunate name. However -- despite the fact that Reeker is a very fine singer, I only acknowledge the early Kayak, with Max Werner out front. That's Kayak, and accept no Reekerian subsitutute!

Worth noting: part of the charm of Werner's work is that he's clearly singing in English but he doesn't speak it -- at least not with any natural pronunciation. In that sense, there's a certain quaint, Old World quality that works wonderfully with pianist/composer Ton Scherpenzeel's Camille Saint-Saëns-inspired piano structures.

Okay, then, so we have no Spotify for you today. We'll go old school, instead. I will provide YouTube links because you love Kayak balladry – you just don't know it yet. And, hey: aging Kayak heads! Let me hear from you!

"Patricia Anglaia" from Royal Bed Bouncer

"Irene" from Starlight Dancer

"Life of Gold" from Royal Bed Bouncer

"My Heart Never Changed" from Royal Bed Bouncer

"Lost Blue of Chartres" from Periscope Life *

"Nothingness" from Starlight Dancer

* Reeker is the vocalist on this album, but the track is an instrumental.



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