Blue Élan RecordsGerry Beckley has just released a new compilation called Keeping the Light On — The Best of Gerry Beckley featuring highlights from the America co-founder's solo career.
The 20-track collection features selections from Beckley's seven studio albums — spanning from 1995's Van Go Gan through 2019's Five Mile Road — as well as one song from Like a Brother, his 2000 collaborative album with late Beach Boy Carl Wilson and Chicago's Robert Lamm, and five previously unreleased tunes.
Beckley tells ABC Audio that he began making solo albums because he's always been a "pretty prolific" songwriter and, having had a home studio setup since the 1970s, he'll often amass plenty of extra material during gaps between America projects.
"[O]ver time you build up a bit of a collection," he notes.
As for including several unreleased tracks on the best-of, Gerry says, "A compilation, in theory, is…a combination of things that you've released over the years, but there's no set rules. It doesn't mean you can't include some previously unheard or demos or whatever. I mean, you're your own boss."
He explains that some of the unreleased recordings on Keeping the Light On weren't quite finished, so the project gave him the opportunity to "completely rebuild" the tracks.
Meanwhile, deluxe versions of the compilation come with a nine-song bonus disc titled Watching the Time that features contemporary indie artists covering Beckley compositions, mostly America tunes, including hits like "Sister Golden Hair" and "I Need You."
"This has given me an opportunity to hear other people approach some of my material," says Gerry. "[I]t's really nice to hear people who know what they're doing take it on."
Visit BlueElan.com to check out the various versions available of Keeping the Light On.
Here's the full track list:
"Watching the Time"
"Hang Your Head High"
"(I'm Your) Heart Slave"
"Once a Distant Heart"
"Cup of Rain"
"How Can I Turn You Away"
"Keeping the Light On"
And here's the Watching the Time track list:
"3am Overture" — Saga Strings
"Daisy Jane" — Roan Yellowthorn
"I Need You" — Amy Wilcox
"Sarah" — Car Astor
"Survival" — Gina Sicilia
"Sister Golden Hair" — Chelsea Williams
"Never Be Lonely" — Natalie Gelman
"Only in Your Heart" — Mary Scholz
"Carousel" — Cindy Alexander
By Matt Friedlander
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