JXS-7023 Royal Bed Bouncer
Produced and arranged by Gerrit Jan Leenders and Kayak
Released on 1975
US CHART POSITION #199
Find it at GEMM
JXS-7023 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

O ne of the earliest and best examples of progressive pop, which sought to blend the two musical forms (progressive rock and pop music). It’s a much-maligned genre, largely because progressive rock bands often embraced pop structures as a means of selling more records. Mention “progressive pop” to a Genesis or Gentle Giant fan, and you’ll probably get a wince, since for them the words are synonymous with a decline in quality. But Kayak (like 10cc and Supertramp) really works better in the short-form structure of pop music. Ton Scherpenzeel is a terrific songwriter, capable of infusing four-minute songs with all manner of melodic invention. Vocalist Max Werner stays on key, but like a lot of Europeans (in this case, Dutch) their English sounds affected to American ears. I can rattle off a number of great prog bands who never had a great vocalist (Camel, PFM, okay so apparently the number is two), and we give points here for presentation, which Werner does well (e.g., “Said No Word”), so no harm done. I’ve read that the Kayak albums are concepts, but I’ve never been able to follow them if they are. It doesn’t help that radically different artwork exists for each depending on the country of origin. “Bury The World” and “Chance For A Lifetime” share an end-of-the-world theme similar to When Worlds Collide, but the bulk of the second side is about lost love. If Royal Bed Bouncer is a concept album about a man who leaves a dying planet just to pine for his old girlfriend, I’d rather not know. The point is that the album doesn’t need a gimmick to work. It’s all about the quality, the cleverness and yes even the cuteness of the songs themselves. If you enjoyed 10cc’s Sheet Music or APP’s Turn of a Friendly Card, you need to connect with Kayak on this one.

JXS-7023 gatefold sleeve JXS-7023 back cover
JXS-7023 gatefold sleeve JXS-7023 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. ROYAL BED BOUNCER    3:55
  2. LIFE OF GOLD    3:24
  3. (YOU'RE SO) BIZARRE    3:29
  4. BURY THE WORLD    4:23
  5. CHANCE FOR A LIFETIME    4:12
  6. IF THIS IS YOUR WELCOME    4:54
  7. MOMENTS OF JOY    4:00
  8. PATRICIA ANGLAIA    (Pim Koopman)    2:12
  9. SAID NO WORD    5:16
  10. MY HEART NEVER CHANGED    2:31

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. ALIBI
  12. MOUNTAIN TOO ROUGH
  13. WOE AND ALAS
  14. MOULDY WOOD
  15. LOVELY LUNA
  16. FOREVER IS A LONELY THOUGHT
  17. STILL TRY TO WRITE A BOOK
  18. GIVE IT A NAME
  19. BULLDOZER

    All songs written by Ton Scherpenzeel unless noted

CREDITS

PIM KOOPMAN -- drums, vocals
TON SCHERPENZEEL -- keyboards, vocals, horn and violin arrangements
JOHAN SLAGER -- guitars, vocals
BERT VELDKAMP -- bass, vocals
MAX WERNER -- lead vocal, mellotron
Pierre Geoffroy Chateau -- engineer
Jan van Vrijaldenhoven -- engineer
CREAM, Amsterdam -- sleeve design
Thanks to Erik Tagg, Richard Dilorenzo, Jack Rieley, Len del Ferro, Patricia Paay, Rijn Peter de Klerk, Ed de Boer, Peter Scherpenzeel, Ruud Waams and Wim Jongbloed who scored and directed the additional arrangements.

return to KAYAK discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
NET 1975 EMI LP 5C 064 25271  
UK 1975 Vertigo LP 6360 853 diffferent gatefold cover
US 1975 Janus LP JXS-7023 gatefold cover
NET March 1, 1994 Pseudonym CDX   w. bonus tracks

 

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