rollingstone

50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time


47

Crack the Sky, 'Crack the Sky' (1975)
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American rockers aren't known for their prog ambitions, and the bands that did push the boundaries usually slipped through the commercial cracks. Case in point: West Virginia wise-asses Crack the Sky, who created an outright classic with their kaleidoscopic debut. Led by singer-mastermind John Palumbo, the band expertly navigated chunky hard-rock riffs ("Hold On"), barbed art pop ("Surf City"), fusion funk (the wicked breakdown in "She's a Dancer") and long-form balladry ("Sea Epic"). Yet they never achieved more than a faithful regional following, despite a glowing Rolling Stone review: "Like the first albums of Steely Dan, 10cc, and the Tubes, Crack the Sky's debut introduces a group whose vision of mid-'70s ennui is original, humorous and polished. . ." Bolstered by the fans they do have, Crack the Sky have kept at it: Their 15th studio album, Ostrich, was released in 2012. R.R.