Tranquility (S/T)

If you ever wondered what the love child of the Bee Gees and Crosby, Stills and Nash would sound like, wonder no more – the pointy-headed creature would sound like Tranquility.

The story of short-lived career of Tranquility is a difficult one to track; now largely forgotten, the band has neither a biography at AllMusic or a Wikipedia page. A fairly short history of the band’s 1971-1974 duration can be found on a page dedicated to Vanity Fare, but aside from that, little exists on the Internet about Tranquility.

The dichotomy of a band that references the Bee Gees and CSN in equal measure is not surprising, considering the band’s origins. According to the Vanity Fare page:

“The band was formed in 1971 by Ashley Kozak, formerly Donovan’s manager, and built around the song writing abilities of Terry Shaddick. Kozak had long wished for a “…gentle tranquil band that could create it own hybrid of pop, rock and English folk music” (CBS Inner Sleeve Issue III, 1973), and in Shaddick, he saw the focal point for creation of just such a band.”

From the meager info provided by AllMusic, it appears that Shaddick had a hand in all of the songs featured on Tranquility, and satisfied the intent of Kozak’s wishes, if not the spirit; Shaddick and company rarely hybridize pop, rock and English folk, but hit each of the points individually, song-by-song.

The best songs on Tranquility lean more toward folk; album opener “Try Again” is all innocuous confessional lyrics married to acoustic guitars and tight harmonies. Likewise, “Look at the Time, It’s Late” mimics the best of the Bee Gees’ late-60s-early 70s pop. Just as many times, the album aims for CSN or the Bee Gees and misses; “Lady of the Lake,” “Ride Upon the Sun,” and “Walk Along the Road” are pleasant but forgettable.

“Oyster Catcher” and “Black Current Betty” are almost jarringly out-of-place on an album full of CSN-lite offerings. Both songs recall 1967-68, when, inspired by Sgt. Pepper, every British album had to include a few music hall-type numbers full of twee Angliophilia. Of the two songs, “Black Current Betty” (which I’m almost certain should be “Black Currant Betty,” and the writer on the Vanity Fare page agrees) is the most listenable, even if “Penny Lane,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or even “Hello Hello” by Sopwith Camel got there first and more memorably.

Tranquility is hardly a buried classic, even if the Vanity Fare page claims that  the band “blew more than one big-name U.S. band off the stage.” All this begs the question: are some bands/albums better lost to history?

In the case of Tranquility’s 1972 self-titled debut, that depends on your tolerance for an album that veers wildly between introspective singer-songwriter offerings featuring CSN-type harmonies and English pop that would have sounded at home on Chad & Jeremy’s Of Cabbages and Kings.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Try Again”

:) Original | 1972 | Epic | search ebay ]
:) Reissue | 2004 | Rock & Groove | buy here ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

Also Recommended


  • I have long wondered what the love child of the Bee Gees and Crosby, Stills and Nash would sound like.

    Like, specifically what it would be if those 7 or 8 mostly related men all had intercourse.

    Now that’s an album I’d like to hear!

  • I think what you’re describing is Firefall, Matt.

  • Ed

    I saw these guys as the warm up group for Yes when they started their Close to the Edge tour. It was at a college near Lancaster, PA. Yes was using a local sound company for their tour. They needed to test out the equipment. It cost a couple of dollars to see them. Was blown away by Tranquility and bought their album the next week.

  • My band supported Tranquility in 1971 or 2 (long time ago…) in Yorkshire, England. We were blown away by their powerful sound and tight harmonies and bought the album the next day. I always wonder what happened to the band members…

  • Ace

    I’ve listened to this album at least 10 times since I first discovered it recently. Although the album reaches across several different styles, for the most part the songs, vocals and musicianship are quite excellent.

  • MC

    This album is completely sensational, I stumbled across it the other day and couldn’t believe how beautiful and enjoyable it was. Oyster Catcher and Lady Of The Lake are brilliant ! Reminds me of Ithaca and Neil Young at his most mellow, the quality of the songwriting and performances are superb. I’d say it’s a lost classic myself, thanks a lot for the article, very informative !

  • Gary Tambasco

    saw them @ the Acacademy of Music in NYC in the early 70’s in Dec as opening band for Jay Geils Band. . Blew the place away!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I love this band and have since seeing them open for Yes.I was blown away, as was YEs.I wish they would release something other than the two albums and CDS.The very surprising thing is that many have never heard of them which is sad.If anyone knows of any bonus tracks, or live recordings or video please let me know.

  • Danny Holmes

    Saw them in ’72,in Utica, NY. NRBQ opened!
    Talk about a diverse show.
    A band that should have gotten huge, as big as Queen! Still have my “Silver” album and my band covered “Couldn’t Possibly Be “….tragic dissolve.

  • Jackie Hayden

    I saw Tranquility live in London round about the time the album came out. Listening to it this morning it sounds to me more CNS and less Bee Gees.

  • wallace kamper

    I saw the best show I ever saw way back when! tranquility opened at new yorks
    accademy of music.they where fantastic.they where followed by framptons camel
    peters new group and at 2 in the morning the j geills band played.
    each group topped the other.I went to see guills but the next day I started looking for an abmum by tranquilty and framptons camel.found them all

  • I just heard these guys on deep tra ks Earl Bailey positively extolled their talent. Thank you Mr

  • joe aniello

    Is SILVER available on audio cd?

  • Peter Schleichkorn

    I have both their Lp’s and play SILVER TWICE TODAY
    saw them once at STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY with about 40 people in the audience and they were FANTASTIC never knew why they did not become huge
    the song SILVER IS A CLASSIC

Leave a Comment