America – Sister Golden Hair

First Hit #1: June 14, 1975

America might have had its first hit with a Neil Young impression but that doesn’t mean that’s all the band can do. In fact, Sister Golden Hair discards the Neil Young affectations and becomes a pretty decent bit of soft rock in an era where the genre is going to hell. Of course, being America, it has to have a clear and obvious influence from someone who is not from America – the guitar work has a heavy whiff of George Harrison about it – but that’s a minor point, this doesn’t seem like a clear cash in on a popular artist but a genuine attempt at legitimate art. It’s the difference between influence and knockoff, and Sister Golden Hair sounds like a band which is finally ready to mold its influences into something new rather than just copy them out for a chance at glory. Good for them, and in the process they manage to make a pretty decent argument for soft rock’s viability as a genre.

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