Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish group of the mid-seventies, 3 Jun 2009
This review is from: A's, B's And Rarities (Audio CD)
With just two his that were big enough to stay long in the memory, plus two minor hits, I'm glad they didn't call this a greatest hits package. All the hits are here together with all the other A-sides that missed the charts, plus all the B-sides and three album tracks. There are actually nine A-sides and ten B-sides, because one of the singles was released on two separate occasions, the B-side being different on the second release.

Two of the founder members (David Paton and Billy Lyall) actually met first as members of an embryonic Bay City Rollers, but both had departed from that group before they became famous. They went their separate ways but eventually met up again (it wasn't planned) and played around with a few musical ideas. Eventually, they teamed up with Stuart Tosh and became Pilot, the P, L, and T being taken from the first letters of their surnames.

Pilot's debut album, titled From the album of the same name, was released in 1974 but didn't do much business, nor did their debut single, Just a smile. At some point in 1974, Ian Bairnson became a fully-fledged member of the group, having played on one track on their debut album. Pilot made their breakthrough with their second single, Magic, which just missed the British top ten, and which became their only big hit in America. Pilot had their biggest British hit with their third single, January, which really did enter the charts in January 1975, but which made number one, ironically, on the first of February. It stayed there for four weeks after which it understandably dropped quickly down and out of the charts. At that point, it looked as if Pilot were set to have at least a few more big hits, but it was not to be. Their second album charted, but only just and then only for one week. Call me round, their next single, was only a minor hit, as was the re-issue of Just a smile (with, as mentioned earlier, a different B-side). Subsequent singles failed to chart at all.

Pilot split up but the individual members enjoyed considerable success as session musicians or as members of other groups, so proving that they were highly regarded within the music industry. Sadly, Billy Lyall died in 1989, but at the time this album was compiled, all the others were continuing their successful careers. Meanwhile, this album serves as a reminder of the music that they recorded as Pilot. My guess is that if you like other mainstream British pop groups of the seventies such as Mud and Smokie, you'll probably like Pilot too. As for the Bay City Rollers, let's just say that I won't be reviewing any compilations of their music.
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4.5 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
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Location: Leicester England

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