Prior to forming Redeye, singer/guitarist Douglas Marks obtained a bit of glory with the Sunshine Company and the Grains Of Sand. Active from 1967-68, this Los Angeles band parented a moderate amount of airplay with radiant Mamas and Papas-styled songs such as “Happy” and “Back on the Street Again.” The Sunshine Company released a trio of enjoyable albums, as well.
In 1970, Redeye – which also included rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dave Hodgkins, bassist/vocalist Bill Kirkham and drummer Bob Bereman – secured a contract with the Pentagram label. By the end of the year, the band notched a No. 27 nationwide hit single with “Games” that also appeared on Redeye’s self-titled debut album.
Listeners are guaranteed to experience a dose of deja vu (pun intended) when hearing “Games,” as the high-pitched harmony blend coating the bright and buoyant track are hijacked straight from the Crosby Stills Nash and Young songbook. A repetitively catchy chorus of “Yeah, you know” calls for a sing-a-long fest, while a clanging cowbell and an energetic jam rock with strength and substance.
Although “Games” sounds too close to comfort to CSNY to give Redeye a unique identity, there is no denying it is nattily crafted and sports plenty of appeal.
Riding the success of “Games,” Redeye toured and shared bills with the likes of the Byrds and Cactus. Things certainly looked good for the band, but their next single – the funky blues-oriented “Red Eye Blues” – failed to make much of an impact. Breaking up in 1972, Redeye’s short-lived popularity is rather a pity because they definitely had what was required to juggle commercial characteristics with edgier aspects.
by Beverly Paterson
1. Games - 3:05
2. Empty White Houses - 2:44
3. Mississippi Stateline - 4:00
4. Green Grass - 3:10
5. Down Home Run - 2:18
6. Dadaeleus` Unfinished Dream (Bill Kirkham, Dave Hodgkins) - 2:46
7. Oregon Bound - 3:15
8. Your Train Is Leaving - 2:46
9. 199 Thoughts Too Late - 2:30
10.Collections Of Yesterday And Now (Dave Hodgkins, Douglas Mark) - 4:31
All songs by Dave Hodgkins except where nored
*Douglas "Red" Mark - Vocals, Guitar
*Dave Hodgkins - Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Kirkham - Bass, Vocals
*Bob Bereman - Drums, Percussion