Crack the Sky -Crack the Sky were one of the US's most underrated bands, a bit off the wall at times, but nonetheless very interesting and different. The band's roots go back to the early seventies when they evolved out of an outfit called "Arc Angel", (no relation to the early eighties US AOR outfit ), which featured vocalist John Palumbo and guitarist Rick Witkowski. It took them quite a while and many disappointments before they signed a record deal with Lifesong Records in the mid seventies, and they released their self-titled debut in 1975.The line-up on their debut album was Palumbo and Witkowski, together with bassist Joe Macre, drummer Joey D'Amico and guitarist Jim Griffiths, all of whom had also been in the aforementioned Arc Angel. Rolling Stone magazine declared the album as their album of the year, but Lifesong Records didn't do much to promote it and it failed. The second album, "Animal Notes", was well promoted, but it was less accessible than the debut and it too didn't go very far. "Safety in Numbers", arguably one of their best albums, was released in 1977, but Palumbo left that year. A live album, "Live Sky", was released that same year, but the band was effectively put on ice until 1980, when Palumbo and Witkowski revived their band and recorded "White Music", which wasn't too bad, but lacked the old Crack the Sky magic. One final album for Lifesong was released in 1981, "Photoflamingo", but the band basically split up after this. The mid eighties saw a further revival with "World in Motion", "Raw" and "From the Greenhouse", which was excellent. A further album called "Dog City" was released in 1990, and other albums to look out for from this great band are "Blowing up Detroit" and "Innocent Bystander".

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Biography by Jason Ankeny
Progressive rock group Crack the Sky was formed in the Ohio River Valley region in 1975 by frontman John Palumbo, guitarists Jim Griffiths and Rick Witkowski, bassist Joe Macre, and drummer Joey D'Amico. According to the website at, the band was originally dubbed ArcAngel, building a loyal following on the Cleveland and Baltimore club circuits before signing to the Lifesong label to issue their self-titled debut LP, which earned critical acclaim for Palumbo's acerbic lyrics and the songs' complex structures and time changes. Commercial reward was minimal, however, and after completing Crack the Sky's second LP, 1976's Animal Notes, Palumbo exited to pursue a solo career. D'Amico assumed lead vocal duties on 1978's Safety in Numbers, with singer Gary Lee Chappell featured on the Live Sky release. Crack the Sky then disbanded, but in 1980 Palumbo, Witkowski, and keyboardist Vince DePaul briefly reformed the group to record the White Music album before again dissolving. Palumbo then formed another new lineup for a series of albums including Photoflamingo, World in Motion I, and Raw before reuniting with Witkowski, D'Amico, and DePaul for a series of 1986 live dates at the Baltimore club Hammerjacks and eventually a new 1989 studio LP, From the Greenhouse. Dog City followed in 1990, and Crack the Sky infrequently reunited throughout the decade to come. 


John Palumbo
Gary Lee Chappell
Joey d'Amico
Jim Griffiths
Joe MacRe
Rick Witkowski

John Palumbo
Steely Dan
Adrian Belew
David Bowie
Bad Company
King Crimson
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Jon Anderson
Alan Parsons

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.



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Crack the Sky - 1976 - Animal Notes - 3.5/5

Crack the Sky - 1976 - Crack the Sky - 4.5/5

Crack the Sky - 1978 - Live Sky - 4/5

Crack the Sky - 1978 - Safety in Numbers - 3/5

Crack the Sky - 1981 - Photoflamingo - 3/5

Crack the Sky - 1983 - World in Motion - 2.5/5

Crack the Sky - 1987 - Raw - 2/5

Crack the Sky - 1989 - Dog City - 2.5/5

Crack the Sky - 1989 - From the Greenhouse - 2/5

Crack the Sky - 1998 - Cut - 4/5

Crack the Sky - 2000 - Live, Recher Theatre 6-19-99 - 4/5

Crack the Sky - 2002 - Ghost - 3/5

Crack the Sky - 2006 - Alive and Kickin' Ass - 4/5



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