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“January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me
You make me sad with your eyes
You’re telling me lies
Don’t go, don’t go “


As I’ve grown up I’ve developed a certain musical snobbery, it hasn’t been planned it’s just sort of crept up on me. This shows itself in two ways –

There are albums that I would never consider listening to but would probably like – such as Britney Spears and Pink

I own albums that I rarely play but look ‘good’ in my stack of CDs – how about Soft Machine and Iron Butterfly?

I always promised myself that I’d never get this way and it was only revisiting Pilot that I realised how much I enjoy music that I haven’t been giving shelf (or MP3) space to. Pilot were a no fuss, soft rock band that delivered songs that sounded good on the radio, were memorable and you could sing along to – just the sort of songs that belong on my MP3 player!

Formed in 1973, Pilot hailed from Scotland and unlike many groups at the time bypassed touring and aimed straight for the recording studio. With an EMI contract signed in April 1974 they recorded their first LP and had their first hit with “Magic” in October of that year when it stalled just outside the Top Ten. Working the normal route in reverse they made their live debut after this hit, opening for Sparks on their UK tour.

Immediately after the tour they recorded their next album and in January 1975 they released their biggest hit “January”. The single reached number one and stayed there for 3 weeks (in February rather than January unfortunately), while it also made a significant impact on the international scene. Whilst the follow up single just missed out on the Top Thirty, the strength of “January” helped launch their new album and saw them through a tour of the UK.

Although Pilot’s third album “Morin Heights” was their biggest seller they were not to have a another taste of chart success and with personnel changes and management problems Pilot only released one more album before they called it a day.

With a handful of albums released over four years Pilot didn’t set the world alight but they did leave behind two great hit songs which is a lot more than most groups can claim, now all I have to do is download them onto my MP3 player.

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