Day 85: A Horse With No Name

Song: “A Horse With No Name” by America
Reached #1: March 25, 1972 (their first, 3 weeks)

Did the horse know it had no name?

“A Horse With No Name” was inspired by a Salvador Dali painting, written in a style similar to the songwriter’s favorite artist – and knocked that artist out of the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.

Dewey Bunnell has said he was inspired by Neil Young.  You probably could figure that out when you hear “Horse”, which sounds like something Young might have done… and when “Horse” hit #1 on March 25, 1972, it replaced “Heart of Gold” at the top.

Bunnell and his bandmates (Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek) named the band somewhat ironically.  All three were born in the UK, to English mothers and American military fathers, went to the same London school, and found they worked pretty well as a trio.  They started performing together in 1970, and hit the top of the charts in 1972.

They never quite had the same level of success, despite working with Beatles mastermind George Martin, and within a few years, Peek drifted away from the group.  For the next 30-plus years, fans of the band would speculate as to whether or when Peek would rejoin the duo of Bunnell and Beckley.  However, it never did work out – Peek remained a successful Christian pop artist until his death in 2011.  Bunnell and Beckley continue to tour, with Central American and US tours in 2012, and a Canadian swing already booked for 2013.

Tomorrow, Philadelphia-based blue-eyed soul.

Other songs that reached #1 on March 25:
1967 –
“Happy Together” by the Turtles (their first, 3 weeks)
1989 – “The Living Years” by Mike & The Mechanics (their first, 1 week)


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