Voyager (band)

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Voyager were an English pop-rock band, formed initially in Newbury, Berkshire, originally as 'The Paul French Connection' with Paul French (vocals, keyboards), Paul Hirsh (keyboards, guitar), Chris Hook (bass guitar), and former member of Mr Big, John Marter (drums).[1] Although they initially saw themselves as a progressive rock group, they had to tailor their style to a more commercial mood, as evidenced by their debut single, "Halfway Hotel". It was their only hit single, reaching No. 33 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979,[2] and duly becoming the title track of their first album.

A second album Act of Love (1980) yielded a turntable hit (heavily played on music radio without ever entering the charts), "Sing Out (Love Is Easy)". Part of the instrumental section of the single was used for some time thereafter as background music for the chart run down on BBC Radio 1 each week.

A third album Voyager, followed in 1981 and featured Dominic Telfer on bass guitar, replacing Chris Hook.[3] A single from this album, "Rosie", achieved some radio play but no chart success.

In 1981, they undertook two key tours, promoting the third album. The first tour was in support of the Greg Lake Band (ex Emerson, Lake & Palmer). During December 1981 the band supported the Electric Light Orchestra on the English leg of their world "Time" tour. They played Wembley Arena and Birmingham NEC.

In the absence of further chart success, they subsequently disbanded. A compilation, Travels in Time - The Best of the Early Years, was issued on CD in 2004, containing digitally remastered versions of thirteen songs from the first two albums, plus a previously unreleased track, "Time On Our Side".[4] All three of the first albums, mastered from the vinyls, have now been released on CD by the Japanese record label, Air Mail Recordings.

Marter later joined Marillion, then Alaska, and since 1994 has played with the SAS Band,[5] a loose conglomeration of musicians and singers led by Spike Edney, former keyboard player on stage with Queen. He and Hook have also worked with The Purple Project, a Deep Purple tribute band as well as the Yes tribute act, Fragile, while Hook also plays with semi-pro outfit Bluefish. Hirsh temporarily joined Status Quo for live performances in 2000, whilst their regular keyboard player and guitarist Andy Bown took a break for personal reasons. French went on to compose classical pieces premiered at the Wigmore Hall by the ensemble Endymion, and composed production music in various styles for Chappell Music Library. It is unclear what happened to Telfer.

In 2006, Voyager reunited to record another album, Eyecontact. However, their lack of further chart success leave them labeled as one-hit wonders.

Album discography[edit]

  • Halfway Hotel - (1979) - Mountain UK, Elektra US
  • Act of Love - (1980) - Mountain UK, RCA US
  • Voyager - (1981) - RCA
  • Travels in Time - The Best of the Early Years - (2004)
  • Eyecontact - (2006) - Leadhead Records[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Halfway Hotel - Voyager : Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 588. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Voyager - Voyager : Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Travels in Time: The Best of the Early Years - Voyager : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 2004-08-30. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  5. ^ "John Marter - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Voyager - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-07.