Ambrosia Biography

From Los Angeles, California, USA, Ambrosia was formed in 1970 by David Pack (15 July 1952, Huntington Park, California, USA; vocals/guitar), Joe Puerta (b. 2 July 1951; vocals/bass), Burleigh Drummond (drums) and Christopher North (keyboards). Beginning with a lightweight AOR sound, Ambrosia’s albums steadily improved over time as they toughened up their music. They enjoyed early US hits with ‘Holdin’ On To Yesterday’, ‘Nice, Nice, Very Nice’ and a cover version of the Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, with the latter taken from the documentary movie All This And World War II, in which the band members also appeared. Life Beyond L.A. (1978) and One Eighty (1980) saw a fusion of keyboards and guitar replace the laid-back sound of previous albums, with additional musical input provided by David Cutler Lewis (keyboards) and Royce Jones (percussion). The band enjoyed US Top 5 hits in 1978 with ‘How Much I Feel’ and in 1980 with ‘Biggest Part Of Me’, while ‘You’re The Only Woman (You & I)’ also reached the Top 20. 1982’s Road Island remains an underrated exposition of the melodic rock genre. Boosted by a highly complementary James Guthrie production, this album was critically acclaimed but was a surprising commercial failure.

After disbanding in 1984, all three main musicians in Ambrosia went on to enjoy busy session careers. Pack released a solo album, Anywhere You Go, in 1985. This featured not only Drummond and Puerta, but also Kerry Livgren, Michael Porcaro (Toto), Michael McDonald and bass player Stanley Clarke, and contained a fine selection of well-written songs in the vein of his previous band. Pack later committed more time to bands sharing his Christian beliefs while continuing to work on occasional solo projects. Puerta resurfaced in Bruce Hornsby And The Range before reuniting with his former bandmates in 1990. The re-formed Ambrosia has continued touring into the new millennium.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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