Under The Radar: Nantucket

Published on 23 April 2021 at 17:30

Nantucket is a southern rock band that formed in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 1969.

They were first known as Stax Of Gold when they were performing beach music, but they eventually changed their name to Nantucket, which came from the Mountain album, “Nantucket Sleighride”. They started out as a cover band, but they eventually signed with Epic Records in 1977. They released their first album with the hit single, “Heartbreaker”.

They embarked on a cross-country tour where they got to open for Kiss, Styx, Boston, Journey and many other amazing groups.

Their second album, “Your Face Or Mine?” was released in 1979, featuring “Gimme Your Love” and “California”.

This album paled in comparison when it came to sales. Their first album sold better, but the second was actually considered to be the better album. When Bon Scott passed away in 1980, Nantucket decided to cover “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” as a tribute to him. This resulted in Nantucket landing a spot on AC/DC’s “Back in Black” tour. Even though Nantucket was finally starting to gain some success, Epic Records dropped the band.

For their next two albums, “No Direction Home” was done on RCA, and “Nantucket V”, which was considered to be a change in direction that was done on the Executive label.

The group disbanded in 1990. They eventually reunited in 1991 to release the live album, “Still Live After All These Years” in 1995.

There was a high demand to release the first three albums on CD, and Wounded Bird released them. “Nantucket V” was released in 2009 on Retrospect Records. “No Direction Home” was released in 2009 on American Beat Records.

Years later, they released “You Need A Ride To Raleigh” in 2012, and they were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame.

They are one of the many groups that didn’t have an easy time, but they persevered and made some amazing music in the process.

All the best bands are the ones who struggled when it came to commercial popularity, but this was because they didn’t create what the general public expected. They had their own vision, and they followed it. These bands all had incredible influence on so many artists that were up and coming, and that matters even more than commercial popularity.

I have a theory that commercial popularity is a great thing, but more often than not, artists change. Sadly, this isn’t the artist, but usually the record label pushing the artist in a direction that’s better for sales, which doesn’t mean that it’s better music. These talented people have to shed originality to get album sales.

A band like Nantucket has shown me that if you have a vision, you have to stick to it. You don’t have to change what you want to do to impress others. People always find a reason to pass their judgment, so you might as well, follow your own path instead of listening to what everyone else thinks.

We always think different is wrong, when different gets noticed. Different stands out.

The key takeaway, is that, if you have dream, follow it. Don’t let a single thing get in your way.


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