Dave Jenkins - guitar, vocals; Steve Price - drums; Bud Cockrell - bass; Cory Lerios - keyboards
Pablo Cruise has been described as "soft rock" and "smooth rock," both fitting genre identifiers for a band that made their name around the West Coast. Featuring former members of Stoneground, It's A Beautiful Day, and (later) Santana, Pablo Cruise recorded a number of popular singles and made a number of critically acclaimed albums for A&M records.
This recording was made at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California and was part of the KSAN popular radio concert series. Recorded in 1974 (the year before the band's major label debut was released) it provides good insight into what these four musicians were up to at the dawn of their inception. Most of the songs performed during this show would eventually make it to their critically acclaimed first album, which unfortunately didn't sell very well commercially. The band would have to wait at least two more years after the release of Pablo Cruise before they would see any real chart success.
All of the Record Plant concerts boast sterling audio quality, but along with that comes a compromise. Recording a live show in a professional studio with a "lay-it-as-you play-it" policy means both the good and bad components gets captured for posterity. Some of the songs on this recording suffer from off-key instrumentation and mismatched vocal harmonies, but this is forgivable because the lead vocals sound polished throughout, and the musicality of the band as a whole was pretty keen at the time. The songs performed here at the Record Plant are indicative of the band's early live concert set lists.
Pablo Cruise did see chart success from their second album, which contained "Whatcha Gonna Do?" that went to #6, but the bulk of the band's biggest hits came after 1977. In the same year they had success with "Whatcha Gonna Do?" they scored with their third LP, A Place In The Sun. Part of the group's problem, in terms of commercial success, was attributed to the fact that they lacked a cohesive front person or group leader. With a name like Pablo Cruise many fans of their music assumed it was a single person, and sometimes it was not until after they saw the group live that a fan would realize Pablo Cruise was in fact a four-piece band.
The group's music was light and breezy, similar to Jimmy Buffett's beachcomber stylings, but without his obvious humor. The group stopped having hits in the early '80s and eventually split up in 1985. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that Pablo Cruise re-formed, but they would once again fold-up until regrouping in 2003, when three of the four original members reunited. They have remained a steady touring act since then. Among the highlights on this early live radio broadcast of Pablo Cruise are "Zero to Sixty In Five," "Island Woman," "Ocean Breeze," "When Will We Ever Learn," "Not Tonight" and the lengthy jam track, "Butterfly."