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Crack the Sky

Crack the Sky is an American progressive rock band that was formed in the early 1970s in West Virginia. The original lineup consisted of John Palumbo (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Rick Witkowski (guitar), Joe Macre (bass), Joey D'Amico (drums), and Jim Griffiths (guitar).

The band's sound is characterized by complex song structures, intricate guitar work, and Palumbo's distinctive vocals. Their music is often described as a blend of progressive rock, hard rock, and pop.

Crack the Sky released their self-titled debut album in 1975, which was produced by Frank Zappa. The album received critical acclaim but failed to achieve commercial success. The band went on to release several more albums throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including "Animal Notes" (1976), "Safety in Numbers" (1978), and "Photoflamingo" (1980).

In the late 1980s, the band went on hiatus, but they reunited in the 1990s and have continued to release new music and tour. Some of their more recent albums include "Ostrich" (1999), "Alive and Kickin' Ass" (2003), and "Machine" (2010).

Crack the Sky has been cited as an influence by several other musicians, including Joe Satriani, who has covered their song "Ice" on several occasions. Despite never achieving mainstream success, the band has a dedicated fanbase and is considered a cult classic in the progressive rock genre.

Originally from Steubenville, Ohio. -GSH



ArcAngel ( ? - 1975)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Jim Griffiths - guitar/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Joe Macre - bass/vocals
  • Joey D'Amico - drums/vocals
Name changed to Crack the Sky upon signing with Lifesong Records.

Crack the Sky I (1975 - 1978)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Jim Griffiths - guitar/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Joe Macre - bass/vocals
  • Joey D'Amico - drums/vocals
Albums: John Palumbo leaves for solo career.

Crack the Sky II (1978)
  • Jim Griffiths - guitar/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Joe Macre - bass/vocals
  • Joey D'Amico - drums/vocals
  • Gary Lee Chappell - vocals
Album:
  1. "Safety In Numbers" (1978)
  2. "Animal Notes / Safety In Numbers" (2-fer)

Crack the Sky III (1978)
  • Jim Griffiths - guitar/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Joe Macre - bass/vocals
  • Joey D'Amico - drums/vocals
  • Gary Lee Chappell - vocals
  • Vince DePaul - keyboards
Album:
  1. "Live Sky" (1978)
  2. "Live Sky / Live on WBAB" (2-fer)
Group disbands.  Rick Witkowski, Jim Griffiths, Joe Macre, and Joey D'Amico join The B.E. Taylor group (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) [Ref: Chuck Brawner].

Crack the Sky IV (1980) (reformed)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Vince DePaul - keyboards
Album:
  1. "White Music" (1980)
  2. "Crack the Sky / White Music" (2-fer)
Group disbands.  [Thanks to Chuck Brawner for the band info. for "White Music".]

Crack the Sky V(1981 - 1983) (reformed)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Vince DePaul - keyboards
  • Michael Taylor - guitar
  • Carey Ziegler - bass/vocals
  • John Tracey - drums
Albums:
  1. "Photoflamingo" (1981)
  2. "World In Motion I" (1983)

Crack the Sky VI (1983)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Vince DePaul - keyboards
  • Carey Ziegler - bass/vocals
  • John Tracey - drums
  • Bobby Hird - guitar
Album:
  1. "The End" (1983)
Group disbands.  John Palumbo continues solo career. Vince DePaul, Carey Ziegler, John Tracey, and Bobby Hird form No Heroes.

Crack the Sky VII (1986) (reformed)
  • John Palumbo - guitar/bass/drums/vocals
  • Jamie LaRitz - guitar/synthesizer
Album:
  1. "Raw" (1986)

Crack the Sky VIII (1986 - 1990)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Joey D'Amico - drums/vocals
  • Vince DePaul - keyboards
  • Carey Ziegler - bass/vocals
Album:
  1. "From The Greenhouse" (1989) - Carey Ziegler did not play on the album, although he continued to be part of the band.
  2. "Dog City" (1990)
Group disbands.  John Palumbo forms Cruel Shoes.

Crack the Sky IX (1996 - 1997) (reformed)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Carey Ziegler - bass/vocals
  • John Tracey - drums
  • Bobby Hird - guitar
  • Nat Kerr - keyboards
Group disbands.

Crack the Sky IX (1999 - Present) (reformed)
  • John Palumbo - keyboards/vocals
  • Rick Witkowski - guitar
  • Carey Ziegler - bass/vocals
  • John Tracey - drums
  • Bobby Hird - guitar
  • Glenn Workman - keyboards
Album:
  1. "Cut" (1999)
  2. "Live / Recher Theatre" (2-CDs) (2000) - recorded June 19, 1999.

Compilations:
  1. "Classic Crack" (1980)
  2. "Rare!" (1994)
  3. "Crack Attic: The Best of Crack the Sky" (1997)
  4. "The Best of the Rest (and then some)" (2000)

John Palumbo solo:
  1. "Innocent Bystander" (1978)
  2. "Blowing Up Detroit" (1984)
  3. "Victim of the Nightlife" (1989)
  4. "Guerrilla Jazz" (as Dogboy, with John Tracey and Ron Zebron)
  5. "Feed Da Cat" (with Ian Palumbo)

Carey Ziegler solo:
  1. "Short Stories"

Links:

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Last Revised:  Februaru 20, 2023
© 1999, 2000, 2001 by Gary S. Hartman.  All rights reserved.
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