When Pure Prairie League (PPL for short) formed in the late 1960s, no one had a label for the music the band played. Although the group drew heavily from '60s rock, it added a heavy dose of country and high-flying harmony that gave it a unique sound soon to become known as country rock. Beginning as a group of young musicians playing cover tunes in local bars, PPL soon signed to the RCA after staff from the label caught a band performance in Cleveland, Ohio. The group released its eponymous debut in 1972 and quickly followed up with Bustin' Out that same year.
Unfortunately, a period of turmoil soon ensued. Original band member Mike Fuller received a summons to go to Vietnam (although he ended up serving in a Kentucky hospital instead), and RCA dropped PPL altogether. As disco dominated the airwaves, the changing musical times made it difficult for the group to continue creating its signature sound. Luckily, "Amie," a cut from Bustin' Out, slowly picked up steam and became a hit, revitalizing the group. RCA re-signed PPL, releasing its third album Two Lane Highway (1975), which peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard charts. Subsequent releases included Dance (1976), If the Shoe Fits (1976), and Just Fly (1978). Vince Gill joined the band in the late '70s for its final RCA release, Can't Hold Back (1979).
Although PPL released several cuts on the Casablanca label in the late '70s and early '80s, including Firin' Up (1980) and Something in the Night (1981), by the end of '80s the band had disbanded. However, a decade later PPL reunited, and it has been together (in one form or another) ever since. The band's longevity is a testament of the timelessness of its music. After all these years, it should be no surprise that Pure Prairie League's sound continues to embody what country music is all about, proving that good music is good music no matter, when it's made or played.
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