The resulting album, Holiday, was released in June 1974. (By this time the group had consciously begun naming their albums with titles starting with the letter "H".) With Martin's guidance, the album's style was very different from America's first three efforts, as he enhanced America's acoustic sound with strings and brass.
The trio soon found themselves in the Top Ten once again with the first single from Holiday, the Bunnell-penned "Tin Man", which reached No. 4, featuring cryptic lyrics set to a Wizard of Oz theme. "Lonely People" (a song written by the newly-wed Dan and Catherine Peek) followed "Tin Man" into the Top Ten in early 1975, reaching No. 5.
Martin worked with the trio again for their next LP, Hearts, recorded in Sausalito, California and released in March 1975. America scored its second chart topping success with Beckley's "Sister Golden Hair" in mid-1975, a song which featured a memorable opening guitar riff admittedly inspired by George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and frank relationship lyrics admittedly inspired by Jackson Browne. The follow-up single, Beckley's ballad "Daisy Jane", also scored among the Top Twenty shortly after. Peek's reggae-influenced "Woman Tonight" was a third success (number 44 in the U.S.) from the album towards the end of the year.
Warner Bros. released a compilation of America's best-known tracks in December 1975, History: America's Greatest Hits, which scored platinum. Martin, who produced the album, remixed those tracks which were culled from the group's first three albums.
During early 1976, the group recorded its sixth studio album at Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colorado, inspiring the album's title, Hideaway, which Martin directed again. Released during April 1976, it saw the band's popularity severely faltering, as the two singles, "Today's the Day" and "Amber Cascades", only managed to reach number 23 and 75 (respectively) in the Billboard charts. Songs like "Jet Boy Blue" and "Don't Let It Get You Down" received a lot of airplay on FM Stations.
Martin's implementation of more complex instrumentation on America's albums proved somewhat overwhelming to the band on stage, often compelling them to switch from instrument to instrument during songs. For their 1976 tour, the group expanded their stage line-up to include Jim Calire on keyboards and sax and Tom Walsh on percussion so that they could more comfortably perform Martin's arrangements.
Martin and the trio went to Hawaii during late 1976 to work on the group's seventh studio album. The album was recorded in a beach house on the island of Kauai. The album, Harbor, released in February 1977, continued the trend of decreasing sales for the group. It was their first album, which failed to score either platinum or gold, and all three of its singles failed to chart.
In May 1977 Dan Peek left the band. Peek recently had renewed his Christian faith after years of recreational drug use and had begun to seek a different artistic direction from Beckley or Bunnell. Peek contracted with Pat Boone's Lamb & Lion Records, and issued his first solo album, All Things Are Possible, in 1978. The album, produced by Chris Christian, was successful, and Peek became a pioneering artist in the emerging Christian popular music genre. The title track entered the Billboard pop charts during the autumn of 1979, peaking at number 78.
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