November 28, 2012

James Gang - Ashes, the Rain, and I (1970)

Formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966, this band became more popular after one of their guitarists quit and went on to bigger things. Joe Walsh, that guitarist, went on to find success in the Eagles and as a solo artist. People wanting to trace Walsh’s past would often wind up listening to this group. Despite the band releasing nine albums in eleven years, they didn’t really get a strong taste of success until 1971 with their album Thirds. “Walk Away,” the opening track on that album, was their highest charting single, reaching number fifty-one in the US. That same year, in late ’71, Walsh quit the band. The remaining members never attained the (small) success they had achieved with him, and they eventually dissolved the group in 1977.

Before the bands third album appropriately titled Thirds, the band had released James Gang Rides Again in July 1970. This song was the closing track on the album and was written by Joe Walsh and fellow bandmate Dale Peters. Although not one of the band’s more well-known songs, it was sampled by Fatboy Slim on his hit 1999 song “Right Here, Right Now.”

album art

James Gang - Ashes, the Rain, and I (1970)

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Sometimes I sit and I stare at the rain
Isn't rain filled with sorrow?
Wonder if I'll see my home again
Will it be dry tomorrow?

Time passes softly and I'm a day older
But still I’m living days gone by
Ashes to ashes, the rain's turning colder
Finding tomorrow, the ashes, the rain and I


  1. What an unusual song. Sounds more like a soundtrack to a dark movie than a commercial hit. I can imagine how those other band members felt watching their band member become one of the Eagles. Probably much like the Jackson brothers must have felt watching Michael become a superstar. But even worse because at least the Jackson brothers did see a taste of great success.

    1. They may have actually been more grateful than anything. James Gang wasn't very well-known in their hey-day. It wasn't until Joe Walsh had success in the Eagles that people began to check out the band that he used to be in more heavily. Had he not joined the Eagles, the James Gang may have passed on into a more obscure state!