Billy’s departure wasn’t the only crew change that took place in 1976. In early 1976, the band took on a new navigator in Roy Thomas Baker who had enjoyed success as Queen’s producer. The squadron touched down in Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada for about 2 months where they recorded their 3rd album. According to Ian, the band spent most of its time skiing in the morning, and then recording in the afternoons. Oh yes, there were some hair-raising handbrake turns in rented giant American cars in the evening. But that’s another story. In the studio. the band experimented with all sorts of things from reflecting Ian’s guitar off a sheet of glass to miking up Stuart’s drum kit with more microphones than the studio owner had ever seen on a kit before. Sticking the guitar speaker cabinet out in the open snow didn’t go over too well with the village that was only 3 miles away.

The band released “Running Water” in May of 1976 and Canada in July of 1976 before the album was released on August 6. While the mild chart success of these singles may have provided the first indication that the winds were changing. It was the departure of Stuart Tosh that showed some signs of turbulence. A week before “Morin Heights” was released Stuart bailed out for “domestic” reasons. Stuart later ended up joining 10cc. While “Canada” was released as a single in the US, the album itself was never released in the U.S. Interestingly; “Morin Heights” was the best selling of the Pilot albums. It did show the band in a more powerful light, mainly because of the heavier style of production by Roy Thomas Baker.


Click on the album links above to hear MP3 clips and find out more about each album!