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The pop/rock quartet Diesel is among only a handful of Dutch acts to have charted with a single in the U.S. and, like most of those acts, their success was limited to one song. The band's lineup included drummer Pim Koopman, who had been a founding member of the progressive rock group Kayak, and guitarist/vocalist Rob Vunderink, who would later join Kayak. Koopman, who had become a staff producer for EMI following his stint with Kayak, and Vunderink had recorded a one-off single as Concrete before forming Diesel. The band released their first single in 1979 and they had several hits in the Netherlands.
The band underwent lineup changes immediately following the recording of their debut album, Watts in a Tank. Koopman, because of his production work, wasn't always available to tour and several other members left to join another band. The group did manage to maintain a presence in the Dutch club scene, but further studio efforts from them seemed unlikely. Then, "Sausalito Summernights," which had been a minor Dutch hit, began to generate interest abroad. MCA gave Watts in a Tank a U.S. release in 1981 and the catchy "Sausalito Summernights" became a sizable radio hit, peaking at number 25 (in Canada, the song topped the charts). The group continued to be plagued by personnel problems, but managed to record a second album, Unleaded, which was a complete commercial failure. Although various incarnations would continue to record and release singles under the moniker of Diesel for the next decade, they would never recapture the success of "Sausalito Summernights," and, in the States, the band would remain a one-hit wonder. ~ Tom Demalon