A second single, “Eyes of Silver,” was issued next, but failed to chart in the Top 40 and it only peaked at #52. During the run of the second single, radio stations began playing “Black Water” and Warner Brothers followed with it as a single release. It was an excellent move as “Black Water” was the band’s first of only two number one records. It peaked on the charts in 1975. The band’s other #1 was 1979’s “What a Fool Believes.”
Contrary to popular belief, there is no violin on this recording. There is, however, a viola which is played by session musician Novi Novog. The viola is larger and tuned a fifth lower than a violin and is an octave above a ‘cello. It also includes wind chimes and an Autoharp courtesy of Arlo Guthrie.
One of the notable parts of the song is it’s a cappella break. Producer Ted Templeton is credited with the idea for this part of the song. It may have just been the hook that made “Black Water” a hit.