Pilot was a pop rock group formed in 1973 in Edinburgh, Scotland by former Bay City Rollers members David Paton and Billy Lyall. This was prior to the Bay City Rollers "hitting the big time". Joined by Stuart Tosh and Ian Bairnson, the band recorded several demos over the course of 1973 and 1974, eventually catching the attention of EMI Records.
The 1974 single "Magic" from their debut album, engineered by Alan Parsons and written by David Paton, was a #11 UK and #5 U.S. hit and remains a pop classic. The simple but catchy pop ditty "January" gave them their biggest hit in the UK, securing the number one spot in the UK Singles Chart in January 1975.
The band's other single chart hits were "Call Me Round" and "Just A Smile" (both 1975). By the time 1977 came around only Paton and Bairnson were left from the original foursome, and they recorded Pilot's final album (the aptly entitled Two's a Crowd) alone.
By 1978, all of Pilot's members had moved on to other projects, notably Tosh, Paton and Bairnson becoming core members of the Alan Parsons Project, and Tosh also working with 10cc.
Lyall died of AIDS-related causes in 1989.
Paton and Bairnson reconvened in 2002, to re-record the original Pilot album Two's a Crowd. The subsequent issue was entitled, Blue Yonder (see below).
In 2007, their hit single "Magic," was used in a Pillsbury television commercial.