Written By cino mbarix on Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 2:06 AM
Written By cino mbarix on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | 4:54 AM
When Boz Scaggs released Other Roads in 1988, he'd been off the scene for a full eight years. Produced by Bill Schnee, it featured some of his most unlikely songwriting collaborations with instrumental backing by Toto along with some studio aces. Scaggs tried hard to walk a line between the decade's obsession with more processed studio sounds that utilized electronic keyboards and drum machines up front, while relying more heavily on electric guitars and kit drums. He doesn't always succeed in keeping the balance, but the attempt sets him apart from most mainstream acts at the time. Other Roads is odd from the start: the opener, "What's Number One?" is a spacey pop number written with the late poet and songwriter Jim Carroll and bassist/arranger Marcus Miller. "Right Out of My Head," written with Dan and David Huff, juxtaposes Steve Lukather's blistering guitar work against a synth fill right out of Gary Numan's "Cars." Scaggs nailed another number one with "Heart of Mine" co-written with pop-jazz songwriter Bobby Caldwell (and the only cut produced by Stuart Levine). There's a strange futurist club noir inherent in both "I Don't Hear You" and "Crimes of Passion" written by Carroll and the Huffs. "Cool Running" written by Scaggs with Patrick Leonard is a solid, grown up, island groover with staggered R&B horns contrasted with a female backing chorus and a bridge of vocal counterpoint. "Claudia," by Steve Williams is one of Scaggs' classic mid-tempo, broken love songs with a killer bridge, and stellar guitar work by Lukather. The set closer is a dreamy adult pop ballad entitled "The Night of Van Gogh," co-authored by him, Caldwell and Peter Wolf. Scaggs was in top vocal shape when he cut this: cool, bemused, but able to capture and communicate emotion mellifluously with freeze frame accuracy. While Other Roads didn't scale the charts as an album, and is regarded as a minor work, hearing it in the 21st century reveals Scaggs' ambition and vision reach outside the box in a collection of great songs -- even if the production doesn't fare as well as the material. © Thom Jurek © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/other-roads-r17459/review
After an eight-year recording gap, Boz Scaggs released 'Other Roads' which was aimed at the adult contemporary market by his record company. The album reached #47 on the Billboard pop album chart, while “Heart of Mine”, a classic Boz ballad, was a big Adult Contemporary hit, reaching #3 on that chart. The single also reached #35 on the Billboard pop singles chart. 'Other Roads' mixes the expected ballads and 'dance-floor' style songs with some good rock tracks. Recording 'Other Roads' was nearly three years in the making and was a frustrating and difficult process for Boz. According to him, some record company executives wanted stuff re-recorded to make the album more commercial. Boz said that 'They didn't feel that they had a strong hit single'. Many of the songs were eventually reworked and some songs replaced. Later issues of the album differ from the version posted here. Boz has said in retrospect that 'I enjoy listening to this album more than any other album I've made. Last night, I went back to my hotel and listened to the album 3 times and really enjoyed it. But it's not what people expect of a Boz Scaggs album.' He also said, 'I had no choice. I did what I had to do. It's what I do. My father once said to me after a concert at the end of the seventies, 'You know, you really turned those people on. You really have something to give these people.' People really do enjoy it. Same way I got turned on when I saw Ray Charles for the first time or heard Al Green's voice. There are a lot of people out there who seem to miss my presence, and I miss being out there.' 'Other Roads' was an album that Boz Scaggs dearly wanted to make and have success with, and despite the record company's 'success' at turning the album into a 'commercial' venture, it's a very good album. Boz's 'Silk Degrees' is usually the standard by which all his other albums are judged. This is a common dilemma for many great artists. However, he has released other albums which have not been as successful as 'Silk Degrees' but really should be heard by more people. Buy Boz Scaggs' great jazzy 'But Beautiful' album, and check this blog for more related releases. Boz's brilliant 'Greatest Hits Live' album is @ BOZSC/GHLIV
TRACKS / COMPOSERS
What's Number One? - Boz Scaggs, J. Carroll / Marcus Miller
Claudia - Boz Scaggs, L. Williams, Bryan MacLean
Heart Of Mine - Boz Scaggs, Bobby Caldwell, Dennis Matkosky, Jason Scheff
Right Out Of My Head - Boz Scaggs, D. Huff
I Don't Hear You - J. Carroll, D. Huff
Mental Shakedown - Boz Scaggs, Guy Allison Steiner, D. Williams
Crimes Of Passion - J. Carroll, D. Huff
Funny - Boz Scaggs, Marcus Miller
Cool Running - Boz Scaggs, D. Williams, P. Leonard
The Night Of Van Gogh - Boz Scaggs, B. Caldwell, Peter Wolf
Boz Scaggs - Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Howard 'Buzz' Feiten, Steve Lukather, Carlos Rios, Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr., David Williams - Guitar
Freddie 'Ready Freddie' Washington, David Hungate - Bass
Marcus Miller - Bass, Clarinet, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Drums
Guy Allison Steiner - Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Synthesizer Drums
Patrick Leonard, Peter Wolf, Larry Williams - Keyboards
Robbie Buchanan - Keyboards, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Bass
Alan Pasqua - Keyboards, Synthesizer Bass
David Paich - Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals
Aaron Zigman - Keyboards, Synthesizer
Siedah Garrett - Keyboards, Vocals (Background)
Jeff Porcaro, John 'J.R.' Robinson - Drums
Rhett Lawrence - Drums, Keyboards
Michael Fischer, Paulinho Da Costa, Lenny Castro - Percussion
Paulette McWilliams, Kate Markowitz, Edie Lehmann, Carl Carwell, Charlotte Crossley, Kevin Dorsey, Phillip Ingram, James Ingram, Pam Hutchinson, David Lasley, Jeanette Hanes, Phil Perry, Darryl Phinnessee, Boz Schmit, Timothy B. Schmit, Myrna Smith-Schilling Vocals (Background)
After first finding acclaim as a member of the Steve Miller Band, singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs went on to enjoy considerable solo success in the 1970s. Born William Royce Scaggs in Ohio on June 8, 1944, he was raised in Oklahoma and Texas, and while attending prep school in Dallas met guitarist Steve Miller. Scaggs joined Miller's group the Marksmen as a vocalist in 1959, and the pair later attended the University of Wisconsin together, where they played in blues bands like the Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains. Scaggs returned to Dallas alone in 1963, fronting an R&B unit dubbed the Wigs; after relocating to England, the group promptly disbanded, and two of its members -- John Andrews and Bob Arthur -- soon formed Mother Earth. Scaggs remained in Europe, singing on street corners. He also recorded a failed solo LP in Sweden, 1965's Boz, before returning to the U.S. two years later. Upon settling in San Francisco, he reunited with Miller, joining the fledgling Steve Miller Band; after recording two acclaimed albums with the group, Children of the Future and Sailor, Scaggs exited in 1968 to mount a solo career. With the aid of Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs next secured a contract with Atlantic. Sporting a cameo from Duane Allman, 1968's soulful Boz Scaggs failed to find an audience despite winning critical favor, and the track "Loan Me a Dime" later became the subject of a court battle when bluesman Fenton Robinson sued (successfully) for composer credit. After signing to Columbia, Scaggs teamed with producer Glyn Johns to record 1971's Moments, a skillful blend of rock and R&B which, like its predecessor, failed to make much of an impression on the charts. Scaggs remained a critics' darling over the course of LPs like 1972's My Time and 1974's Slow Dancer, but he did not achieve a commercial breakthrough until 1976's Silk Degrees, which reached number two on the album charts while spawning the Top Three single "Lowdown," as well as the smash "Lido Shuffle." 1977's Down Two Then Left was also a success, and 1980's Middle Man reached the Top Ten on the strength of the singles "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jo Jo." However, Scaggs spent much of the 1980s in retirement, owning and operating the San Francisco nightclub Slim's and limiting his performances primarily to the club's annual black-tie New Year's Eve concerts. Finally, he resurfaced in 1988 with the album Other Roads, followed three years later by a tour with Donald Fagen's Rock and Soul Revue. The solo effort Some Change appeared in 1994, with Come on Home and My Time: The Anthology (1969-1997) both released in 1997. The newly energized Scaggs spent the next few years consistantly releasing new material, including Here's the Low Down, Fade into Light, Dig, and a collection of standards called But Beautiful. An expanded reissue of Silk Degrees and Runnin' Blue (a recording of a 1974 performance) appeared in 2007, and Speak Low saw him reinterpreting a number of jazz standards in 2008. © Jason Ankeny © 2011 Rovi Corporation http://www.allmusic.com/artist/boz-scaggs-p5359/biography
Boz Scaggs (born William Royce Scaggs, 8 June 1944, Canton, Ohio) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He gained fame in the 1970s with several Top 20 Hits in the United States along with the #2 album Silk Degrees. Scaggs continued to release and record in the 1980s and 1990s, and still tours into the 2000s. Scaggs was born William Royce Scaggs in Canton, Ohio, the son of a traveling salesman. The family moved to Oklahoma, then to Plano, at that time a Texas farm town just north of Dallas. He attended a Dallas private school, St. Mark's, where a schoolmate gave him the nickname 'Bosley'. Soon, he was just plain Boz. After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark's. In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller's band, The Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison together, playing in blues bands like The Ardells and The Fabulous Knight Trains. Leaving school, Scaggs briefly joined the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene in London. After singing in bands such as The Wigs and Mother Earth, he traveled to Sweden as a solo performer, and in 1965 recorded his solo debut album, Boz, which was not a commercial success. Scaggs also had a brief stint with the band The Other Side with fellow American Jack Downing and Brit Mac MacLeod. Returning to the U.S., Scaggs promptly headed for the booming psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967. Linking up with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor, which received good reviews from music critics. After being spotted by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968. Despite good reviews, his sole Atlantic album, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and slide guitarist Duane Allman, achieved lukewarm sales, as did follow-up albums on Columbia Records. (His Atlantic album was deleted and replaced with the exact same cover and tracks, but it was given a new catalog number and it was completely remixed in Los Angeles in 1977. This new remix brought Duane Allman's guitar up to the front, but it greatly altered the original feeling. On the track 'Finding Her', the volume fades down real low for the last minute, an obvious mixing error by engineer Craymore Stevens. The original has never been available on CD.) In 1976, he linked up with session musicians who would later form Toto and recorded his smash album Silk Degrees. The album reached number 2 on the U.S. charts and number 1 in a number of countries across the world, spawning three hit singles: 'Lowdown', 'Lido Shuffle', and 'What Can I Say', as well as the MOR standard 'We're All Alone', later covered by Rita Coolidge and Frankie Valli. A sellout world tour followed, but his follow-up album, the 1977 Down Two Then Left, did not fare as well commercially as Silk Degrees. The 1980 album Middle Man spawned two top 20 hits, 'Breakdown Dead Ahead' and 'Jojo,' and Scaggs enjoyed two more hits in 1980-81 ('Look What You've Done to Me' from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and 'Miss Sun' from a greatest hits set, both U.S. #14 hits). But Scaggs' lengthy hiatus from the music industry (his next LP, Other Roads, wouldn't appear until 1988) slowed his chart career down dramatically. 'Heart of Mine' in 1988, from Other Roads, was Scaggs' final top 40 hit but was a major adult contemporary success. Scaggs continued to record and tour sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and for a time was semi-retired from the music industry. He opened the San Francisco nightclub, Slim's, in 1988, and remains a co-owner as of 2008. After Other Roads, Scaggs took another hiatus and then came back with Some Change in 1994. He released Come On Home, an album of blues, and My Time, an anthology in the late 1990s. He garnered good reviews with Dig although the CD, which was released on September 11, 2001, was lost in the post-9/11 melée. In May 2003, Scaggs released But Beautiful, a collection of jazz standards that debuted at number 1 on the jazz charts. He tours each summer, has a loyal cadre of fans, remains hugely popular in Japan, and released a DVD and a live CD in 2004. Other releases followed. In 2008, Scaggs began an expanded tour, and is scheduled to appear across the country from spring through fall. Scaggs and his wife grow grapes in California's Napa County and have produced their own wine.
Written By cino mbarix on Friday, February 4, 2011 | 7:55 AM
Written By cino mbarix on Thursday, February 3, 2011 | 3:27 AM
ITSUTSU NO AKAI FUSEN
FLIGHT 1 & 2
Original Issue: 1970 Underground Record Club URG-4006)
Original Issue: 1971 Underground Record Club URG-4007)
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Imagine an LP half full of songs such as Erika Eigen's 'I Wanna Marry a Lighthouse Keeper' from the A CLOCKWORK ORANGE soundtrack. Mo Tucker's Velvet Underground ballads 'After-hours' and 'I'm Sticking with You', and that ubercute ditty Tonight You Belong to Me' that Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sang together in The Jerk.
Imagine that same album also contains a few euphorically strung-out cosmic folk ballads somewhere in the style of Tim Buckley's Straight Records LP BLUE AFTERNOON united with Culture's super-sweet TWO SEVENS CLASH, but sung by a man and a woman in the manner of Emtidi's SAAT. Then imagine that some of that material was extended to cover a whole side of 12' vinyl, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser-style.
Okay, now imagine there were two such LPs and that they were released one year apart on a cult label called Underground Record Club, and you've hit exactly where Itsutsu no Akai Fusen is coming from. It's a weird combination of urban torch songs, rural lovey-dovey indoor campfire, and transcendental tripped out meditative space folk. Both LPs were packaged in cosmic spacious gatefold sleeves, and the records were mainly sung by female singer Hideko Fujiwara and written by songwriter Takashi Nishioka, the man responsible for a fairly legendary Japanese album, MELTING GLASS BOX. that I've never really found much time for.
These two records I like very much indeed, however, so they're hidden away at number 47 because I listen to them all the time, despite having never had much time for the Japanese early-'70s folk scene. So please excuse this review hyping two LPs simultaneously, but by 2012, you'll most likely have found time to investigate these records and, hopefully, are by now digging them.
Original Issue: 1980 Heliander (Help 703)
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
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An amazing find... intense droning Finnish vocals and searing fuzz guitars with hand percussion. Sounds like the more serious tracks on Walter Wegmuller's 'Tarot' album. Or even Sergius Golowin's 'Lord Krishna Von Goloka'. Comes completely out of left field, and is pretty much one of a kind, especially considering the time and place.
Rannan Usvassa (Heliander HELP 703) may be the most obscure Finnish progressive rock album. In fact, even the identity of the musicians behind the pseudonym Sepi Kuu is unclear. Stylistically Rannan Usvassa (In the Mist of the Shore) is actually more late-in-the-day psychedelia than progressive rock, as most of the album's twelve short tracks build on a few chords strummed or arpeggiated on acoustic guitar, over which an unsonorous voice more recites than sings blank verse about existential angst and mysticism by the numbers. Organ, oscillators and flute gather their modal mist around these structures, while a fuzz guitar occasionally snakes up to thicken arrangements with background growls or, in the case of 'Puhukaa mitä puhutte' ('Say What You Will') and the title track, understated solos, in a style remotely comparable to early Jade Warrior. Bass and percussion also make appearances, played with the same homespun plainness and lack of technical boasting that marks the whole project - for better or worse.
There is a decidedly amateurish air about the monotonous staccato thrum of 'Tämän linnoituksen on kestettävä' ('This Fortress Must Stand') or the stop-start, kindergarten-variety proto-industrial-metal muck that accompanies the vicious circle of amateur-philosopher homilies in 'Ajatus' ('Thought'). And yet 'Muuratut kasvot' ('Bricked Faces') digs up surprising lyricism from its dusky vocal melodies, ringing guitar arpeggios and meditative keyboard solo, while the one instrumental 'Manvantara' cleverly flanks its centre-position solo flute with asynchronous sets of drums panned to the opposite sides of the stereo field, each coupled with a feedbacking guitar or synthesizer. As a small-time psychedelic album Rannan Usvassa is quite acceptable, but any aura of lost classic obscurity may have furnished it with is totally unwarranted. And obscurity was a fact in 2004, for the original vinyl was very rare and no CD release existed (the Tachika pirate-CD-R edition does not rate as one).