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Boz Scaggs - ANTHOLOGY - Reviews

 

 

First-ever complete Boz Scaggs anthology.
 
Boz Scaggs is a tough man to pin down. He's covered some diverse territory to date: from burning electric blues to big-band hippie-rock; from blue-eyed soul through cool disco; from L.A. studio slickness to stripped-down roots-R&B. This might seem to brand Scaggs a study incontradiction. But Boz is a natural eclectic, whose unique synthesis is a testament to taste, curiosity and a passion for music of many genres. The result has been a legacy of classic work, much of which is collected within. My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology (1969-1997) is a smooth glide through an evolving career that simply - yet intriguingly - defies categorization.
 
Includes almost 30 years of BOZ's amazing musical career including tracks from the Columbia, Atlantic, Virgin own, Lido Shuffle, JoJo, Look What You've Done To Me, We're All Alone plus the early years and releases from this latest album. "Just Go" is released in the U.S. for the first time. Guest appearances by: Booker T. & The M.G.'s, Michael McDonald, Phoebe Snow, Donald Fagen and others!

Source: Sony Music Store

 

Although Boz Scaggs first found success as the lead singer on the early albums by the Steve Miller Band, his solo career quickly moved away from the psychedelic haze of those records. Although Scaggs's easygoing, slightly gritty vocals remained rooted in Chicago-style blues-rock, his albums became increasingly pop-friendly (and, consequently, better selling). By the end of the 1970s, the San Francisco native was a bona fide California soft-rock superstar, his success culminating in the adult-contemporary hit "Look What You've Done to Me," the love theme from the 1980 film URBAN COWBOY. As the comprehensive and career-spanning retrospective MY TIME makes clear, however, Scaggs had more in common with Steely Dan than the Eagles; blues and jazz remained at the root of his music even at the slick heights of "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown" from his classic, Toto-backed SILK DEGREES album. Later in his career, Scaggs returned to that fountainhead for rootsier outings.

Source: cduniverse

 

Boz Scaggs was one of those artists (like Fleetwood Mac) that is so heavily associated with the 1970s that one tends to overlook how innovative and creative they were. Their very ubiquity and vast influence undermines one's perception of their individual virtues. In 1976 or so you couldn't go anywhere without hearing songs from "Silk Degrees," and I, for one, got incredibly sick of it, and even more sick of the many copycats it spawned.

In the context of Boz Scaggs' whole career, which is thoughtfully encapsulated on this affordable two disk set, you realize that this great musical craftsman had been slowly developing the unique mix of classic R & B, romantic balladry, pop craft and contemporary dance grooves from the very beginning of his solo career; and in his unassuming way, created that 1970s "white soul" sound. The great early songs like "We Were Always Sweethearts," "Dinah Flo" and "Slow Dancer" are the foundation for what he produced on his soulful mega-hit "Silk Degrees."

"Lowdown," borrows a few disco touches, "What Can I Say" blends in the Philly soul sound, but everything is done very tastefully, humbly, and quite pleasureably. He then continued in that same vein, coming up with fresh new twists on his classic formula on albums that were big hits, as well as albums that slipped under the radar. Disk two includes a couple of songs that are ruined by 1980s production touches that seem completely at odds with his style--that tinkly, fairy-dust keyboard sound has ruined a lot of good songs. But it also includes Boz's more obscure, but very successful attempt to go back to the sound he started out with--blues, R&B, Ray Charles-like soul. There's a collaboration with Booker T and the MGs that is stunning, and the song "Some Change" is a burner.

To me, however, the most magical cuts are the ones that kick off side one, some taken from albums like "Moments," "My Time" and "Boz Scaggs and Band" that remain unavailable on CD. It would be nice to hear the whole albums, which have been unavailable for decades. For a guy who seemed so rooted in a specific time, Boz Scaggs has proven to be a timeless artist.

Reviewer: John Stodder "a.k.a. Juan La Princi"

 

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