Boz Scaggs: Down Two Then Left (1977)

This album was always going to be a slightly tricky sell after the genius of ‘Silk Degrees’. For me this is not as good as that album or the one that followed it ‘Middle Man’, but it is still Boz Scaggs and it is still an excellent album.

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Producer: Joe Wissert

Musicians:
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Guitars: Jay Graydon, Ray Parker Jr., Steve Lukather
Bass: Scott Edwards, David Hungate
Piano: Jai Winding
Keyboards: Michael Omartian
Percussion: Bobbye Hall
Horns: Chuck Findley, Steve Madaio, Ernie Watts, Fred Selden, Don Menza, David Duke
Background Vocals: Carolyn Willis, Jim Gilstrap, John Lehman, Venetta Fields, Phyllis St. James, Myrna Matthews, Julia Tillman

Tracklist:
1. Still Falling For You
2. Hard Times
3. A Clue
4. Whatcha Gonna Tell Your Man
5. We’re Waiting
6. Hollywood
7. Then She Walked Away
8. Gimme The Goods
9. 1993
10. Tomorrow Never Came

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Michael Cruz: The Heart Never Forgets (1981)

This is a great album of Blue Eyed Soul but appears to be Michael’s only release. To be honest, I’ve been unable to find out much about him and had to load the track below onto YouTube myself as none of the tracks from this great album are on there.

This version of the album comes with five bonus tracks for you to enjoy.

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Producers: Michael Cruz, J. James Jarrett

Musicians:
Drums: Tom Cochan, Jim Hines, Ira Walters
Bass: Jeff Steele, Adonis Hampton, Greg Mitchell, Phillip Scott
Guitars: Nick Brown, Kenny Allen
Keyboards: Jae Jarrett
Percussion: Tom Cochan
Horns: Jimmy Carter, Steve Eisen, David Jamarillo
Background Vocals: Victoria Reid, Holly Rutheford, Beth Lawrence, Debbie Swanson, Kathy Brown

Tracks:
1. Long Time, No Love
2. This Time
3. When We Make Love
4. The Heart Never Forgets
5. You Got Me Lovin’ Overtime
6. Late Late Show
7. A Heart Is Broken Every Minute
8. Only Game In Town (bonus)
9. Joy (bonus)
10. No Pity (bonus)
11. Never Again (bonus)
12. Late Late show (“Enciendeme”) (bonus)

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Felix Cavaliere: Castles In The Air (1979)

Nice piece of Blue Eyed Soul from the ex-frontman if The Rascals, and even features Eddie and David Brigati from the same group on backing vocals. Also featured are other top shelf artists like Steve Jordan, Buss Feiten, Will Lee and Randy Brecker, as well and David Lasley, Arnold McCuller and Luther Vandross on backing vocals.

Its a good album with a nice lazy, laid back feel to it. the opening track ‘Good To Have Love Back’ is fantastic.

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Producers: Felix Cavaliere and Cengiz Yaltkaya

 

Musicians:
Drums: Steve Jordan, Steve Ferrone
Guitars: Hiram Bullock, Steve Khan, Vinnie Cusano, Buzzy Feiten
Keyboards: Felix Cavaliere
Synthesizer: Ed Walsh
Bass: Will Lee, Neil Jason, Gene Santini, Marcus Miller
Percussion: Raphael Cruz
Horns: Marvin Stamm, George Young, Seldon Powell, Barry Rogers, Ronnie Cuber, Randy Brecker
Background Vocals: Eddie Brigati, David Brigati, David Lasley, Lynn Pitney, Arnold McCuller, Luther Vandross, Diva Gray, Annie Sutton

 

Tracklist:

1. Good To Have Love Back

2. Only a Lonely Heart Sees

3. All or Nothing

4. Castles In The Air

5. People got To Be Free

6. Dancin’ The Night Away

7. Love Is The First Day Of Spring

8. Outside Your Window

9. Don’t Hold Back Your Love

10. You Turned Me Around

 

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James Walsh Gypsy Band (1978)

This is one of those lost classics that really should have been a huge hit, and the band a household name. But neither of those things happened.

They peddled the type of Blue Eyed Soul that the Faragher Bros. were kicking out at around the same time. Which is a good thing. It’s a nice album. Well worth your time.

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Producer: Richard Jorgensen

Musicians:

Bass: Scott Fronsoe

Drums & Percussion: Ernie LaViolette

Guitar: Jim Behringer

Lead Vocal, Keyboards & Synthesizer: James Walsh

Trombone: Todd Hansen

Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Richard Jorgensen

Tracklist:

  1. You Make Me Feel Like Livin’
  2. Love Is For The Best In Us
  3. Bring Yourself Around
  4. Don’t Look Back
  5. Cuz It’s You, Girl
  6. You
  7. Gray Tears
  8. My Star
  9. Whole Lotta Givin’ To Do
  10. Lookin’ Up I See
  11. Someday

 

 

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Bobby Caldwell: Cat In The Hat (1980)

In my humble opinion, this is his best album. It’s certainly funkier than any of his other albums, until the ‘Cool Uncle’ album that is. Check that one out if you haven’t already.

Back in 1980 this album was probably a brave move, considering the huge success of his previous album and the ultra-smooth ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’.

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Producers: Bobby Caldwell and Steve Kimball

Musicians:
Drums: Harold Seay, Andy Newmark, Joe Galdo, Ed Greene, Bobby Caldwell
Guitars: Bobby Caldwell
Keyboards and Synthesizers: Bobby Caldwell, Bruce Malament
Bass: George Perry, John Paulus, Bobby Caldwell
Sax: Mike Lewis, Chris Colclessor, Mark Colby
Horns: Jeffrey Kievet, Hollis Burridge, Jerry Peel, Gary Lindsay, James Marshall
All Vocals: Bobby Caldwell

Tracklist:
1. Coming Down From Love
2. Wrong or Right
3. To Know What You’ve Got
4. You Promised Me
5. It’s Over
6. Open Your Eyes
7. Mother of Creation
8. I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love

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Love & Money: Strange Kind Of Love (1988)

This album was introduced to me on the ‘Secret’ page of the old Blue Desert website. They don’t do that page anymore, but it did introduce me to some fantastic albums. This one included.

It does of course have Westcoast pedigree with the inclusion of Jeff Porcaro on drums (following the departure of Stuart Kerr) and the production of Steely Dan’s knob-twiddler, Gary Katz.

To these ears it sounds like the kind of Sophisti-Pop/Blue Eyed Soul dished up by other Scottish bands of the time like The Blue Nile and The Adventures. But, with the production of Katz, this album stands apart.

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Producer: Gary Katz

Musicians:
Bass: Bobby Paterson
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Keyboards, Piano: Paul McGeechan
Percussion: Ronnie Goodman (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 8 to 11)
Vocals, Electric Guitar: James Grant

Tracklist:
1. Halleluiah Man
2. Shape Of Things To Come
3. Strange Kind Of Love
4. Axis Of Love
5. Jocelyn Square
6. Walk The Last Mile
7. Razorsedge
8. Inflammable
9. Up Escalator
10. Avalanche

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Dick St. Nicklaus: Magic (1979)

I snaffled this one from ‘LFTS’ back last year, when it briefly reappeared, and I was glad that I did.

Initially sceptical, I found the album a little to ‘showy’ for my taste, but I have come to appreciate the style and can certainly see why people rave about it. It’s probably more ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ than Westcoast AOR, although there is definitely some crossover here.

This was requested by Andy. Enjoy Andy.

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Producers: Dick St. Nicklaus and Velton Ray Bunch

Musicians:
Drums: Steve Schaffer
Bass: Leland Sklar
Guitars: Mitch Holder, Dick St. Nicklaus
Keyboards: Dick St. Nicklaus, Velton Ray Bunch, Bill Mays
Synthesizer: Dick St. Nicklaus, Ian Underwood
Percussion: John Kaye, Gary Coleman
Horns: Chuck Findley, James Horn, Pete Christlieb, Ernie Watts, Dick Hyde, Steve Madaio
Background Vocals: Jean Ann Chapman, Merry Green, Lisa Roberts, Scherrie Payne, Deborah Dennard, Tommy Webb, Freeman Cle

Tracklist:
1. Magic
2. Help Yourself
3. What’s The Reason
4. Can’t Give Up
5. Our Goodbye
6. Born To Love
7. Sad Price To Pay
8. She’s My Music
9. Changing

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