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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Paul Brady: Trick Or Treat (1991)

This one might have passed you by. Produced by Gary Katz, the maestro behind many Steely Dan albums, and chock full of L.A. session musicians, this is a great album from the early Nineties. It’s very laid back.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with him, Paul Brady is an Irish folk singer by trade, so I suspect that his record company at the time (Phonogram) sent him over to L.A. to produce a hit album as a return on their investment, something that happened a lot in those days.

However, this is no means an album by numbers. The songs are great and well worth your attention.

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Producer: Gary Katz

Musicians:

Paul Brady: Vocals, Acoustuc & Electric Guitars, Mandolin, Piano, Keyboards, Tin Whistle, Drum Programming & Percussion

Jeff Porcaro: Drums & Percussion

Michael Landau: Electric Lead & Rhythm Guitars

David Paich: Piano & Keyboards

Freddie Washington & Jimmy Johnson: Bass

Paul Brady, Fonsie Thornton, Frank Floyd & Curtis King: Background vocals

Bonnie Raitt: Lead & Background vocals

Elliot Randall: Lead Guitar

Hugh McCracken: Harmonica

Betsy Cook: Keyboards

Paul Griffin: Keyboards

Billy Schlosser: Percussion

Tracklist:

  1. Soul Child
  2. Blue World
  3. Nobody Knows
  4. Can’t Stop Wanting You
  5. You And I
  6. Trick Or Treat
  7. Don’t Keep Pretending
  8. Solid Love
  9. Love Goes On
  10. Dreams Will Come

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Charlie Dore: Listen (1981)

This album is in my top ten albums of all time. It’s great! The songs are fantastic, the singing is brilliant, the production by Stewart Levine is exemplary and the musicianship is near perfect, as you would expect from one of the best line ups ever assembled.

Favourite tracks are the title track and the understated “I’m Over Here”.

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Producer: Stewart Levine

Musicians:
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Bass: Mike Porcaro
Guitars: Steve Lukather, Caleb Quay
Keyboards: Robbie Buchanan
Synthesizers: Robbie Buchanan, Ian Underwood
Percussion: Jeff Porcaro, Lenny Castro, Victor Feldman
Background Vocals: Donny Gerrard, Carl Graves, Jay Gruska, Charlie Dore

Tracklist:
1. Listen
2. Do Me A favour – Don’t
3. You Should Hear (How She Talks About You)
4. Falling
5. Don’t Say No
6. Wise To The Lines
7. I’m Over Here
8. Like They Do It In America
9. Sister Revenge
10. Didn’t I Tell You

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Lee Ritenour: Captain Fingers (1977)

I found this album in a local second hand CD shop over the summer and thought I’d give it a go, even though I’ve never a huge fan of the man and don’t possess any of his other albums. Boy, am I glad I bought it though. It’s a great album and considering it’s only his second platter it is hugely accomplished and features a plethora of West Coast talent.

It features a fantastic version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (with Bill Champlin on vocals) and my personal favourite ‘Fly By Night’ written by Dave Grusin.

I’ve never been a fan over instrumental albums as I find that they can be over-indulgent, and there are one of two times that this albums strays into that territory, but they are fleeting and don’t spoil the listening.

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Producer: Skip Drinkwater

Musicians:
Drums: Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro
Guitars: Lee Ritenour, Dennis Budimir, Jay Graydon, Mitch Holder, Ray Parker Jr.
Bass: Anthony Jackson, Alphonso Johnson, Bill Dickinson, Charles Meeks, Mike Porcaro
Keyboards: Dave Grusin, Dawilli Gonga, Ian Underwood, Patrice Rushen, David Foster
Percussion: Harvey Mason, Steve Forman
Congas: Victor Feldman
Sax: Ernie Watts
Vocals: Bill Champlin

Tracklist:

  1. Captain Fingers
  2. Dolphin Dreams
  3. Fly By Night
  4. Margarita
  5. Isn’t She Lovely
  6. Space Glide
  7. Sun Song

 

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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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White Horse (1977)

This album has reached some notoriety since “Over And Done With” was featured on Marcus Liesenfeld’s ‘Too Slow For Disco’ compilation. For the most part the songs are pop/country rock mix, not usually my taste but his album has a certain honest charm that draws you in and batters you over the head until you just give in and like it.

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Producer: White Horse

Musicians:
Drums: Jeff Porcaro, Gary Mallaber, Russ Kunkel
Bass: Kenny Altman, Bob Glaub, Chuck Domanico
Guitars: Paul Barrere, Caleb Quaye, Fred Tackett, Reggie Knighton, Doug Livingston, Jon Lind
Piano: Billy Nicholls, David Paich
Keyboards: Bill Payne
Percussion: Joe Porcaro, Milt Holland
All Vocals: White Horse

Tracklist:
1. It Doesn’t Take Much
2. Give It Up
3. Over and Done With
4. Love in A Mist
5. Lost and In Trouble
6. Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try)
7. Through Thick and Thin
8. Without Your Love
9. Everloving Arms
10. Take Me Back

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Brian Elliott (1978)

This one is for my buddy Nick.

The album is littered with the usual line up of Westcoast stars and the songs are the typical Westcoast sound that I love. The song ‘Room To Grow’ can be found on DJ Supermarkt’s excellent first “Too Slow To Disco” compilation.

He went on to devote himself to full time production, which is a shame as this is a very strong album. Also, he wrote ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ as well. That’ll keep his swimming pool heated for a while.

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Producers: Erik Jacobsen and Brian Elliot

Musicians:
Guitars: Larry Carlton, Fred Tackett, Lee Ritenour, Jay Graydon, Steve Beckmeier
Bass: David Hungate, Wilton Felder, Bob Glaub
Keyboards: Brian Elliot
Drums: Jeff Porcaro, Mike Baird, James Gadson, Gary Ferguson
Vibes: Victor Feldman
Horns: Anthony Terran, Julius Wetcher, Lew McCreary, Steve Madaio, David Wells, Seawind Horns
Background Vocals: Sherry Fox, Sue Richman, Valerie Carter, The Jones Sisters, The Waters

Tracklist:
1. Let’s Just Live Together
2. Summer Nights In Hollywood
3. Queen Of Clowns (One For Lily T.)
4. Room To Grow
5. Tickets To Rio
6. The First Time
7. Seventeen Goin’ On Twenty-One
8. Old Nueva Laredo
9. Last Vegas Wedding
10. One Last Night Together

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