Boz Scaggs/Hits!

Boz Scaggs is an American Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist who claimed great worldwide acclaim in the late 1970’s/early 80’s. Scagg’s release Silk Degrees brought the singer worldwide success and acclaim in AOR radio outlets. This album, it is interesting to note, was recorded by session musicians who later went on to form the multi-platinum Toto. Scaggs, unable to quite replicate the success of his heyday still records and tours to this day. Thus far, Boz has released 23 full length releases. It is also interesting to note that Scagg’s son Austin is the author of the popular column ‘Smoking Section’ in rolling Stone Magazine.

Lowdown—-Reeking of the popular and defining recipe of 70’s radio, the song is a smooth almost jazzy feel that sucks you into a nice groove from the first few bars. Scaggs delivers an odd deep throated vocal that sometimes soars to a clear tenor, and then tries to delve into a realm that is beyond him…this only serves to make him more endearing. The back up singers add the flair needed for FM radio and the sound is classic. I have looked for a great version of this release and finally found it today…the little things make me so happy.

You Make It Hard [To Say No]—-If you are reading this and you were around and aware of AM radio of the late 70’s, you cannot help but smile as you hear the refrains from this song. The track is full of a sunny feel…horns abound with the addition of female back up singers and literally defines the times. The vocal of Boz only serve to bolster the track as he delivers a cool and jazzy laid back vocal that has chart success written all over it. I can still hear Casey Kasem extolling the man’s talents on American Top 40. Wonderful to revisit.

Miss Sun—-One of Scaggs biggest and most enduring hits, the song has a feel that was alluring to the disco crowd and the top 40 listener. The AOR recipe was in full effect…everything fell into place for him at the time…masterful female backing sounds, a really danceable almost dirty groove and a downshift to the song that makes you want to move…this is classic and not to be missed…YouTube this track…the back up singers almost show up Boz at times. Wonderful…..tripping down memory lane!!!

Lido Shuffle—-Scaggs takes on a more deeper and sexy sound to his voice that gives this song a huge feel…the song itself is full of horns and irresistible hooks. You cannot dent the catch of the stays with you and will not let you alone. I have not been in possession of this Hits CD for about 15 years and still yearned for it from time to time…you can not dent the genius of the release and the ‘right record at the right time’ theory. Scaggs toiled for years and then worldwide success landed at his doorstep in an instance with this release. This is classic and masterful…brilloiant and wonderful!!!!

We’re All Alone—-It is wonderful to hear this top 40 slop once again…I have vivid images of the song and the time it was released. All of the difficult struggles of adolescence and emerging sexuality. The confusion and the inner turmoil of decisions and consequences of those decisions. This is a pure trip down a yellow brick road that is not so grand or fun any more, but nostalgic and necessary none the less. This is fantastic! Seek this out if you really love music!

Breakdown Dead Ahead—-This track follows in the same recipe that made Silk Degrees such a success for Scaggs. The voice is laid back, bluesy and sexy. The delivery is almost too perfectly matched to the music and you can hear the Toto  sound even here in the pace of the song. Scaggs inclusion of the female singers is genius…it adds so much more depth and soul to the music. this is wonderful…the phrasing and delivery of the lyric is masterful. I love this!!!!

Look What You’ve Done To Me—-I have vivid memories of this song…I had a job in a full service restaurant as a busboy when this song was in full rotation…I remember playing countless hours of Pac-Man on the arcade game in the lobby and this song constantly showing up on the playlist. It was a vivid picture of my adolescent and it always brings me to tumultuous thoughts of my development at the time. Scaggs is so serious and sincere in his delivery, the swells of the music sucks you in and makes you instantly introspective and full of thoughts of long ago.  Wonderful to hear again, but I would never go back to those difficult and torrid days. A true AOR masterpiece!!!

JoJo—-Full of a slight funky feel, the song has horns and cool vocal deliveries. The delivery of the song is sexy and low down dirtiness that brings about visions of blues and dark dank clubs. The vocal delivery is almost slif=ding in scale and the female back up singers only add to the atmosphere of the song. this is wonderful!!1 The song changes tempo often and the horn add a nice bluesy almost low down dirty feel to the song…classic Toto sounds as you look back on it. this is wonderful…I never tire of this.

Dinah Flo—-I hate to beat a dead horse [so to speak]. but this song just reeks of the classic AOR recipe…it is no wonder Scaggs found such huge success at the time he did. All over AM radio, you could hear Smoky Robinson, Air Supply and bands that delivered the type of mind numbing slop that you could forget your life in…this is classic. Wonderfully delivered with huge blues piano and horns, the song does not rely so much on Scaggs as it does the music and the background singers. In this song….everyone is a star!

You Can Have Me Anytime—-The delivery of the song is almost haunting and plays like the theme song to a really sad movie. Scaggs delivers a vocal that is unaffected and straight up pleasurable emotion. wonderfully constructed, the song relies only on the quasi-orchestrated backdrop and the emotional delivery that Boz brings to the song. This is wonderful…a nice listen on a snowy night in front of the fireplace or a stormy day when you are hurting or lonely…the beauty is that the song is so adaptive. A true master!

****1/2 out of 5


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