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on 13 July 2011
The two albums contained within this excellent twofer beautifully remastered by BGO records represent the last gasp of Poco as a fully signed up country rock unit before they proceeded down the soft-rock route to (relative) riches in the late 70's but leaving their original fanbase behind in the process. Both albums are excellent with only one or two relative duds per set, which is a pretty good strike rate in anyone's book with excellent songwriting, playing and singing (especially the glistening harmonies which put later contenders like Fleet Foxes to shame). At this stage Rusty Young's brilliant pedal steel playing was still an integral component to the Poco sound which really makes a difference and keeps at bay the impending drift to out-and-out AOR. In fact these two albums are a good bit better than their previous two albums on the Epic label (Seven & Cantomos) which had their moments but were a bit patchy. So if late 'classic-era' 70's country rock is your thing with superb harmony singing and ultra-melodic songwriting then get this set you'll not be disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
When I reviewed The Essential Collection, which starts with 4 tracks from Head Over Heels, I referred to the decline in standard after this and did not expect HOH to be re-released. Well, here it is, adding up to excellent value with Rose of Cimarron.

I like the title track from ROC and a couple of others but I really prefer HOH, well remember buying it when it was first released. Many of my friends also liked it and kept borrowing it over the years until I eventually lost it! No excuse not to buy it now at this price for both albums. Stand out tracks for me are Keep On Tryin', so simple, melodic and such beautiful harmony vocals; Makin' Love, with brilliant pedal steel from Rusty Young, whose playing is inspired throughout, as the other reviewer has mentioned; Down in the Quarter is also a favourite, starting in quite a lowdown, moody fashion and expanding out with very effective strings. Not all albums have fared well from added strings but the Doobie Brothers Stampede album also has strings that actually enhance some tracks.

Excellent re-mastering, good booklet with a description of instruments and vocals on all tracks and some very interesting notes by John Tobler. Altogether a great package.
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There are two albums on this CD: "Head over Heels" (tracks # 1-11) was released in July 1975, while "Rose of Cimarron" (tracks # 12-21) was released in May 1976. Both albums were of course released on vinyl. This compilation (2 albums on 1 CD) was released by BGO Records in July 2011. The total running time is about 1 hour and 12 minutes.

Inside the jewel-case there is a booklet with 10 pages including two pictures of the band. Inside the booklet you will find a list of all the people who worked on these albums (band members and others) and lyrics to all songs on "Head over Heels."

In addition, there is an essay about the band and the two albums by the British rock music journalist John Tobler. It is an updated version of the essay he wrote for the CD Seven/Cantamos which was released by BGO Records in 2006.

The original album covers are re-printed on the front cover of the booklet. Obviously, the size of the covers has been reduced several times over, and here they measure only 46 x 46 mm. The cover of "Head over Heels" is designed by Tim Bryant and Phil Hartman, while the cover of "Rose of Cimarron" is designed by Tom Wilkes and Phil Hartman.

All titles are printed on the back of the jewel-case and on the CD, but the names of the composers and the running time of each track are not given here. If the CD is played on a computer, the titles and the names of the composers will show up on the screen.

Poco was formed in 1968, and their first album was released in 1969. Over the years the line-up of the band has changed several times. You can find more information about the band in a book written by Jerry Fuentes and published in 2008, when the band could celebrate their 40 year anniversary: Legend: The Story of Poco.

"Head over Heels" was Poco's album # 9; their first album on ABC. At the time of recording, the line-up of the band was as follows:

* Rusty Young - vocals, pedal steel guitar, and banjo
* Paul Cotton - vocals and guitar
* Tim Schmit - vocals and bass
* George Grantham - vocals and drums

The following musicians also appeared:

* Al Garth - violin on track # 2
* Garth Hudson - piano on track # 4
* Jimmy Haskell - string arrangements on tracks # 5 and 10
* Victor Feldman - percussion on tracks # 6, 10, and 11
* Mark Henry Harman - keyboards

"Rose of Cimarron" was Poco's album # 11. At the time of recording, the line-up of the band was the same as on album # 9 - with one addition: Al Garth joined the band. On this album he plays the saxophone and the violin, but he did not stay long.

The following musicians also appeared:

* Milt Holland - percussion on tracks # 12, 15, 16, and 17
* Steve Ferguson - piano on tracks # 17-19 and 21
* Tom Sellers - piano on track # 12
* Sid Sharp - concert master on track # 12
* John [sometimes Johnny] "Juke" Logan - banjo on track # 19

All tracks on this CD are original compositions by members of the band except track # 10 "Dallas," which is written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker - co-founders of the American rock band Steely Dan.

There are eight songs by Rusty Young and seven by Paul Cotton. Tim Schmit wrote tracks # 1, 11, and 14 alone; he wrote track # 9 with Jacob Otis Brennan and track # 19 with John "Juke" Logan.

I bought these albums when they were released on vinyl. For a while I played them a lot. Now they are available on a CD. The technical quality is fine. The music sounds exactly as it did when I played the LPs many years ago.

According to the cover, the tracks have been digitally re-mastered, and as far as I can tell, it has been done well.

Poco plays country rock, but over the years their style has undergone some changes, perhaps because the line-up of the band has changed several times. On this CD I think it is fair to say that we have some country as well as some rock. The country flavour is strong on tracks # 2, 12, 15, 16, 18, 20, and 21.

Regarding the title track "Rose of Cimarron" John Tobler reveals in his essay that it is "a personal all-time favourite," adding that "the quality of the song can be judged by the fact that it was also recorded by Emmylou Harris, who made it the title track of her 1981 album, Cimarron." I agree with him: "Rose of Cimarron" is one of the best songs ever recorded by Poco.

["Cimarron" by Emmylou Harris was released on a CD in the year 2000. Here is a link to this album: Cimarron.]

As far as I am concerned, there are no bad songs on this CD, and some songs are really outstanding. From "Head over Heels" I want to mention tracks # 1 and 7; from "Rose of Cimarron" I want to mention tracks # 12, 15, 16, and 21.

In my opinion, "Head over Heels" and "Rose of Cimarron" are two of the best albums from Poco.

This CD is highly recommended.
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on 21 January 2013
odd, but the album head over heals, Id never head of ,is by far better
than Rose of cimarron, having said that a good package,
worth a listen
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on 20 October 2015
couldn't be more chuffed, I feel whole again . What a treat, The Eagles had a doddle trying to copy artistry like these albums ! Impossible to take anything away from these though
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on 19 June 2015
Bought on the strength of 'Rose of Cimarron' as I saw this band live at around the time of its recording. This is Poco at their very best. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 20 November 2015
just purchased cd for one song rose of Cimarron
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on 3 July 2014
Great album
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