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A Truncated Collection - We Want A Box Set!,
This review is from: My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology [1969-1997] (Audio CD)
`MY TIME: A BOZ SCAGGS ANTHOLOGY (1969-1997)
BOZ SCAGGS Released 1997 (2CD set)
Catalogue Number 487397 2 Sony Music (Columbia)
This album was clearly intended by his old record company to cash in on his newfound popularity on his new record label, Virgin. With 1994's `Some Change' and the release this year of `Come On Home' (from which `Goodnight Louise' is here included), his tribute to the rhythm and blues artists who continue to inspire him, Boz has found a new, if still `select' audience; and for those who don't know where he is coming from this just might be good place to start.
It does remind you of just how long he has been playing and recording, and the liner notes by Ben Fong Torres are both informative and interesting.
The notes discuss his earliest recordings with The Steve Miller Band, but none of that is sampled here. While the album does proceed in general chronological order it is slightly mystifying why `Loan Me A Dime', the 13 minute blues opus (featuring Duane "Skydog" Allman) from his first, 1969, solo album on Atlantic, should appear at the end of Disc One after the selection from 1976's `Silk Degrees', his monster selling hit album. Clearly aimed at the more "casual" fan than the longer term "aficianado"!
The album is otherwise split into the period up to and including `Silk Degrees', with a judicious selection of six songs from those familiar tracks; though my personal favourite, `Georgia', is not one.
There are quite a few highlights of Boz's synthesis of soul and R and B, coupled with a sensitivity to write melodic songs, from those earlier albums, particularly `Painted Bells', Dinah Flo' and `Slow Dancer'.
The 2nd disc begins with two songs from 1977's `Down Two Then Left', which definitely has its moments (a bit forced, but still one of my favourites), and this leads through his 1980s albums that stray somewhat from his roots into the more glossy, corporate, sound of the time, which are thus less interesting.
1994's `Some Change' was a major return to form, and `Sierra' and the title track are included here.
Overall, the album is not really aimed at the `more select' fan, and one wonders quite how it might target the more casual listener. The selection from each album is too minimal to give a real flavour of the albums, but as a double album is more than a cursory `Greatest Hits' package (which would not include some of the gems found here).
What is clearly required is a proper box set, but this ambition goes far beyond what is on offer here. Still, if you just want to dip back into Boz Scaggs this is a good place to start, but the quality of his output over the years before "Silk Degrees" needs to be better brought out.