When Boz Scaggs signed with Virgin Records after spending at least 17 years with Columbia, listeners had no idea what to expect. Some Change proved to be a pleasant surprise. Instead of going out of his way to be as slick and commercial as possible or offering something contrived and robotic, the singer-turned-restaurant-owner let his better instincts win out and delivered a very honest and natural-sounding collection of pop, pop/rock, and soul-influenced pop. On songs ranging from the smooth "I'll Be the One" (which has a slightly Average White Band-ish appeal) and the haunting "Sierra" to the ominous "Follow That Man," there's no question that Scaggs is coming from the heart. Arguably, Some Change is his best album since 1976's Silk Degrees.
After the burnished, mellow Moments, Boz Scaggs put some grit back into his music with this third album, Boz Scaggs & Band. Not that he got down and dirty – his blue-eyed soul and funk is still sleek and stylish, music for uptown parties, not downtown juke joints. But Scaggs gave his band equal billing on the title here because they carry equal weight on Boz Scaggs & Band. It's a true band album, showcasing the group's tight interplay as much as it does Scaggs' vocals. Sometimes, the band almost dominates the proceedings too much, as they do on "Runnin' Blue," where they're as splashy as a Vegas big band. Such excesses are balanced by the nimble "Up to You," this album's irresistible foray into country – something that was a regular Boz feature at this point – and the brief, breezy "Here to Stay," which helps keep things light and casual. But the best thing about Boz & Band is hearing that band play, particularly on "Flames of Love" and "Why Why," where they get down low, playing funky rock and soul that holds its own with Little Feat's Meters-inspired grooves.
Both artistically and commercially, Boz Scaggs had his greatest success with Silk Degrees. The laid-back singer hit the R&B charts in a big way with the addictive, sly "Lowdown" (which has been sampled by more than a few rappers and remains a favorite among baby-boomer soul fans) and expressed his love of smooth soul music almost as well on the appealing "What Can I Say." But Scaggs was essentially a pop/rocker, and in that area he has a considerable amount of fun on "Lido Shuffle" (another major hit single), "What Do You Want the Girl to Do," and "Jump Street." Meanwhile, "We're All Alone" and "Harbor Lights" became staples on adult contemporary radio. Though not remarkable, the ballads have more heart than most of the bland material dominating that format.
This Sony UK entry in the Original Albums Classics series contains five Boz Scaggs recordings; one of which is a true classic, two more which should be, and two more middling albums. These are the remastered versions of these recordings. The inarguable standout in the pack is the legendary Silk Degrees album from 1976, which includes, as bonus cuts, three live versions of tunes on the album’s track list: “What Can I Say,” It’s Over,” and “Jump Street.” Two very important recordings in Scaggs’ catalog that are included here both preceded Silk Degrees: Moments, issued in 1971, reveals (whether he admits it or not) Van Morrison’s influence on the singer and songwriter…
Boz's 1997 two disc retrospective on Columbia with 'Fly LikeA Bird' added as a bonus track. Spanning the years 1969-1997, it features 33 tracks in all, also including the hits 'What Can I Say', 'Lido Shuffle', 'Jojo', 'Breakdown Dead Ahead', 'Look What You've Done To Me' and 'We're All Alone'. Double slimline jewelcase.