Bruce Palmer (acoustic/electric guitars/Fender bass) is best known for his association with the earliest incarnation of the Buffalo Springfield. It was he and Neil Young who trekked from their native Canada in the latter's hearse (named Mort) to Los Angeles in search of Stephen Stills with the hopes of forming a rocking teen combo. His tenure was cut short by deportation which stemmed from two separate marijuana-related convictions in 1967 and 1968, respectively. The Cycle Is Complete (1971) – Palmer's only solo effort – is an eclectic masterwork with stream of consciousness jams that combine folk, jazz, and rock onto a quartet of primarily instrumental sides.
No one expected the success of Dream Weaver when it was released, but it sailed to the top of the charts, and with good reason. Backed with only drums and a wide assortment of keyboards, Gary Wright crafted instantly recognizable tunes such as the title cut and "Love Is Alive," which caught on and remain staples of classic rock stations around the U.S. All very revolutionary and new at the time, Dream Weaver hasn't lost any of its magic over time.
If sunny front porches remind you of Bruce Willis' bluesy late-'80s turn towards wine cooler jingles, then this installment of the Universal Masters is a must-buy. It includes 1987's Return of Bruno in its entirety, and highlights from the 1989 follow-up If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. There are also a few neither here nor there tracks, like a ridiculous "Extended 12" Version" of "Respect Yourself."