Boz Scaggs - Other Roads (Music CD)

Release Date: 04 June 2012
Artist: Boz Scaggs
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When Boz Scaggs released Other Roads in 1988, he'd been off the scene for a full eight years. Produced by Bill Schnee, it featured some of his most unlikely songwriting collaborations and instrumental backing by Toto and some studio aces. Scaggs tried hard to walk a line between the decade's obsession with more processed studio sounds that utilized electronic keyboards and drum machines up front, while relying more heavily on electric guitars and kit drums. He doesn't always succeed in keeping the balance, but the attempt sets him apart from most mainstream acts at the time. Other Roads is odd from the start: the opener, "What's Number One?," is a spacy pop number written with the late poet and songwriter Jim Carroll and bassist/arranger Marcus Miller. "Right Out of My Head," co-written with Dann and David Huff, juxtaposes Steve Lukather's blistering guitar work with a synth fill right out of Gary Numan's "Cars." Scaggs nailed another number one with "Heart of Mine," co-authored with pop-jazz songwriter Bobby Caldwell (and the only cut produced by Stewart Levine). There's a strange futurist club noir inherent in both "I Don't Hear You" and "Crimes of Passion," written by Carroll and the Huffs. "Cool Running," written by Scaggs with Patrick Leonard, is a solid, grown-up island groover with staggered R&B horns contrasted with a female backing chorus, and a bridge of vocal counterpoint. "Claudia," by Steve Williams, is one of Scaggs' classic midtempo, broken love songs with a killer bridge and stellar guitar work by Lukather. The set closer is a dreamy adult pop ballad entitled "The Night of Van Gogh," co-authored by Scaggs, Caldwell, and Peter Wolf. Scaggs was in top vocal shape when he cut this: cool, bemused, but able to capture and communicate emotion mellifluously with freeze-frame accuracy. While Other Roads didn't scale the charts as an album, and is regarded as a minor effort, hearing it in the 21st century reveals otherwise: Scaggs' ambition and vision reach outside the box in a collection of great songs, even if the production doesn't fare as well as the material. [The completely remastered Deluxe Edition contains three bonus cuts: "You'll Never Know," which was the B-side of "Heart of Mine"; "Soul to Soul," which had never been released in North America; and Shep Pettibone's single remix of "Cool Running," which was sent white-label to DJs, who played it to death in clubs on both sides of the Atlantic.] ~ Thom Jurek
Release Date: 04 June 2012
Artist: Boz Scaggs

1. What’s Number One?
2. Claudia
3. Heart of Mine
4. Right Out of My Head
5. I Don’t Hear You
6. Mental Shakedown
7. Crimes of Passion
8. Funny
9. Cool Running
10. The Night of Van Gogh
11. You’ll Never Know
12. Soul to Soul
13. Cool Running (Shep Pettibone 45 Remix/Bonus Track)

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Catalogue No: FRM40463