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Hits!

Boz Scaggs

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Album Review

The original edition of Boz Scaggs Hits! appeared on CD in 1980 at the dawn of the CD era. It was unique in that it featured a few radio smashes that weren't available on his albums. As David Wild states in his liner notes that he didn't pick up the original Hits! "...for the whole story, but for the lowdown...." "Miss Sun," (a 12" single) and "Look What You've Done to Me," (from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack) made this a special buy back then. They were later included on the two-disc My Time: Anthology, but for many, an introduction to Scaggs on a budget hits comp is a more attractive buy. Can't argue there; especially when Legacy has added increased the track listing from ten to 15. There are three additional cuts from the now legendary Silk Degrees record: the slippery, nocturnal disco groove "What Can I Say?"; the shimmering, sultry ballad "Harbor Lights," and the big beat broken love song "It's Over." The other two are the striking and original "Hard Times" from Down Two Then Left, and "Heart of Mine" from Other Roads. This is gutsy since neither of these album performed very well or were critically well-received at the time. No matter, these are stunners that add depth and dimension to the package and reflect the boom years for Scaggs. Certainly some of that production sounds dated now, but the songs that they frame are brilliant. While it's a shame there isn't anything cross-licensed from records like Some Change, Come on Home, and Dig — all recorded for Virgin and all excellent for different reasons — this is nothing short of a tight best-of from the Columbia years (and it includes "Dinah Flo" from the album My Time which isn't in print in the States currently) . In addition, "Can You Loan Me a Dime" featuring Duane Allman from the brief Warner era isn't here, but it's on Anthology, as are cuts from the out-of-print catalog. This is hopefully the beginning. Scaggs' writing and singing are made for the radio, the bedroom, the late-night party and for driving. While many of the tunes here focus on the pop side of soul and R&B — and even disco (a dirty word for some) — but noting Scaggs' long interest in jazz this makes sense. He's an artist who, the more adventurous he is, the more he ends up sounding like no one but himself. Surely Scaggs has models, Ray Charles being one, but you can also hear Curtis Mayfield's phrasing in the choruses, and Stevie Wonder's sense of drama, as well as Smokey Robinson's sense of poetry as a songwriter. Hits!, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Almost perfect ...

with one tiny exception. The original version of "Boz Scaggs Hits" was only 10 songs BUT it included "You can have me anytime" with the tasteful guitar work of Carlos Santana. But then again the older version did NOT have "What Can I Say" which is a MUST ... so all in all the "New" Hits is a great buy for any fan of the Boz ...

A Decent Overview

In his heyday, Boz Scaggs exuded a perpetually casual air, and Hits! is a reasonable overview of his 70s/80s work that will best be enjoyed by casual fans. It's doubtful whether some of these tunes were ever hits, but Scaggs is always listenable. The Album Review is incorrect, however, in its mention of 1978's Down Two Then Left. It's true that the album was a commercial disappointment, but one of its tracks (the churning R&B ballad "Hard Times") was indeed included on Hits! A smarter strategy than buying Hits! might be to purchase the essential Silk Degrees--every song of which is a classic--and then pick up some of his other cuts a la carte on iTunes. If you like Silk Degrees...and millions did...check out the flawed-but-interesting follow-up Down Two Then Left and Scagg's confident return to form in Middle Man. (To see peak-period Scaggs in action, the newly released Saturday Night Live: The Complete Second Season contains two outstanding performances. On the September 25th, 1976, episode hosted by Norman Lear, Boz belts out "What Can I Say" and delivers a scorching extended version of "Lowdown," a pop-funk masterpiece whose accidental-pregnancy theme pre-dated "Pappa Don't Preach" by more than a decade.)

Boz stands alone

Boz and his producers deserve "legend" status for delivering soulful, stirring performances that sound remarkably fresh even 25 years later! I love this man's voice, the punch of those horns and used to spin his LPs to death, back in the day. And what a jam-packed value....15 stellar songs for $9.99?! Thanks, iTunes!

Biography

Born: June 8, 1944 in Canton, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After first finding acclaim as a member of the Steve Miller Band, singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs went on to enjoy considerable solo success in the 1970s. Born William Royce Scaggs in Ohio on June 8, 1944, he was raised in Oklahoma and Texas, and while attending prep school in Dallas met guitarist Steve Miller. Scaggs joined Miller's group the Marksmen as a vocalist in 1959, and the pair later...
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Hits!, Boz Scaggs
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