Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Two of the most successful songwriters of the 20th century got together in L.A. in 1970 for this album, and it sold ...squat. Of course, this was a bit before either J.D. Souther and Glenn Frey became hitmakers, but they were an early part of the blooming Los Angeles country-rock community. Frey left to join The Eagles, Souther went solo (and partnered in the Souther/Hillman/Furay band) but they stayed BFF's, co-writing many of the Eagles' hits. Souther also wrote with Frey's friends too, including Don Henley and Bob Seger (Heartache Tonight). Plus he had songs on Linda Ronstadt's albums, partnered with James Taylor (Her Town Too) and had his own smash, You're Only Lonely, so he didn't begrudge Frey's huge break with The Eagles, he was doing just fine.

This album was simply just ahead of its time. The songs are good, the close harmonies really nice, and the playing is really A-1. That's because they got to use some of the very best L.A. players, including two of the very best guitar players of our day, James Burton and Ry Cooder. Larry Knechtel handled piano, just after he played the legendary part on Bridge Over Troubled Water. Then there's Jim Gordon on drums, Buddy Emmons on steel, Doug Kershaw on fiddle and Joe Osborn on bass. This is one of the best bands, like, ever. That explains why this sounds so polished now, and leads one to question how this missed.

The answer is simple enough, it was a tiny label and country flavours were still being treated with skepticism by rock fans and confusion at radio, which like pop, rock and country to be separate. It would take Ronstadt and ironically, The Eagles, to change all that in a couple of years. These are especially strong and catchy numbers, along the lines of Take It Easy, and would probably surprise a lot of Byrds/Burritos/Great Speckled Bird fans looking for another good listen from that period.

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