Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The #84 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Silk Degrees" by Boz Scaggs

This is the 17th album in our special countdown of the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era, and it belongs to Silk Degrees, the great album from Boz Scaggs.  This was the seventh solo album from the former member of the Steve Miller Band.  It was recorded in September of 1976.

Four singles were released from the album, the smash hits "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" and "What Can I Say" and "It's Over".  "Georgia" has already been featured in this blog's Unknown/Underrated Song Feature.  Boz wrote "We're All Alone" for Rita Coolidge and included his version on Silk Degrees.  "What Do You Want the Girl To Do", "Harbor Lights" and "Love Me Tomorrow are other quality cuts from the album.

Silk Degrees peaked at #2, spending 10 weeks inside the Top 10 and 115 total weeks.  It has sold five million copies and has a Track Rating of 9.05.  All of those figures are solid.

Besides the statistics that are quoted above, Silk Degrees was nominated for five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Best Vocal by a Male and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Male.  Boz won one Grammy for Best R&B Song ("Lowdown".

  1. "What Can I Say" (Scaggs, David Paich) – 3:01
  2. "Georgia" (Scaggs) – 3:57
  3. "Jump Street" (Scaggs, Paich) – 5:14
  4. "What Do You Want the Girl to Do" (Allen Toussaint) – 3:53
  5. "Harbor Lights" (Scaggs) – 5:58
  6. "Lowdown" (Scaggs, Paich) – 5:18
  7. "It's Over" (Paich, Scaggs) – 2:52
  8. "Love Me Tomorrow" (Paich) – 3:17
  9. "Lido Shuffle" (Scaggs, Paich) – 3:44
  10. "We're All Alone" – 4:14

Scaggs plays guitar on the album with help from Fred Tackett of Little Feat and Louis Shelton.  Shelton is one of the top session guitarists, having played for Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, John Lennon, Barbra Streisand, the Carpenters, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Kenny Rogers, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie to name a few.  Les Dudek contributes slide guitar.  Keyboard work is by David Paich and Steve Porcaro with alto sax by Bud Shank and saxophone from Plas Johnson.  David Hungate is the bass player, Jeff Porcaro is on drums and percussion and additional percussion help from Joe Porcaro.  Chuck Findley plays the Flugelhorn while the legendary Tom Scott, Dick Hyde, Jim Horn, Paul Hubinon and Vincent DeRosa play horns on the album.  An interesting note is that Paich (a major songwriting contributor as you can see), Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcaro and David Hungate, who were Scaggs' musicians on Silk Degrees, all left to form the group Toto.

Silk Degrees was recorded at Davlon Sound studios and Hollywood Sound Studios.  The album was recorded, mixed and engineered by Tom Perry and mastered by Doug Sax.  It was produced by Joe Wissert and released in March of 1976 on Columbia Records.

Boz Scaggs has the #84 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--Silk Degrees.

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