Thursday, January 3, 2013

Poco-The Essential

The Essential Poco
A couple years ago, Head over heels and Rose of Cimmaron, were very hard to find at resonable rate, at least half of this compilation covers these CD's. Not having HOH or ROC, it filled that gap until i could get them.

This compilation covers the second and most commercially successful part of their career after they switched to the ABC label, which later became part of MCA. Whether you like the music here better than their earlier music will depend on your personal taste, but there is much to like about both compilations., the Forgotten Trail and this one

Poco's early music featured a prominent steel guitar, and while I love the sound of a steel guitar, a lot of people don't and this may have been part of their problem. The steel guitar had gone by the time Poco joined ABC, so you won't hear it on these tracks, which owe more to rock music and less to country music. That said, even these tracks sound more country than you'll hear on contemporary country music stations across America, but that's a whole other issue.

The tracks here are taken from seven albums, these being Head over heels (Keep on tryin', Making love, Lovin' arms, Flying solo), Rose of Cimarron (Rose of Cimarron, Too many nights too long, Tulsa turnaround, Stealaway), Indian summer (Indian summer, Livin' in the band, Me and you), Legend (Crazy love, Heart of the night, Legend), Under the gun (Midnight rain, Under the gun), Blue and grey (Widowmaker, Sometimes) and Cowboys and Englishmen (Price of love, Ashes, Feudin'). Of these tracks, the most recognizable are Rose of Cimarron (later covered by Emmylou Harris), Price of love (Poco's cover of an Everly Brothers song) and the two major American hits from the Legend album, Crazy love and Heart of the night. The success of those two hits propelled the Legend album into the top 20 of the American album charts and the album eventually sold a million.

This is an excellent overview of Poco's music from 1975 to 1982, neatly complementing the Epic compilation. After 1982, Poco recorded some more albums but (it seems) nothing of any consequence. Despite the success of the Legend album and the singles taken from it, Poco remained something of an enigma to the end. Nevertheless, they were an important factor in the history of country-rock music, not least because so many of their members learned their craft with Poco before departing for better things elsewhere. If you enjoy country-rock, you should have at least one Poco album, and it might as well be this one.

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