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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Scaggs, Boz - 1977 Down Two Then Left
Scaggs, Boz - 1977 Down Two Then Left

ARTIST: Scaggs, Boz
ALBUM: Down Two Then Left
SERIAL: PC 32749
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2005, CBS, CK 34729


LINEUP: Boz Scaggs - lead vocals & background vocals, guitar * Steve Lukather, Ray Parker Jr. - guitar * Jay Graydon - bass, guitar * Scott Edwards, David Hungate - bass * Jeff Porcaro - drums, timbales * Bobbye Hall - percussion, bongos, conga * Jai Winding - piano, keyboards * Michael Omartian - accordion, keyboards, marimba, horn & string arrangements * Victor Feldman - keyboards, claves, vibraphone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Still Falling For You * 02 Hard Times * 03 A Clue * 04 Whatcha Gonna Tell Your Man * 05 We're Waiting * 06 Hollywood * 07 Then She Walked Away * 08 Gimme The Goods * 09 1993 * 10 Tomorrow Never Came * 11 Tomorrow Never Came (Reprise)


For most of us who were aware of our surroundings and what was happening musically in 1976, 'Silk Degrees' was our first introduction to Boz Scaggs. With one of the biggest albums of the decade and four chart singles including 'Lowdown'; Scaggs was all over the airwaves with his smooth R&B and infectious pop rock. The world was his oyster with Grammy nominations, a successful tour along with predictably high expectations. Indeed the pressure to follow-up with another multi-platinum set of songs had to be enormous but this was the 1970's and unlike the current age when a successful artist releases an album every three to four years, Boz was back with 'Down Two Then Left' while the previous blockbuster was still in heavy rotation.

The Songs
My limited Boz Scaggs listening experience starts with 1974's 'Slow Dancer' and ends with 1980's 'Middle Man' so what came before and after I couldn't tell yah, but 'Down Two Then Left' is my favourite from the former Steve Miller Band guitarist; my 'go to' album for glittery el-Lay pop - '77 style. Critics panned it and none of the three singles pulled from the album charted high enough to remotely put the platter in the same league as the perpetual cash machine that was 'Silk Degrees', but songs like opener 'Still Falling For You' and the chunky mid-tempo groove of 'Hard Times' are some of Scaggs finest contributions to the west coast genre although why the glossy high-styled 'Hollywood' wasn't a major hit at the height of Disco is head-scratching. Digging deeper, 'Then She Walked Away' is orchestrated Boz balladry at his best while the melody line in '1993' sounds strangely like 'A Trick Of The Tail' era Genesis. Experimental but still very much the R&B inflected pop we expect from Scaggs on a diverse, but too often unloved album that should have done as well as its lauded predecessor.

In Summary
In 2010 the early Scaggs albums 'Moments' and 'Boz Scaggs & Band' both released in 1971 and 1972's 'My Time' were reissued on CD in nice Digi-pack editions from Friday Music. Originally not the easiest albums to locate, I'll be snapping these up eventually but I was surprised to find Boz still tours, more recently with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald as The Dukes Of September Rhythm Review. Heck of a line-up with a mountain of hits between the ageing threesome although it's doubtful anything from 'Down two then Left' got an airing..

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#1 | Zaragon on November 27 2011 03:45:30
Down Two Then Left is my favorite Boz album too. Of the nearly 1,200 albums I've listened to from 1977, I currently place this title at #12 on my list for that year.

I like this album the best from Boz' catalog because here he finds the proper balance between blue-eyed soul, art rock and even a touch of fusion. Taking his cues from Hall and Oats and Gino Vannelli, Boz found a way to retain his soulful elements while abandoning the staid backdrops of Stax and Motown, as evidenced beforehand on such stately yet interchangeable ditties as 'What Can I Say', 'Georgia' and 'It's Over', for a set of arrangements more akin to the concurrent works of 10cc, ELO, John Miles and (as you noted) Genesis.

I believe that the reason this album got overlooked was due to the prolonged success of its predecessor. After all, Silk Degrees had been a sleeper hit that didn't make major headway until its second or third single, some eight or nine months after its initial release in the spring of 1976. Therefore, Silk Degrees was actually more of a hit during 1977, by which time Boz was ready to move on but the public were still playing catch-up.
#2 | Eric on November 27 2011 04:17:04
You nailed it.
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