1972 Case File #85.

Boz Scaggs, My Time

File Between: Van Morrison and Aaron Neville

Comments: I hadn’t realized until I checked Wikipedia that Boz had had his solo career going on since 1966 — I was thinking this was his first album, but depending on how you count it’s more like his fourth or fifth. Which sort of explains both how comfortable he sounds and how different from what he was doing concurrently in the Steve Miller Band. Two of the songs on here were written by Allen Toussaint, and there’s a general pillowy New Orleans soul vibe to the record, with impeccably recorded horns, keyboards, and guitars all over the place. Critic Noel Murray points to Boz Scaggs as one of the high points of the “well-made album” of the 70s, along with Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac, and I’d be hard-pressed to say this wasn’t one of the best-produced records I’ve heard from 1972. Even a song like “Old Time Lovin’,” whose title made me roll my eyes when I saw it on the back cover (cue the bog-standard choogle, I thought), turns out to be an Al Green cover with a sly wink to gospel; the rock-inflected soul on offer here is far more thought-through and, well, grown-up than I was expecting.

A Keeper? It’s not perfect — not all of the originals are very memorable, and there’s nothing on the bonafide classic level of “Lido Shuffle,” but I’ll be glad to revisit as often as I can get down that way.

Vinyl Rip: We’re Gonna Roll

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