Our February reviews include albums by Player, Attitudes, Rasa, Richard Torrance and Turley Richards.
“Player” by Player (1977)
“Baby Come Back” by the L.A. based band Player, written by singer and guitarist Peter Beckett and Keyboardist J.C. Crowley, merged all beloved attributes of West Coast music: a catchy bass groove, smooth harmonies, slick guitar work and a breezy production. Only one song that gave Player a lifelong place in West Coast’s pantheon. The following self-titled debut album went gold and contained a second hit single with “This Time I’m In It for Love”. Band founding member Beckett later admitted that The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan und Hall & Oates had a strong influence on Player – and you can hear this on every track. After the success of “Baby Come Back” RSO Records put Player on the “Silk Degrees” tour opening for Boz Scaggs – West Coast heaven!
“Good News” by Attitudes (1977)
Thanks to the birth assistance of a former Beatle, this early “super group” of West Coast music came together. David Foster, Jim Keltner, Paul Stallworth, and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar worked as session musicians on George Harrison’s album “Extra Texture” in 1975. After the sessions Harrison signed them without further ado for his Dark Horse label – the Attitudes were born. “Good News” was the second album of these exceptional artists, supported by many more excellent session players – and another Beatle, Ringo Starr. The single “Sweet Summer Music”, charted at number 94 in 1976. An album that is still fun and bursting with joy and musicianship. It’s worth (re-)discovering!
“Everything You See Is Me” by Rasa (1978)
“Everything You See Is Me” by Rasa is a deeply spirtual album whose lyrics focused on Krishna and salvation as many esoteric Hare Krishna releases of the 70s – so far so usual, if there were not this music… Composed and arranged by the brothers London and Chris McDaniels – only 17 and 16 years old – and recorded with session pros such as Anthony Jackson the album convinced with a seductive blend of jazzy grooves, sophisticated West Coast AOR and smooth funk. Sold in ’78 exclusively at Hare Krishna temples the record became later on a goldmine for Hip-Hop producers and rare groove devotees. That the brothers were not entirely floating in heavenly spheres was shown by the acknowledgements on the back cover to Stevie Wonder, George Harrison and Neil Diamond.
“Anything’s Possible” by Richard Torrance (1979)
“Anything’s Possible” was Richard Torrance last album for Capitol, released in 1979. Torrance recorded the album at North Star Studio Boulder in Colorado with support from musicians such as guitarist Adam Yurman, bassist Mark Andes (Canned Heat/ Firefall) and background singer Rose Mary Butler (Jackson Browne). One of the forgotten Yacht Rock records of the late 70s, whose rediscovery is worthwhile.
“Therfu” by Turley Richards (1980)
Singer-songwriter Turley Richards has written over 700 songs in his career, but he made his strongest impression with the first recording of Tom Snow’s and Nan O’Byrne’s “You Might Need Somebody” in 1980. This classic song became a worldwide hit for Randy Crawford in 1981. Turley’s moodier version was released on his Atlantic Records album “Therfu”. Recorded with musicians like Mick Fleetwood, who also managed Turley, Bob Welch, Tom Snow, Jay Gruska and Reggie Young “Therfu” became a well-crafted, soulful album. But the critically acclaimed record became a victim of differences between Ahmet Ertegun and Mickey Shapiro. Without support of Atlantic it failed commercially. What remains is a strong album and a timeless version of a classic song: “When somebody reaches for your heart open up and let them through…”