Poco (Official Thread)

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The early Poco with from left, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner, George Grantham, Richie Furay and Rusty Young.



Poco Website
Poco on Wikipedia
Discography

My third favorite band, right behind Grateful Dead and right before Steely Dan.... They started in the 60s, and were pioneering the frontier of the soon to be country rock movement. They had lots of line up changes, but are still going fairly strong today. Their last studio album was released in 2002, but they have a nice touring schedule, I missed them last summer:mad:

I found this band last winter actually looking at some of the members of the Eagles projects from leaving and entering The Eagles. A google search for Timothy B. Schmit brought up Poco, and the rest is history as they say:D

Their first album Pick Up The Pieces was released in 1969 was the only debut record to ever receive a perfect score from Rolling Stone Magazine. Jim Messina who already had quite the reputation in the music world produced it, he also played guitar and sang. Randy Meisner who was in and out of the Eagles was part of Poco at the time, Richie Furay from Buffalo Springfield, Rusty Young, and George Grantham were this album's line up. This would change a bit not too far after the release.

Randy Meisner left after the release of the album, and another one from the Eagles came... Timothy B. Schmit came in for the 1970 release, Poco. Their self titled, second(and damn good) album featured one of their most well known songs, You Better Think Twice.

Jim Messina left in 1970 right before the release of their third album, and their first live album, Deliverin'. He did play on and was credited as the coproducer with T.B. Schmit. This album was once again very successful and did well with critics and fans.

**copied from Wikipedia**
**The realigned Poco, now on its third lineup on just its fourth album, hired blues legend Steve Cropper as producer and released From The Inside (1971), featuring Cotton's "Bad Weather", which became a signature song for the band. The band and its management was dissatisfied with Cropper's production and hired star producer Jack Richardson, who oversaw the next three albums, beginning with A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972). Although the Furay title track became the most recognizable Poco song of their early years, it completely failed to chart despite more critical acclaim. As a result, Furay became increasingly discouraged with Poco's prospects, especially since ex-bandmates Stills, Young, Meisner and Messina were so successful with their respective groups. The next album, Crazy Eyes (1973), was another strong effort that ultimately proved to be Furay's last as a member of the group. The album employed extensive overdubbing of horns and strings for a lush, heavily produced kind of sound, strikingly different from the blend of Bakersfield country and rock that characterized Poco's albums previously. The title track was a Furay song written about fellow country-rock pioneer and close friend Gram Parsons of Flying Burrito Brothers fame, who had died of a drug overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn just prior to the recording of the album; Furay also sang Parsons' song "Brass Buttons" on the album.

At the urging of Poco manager (and later Asylum Records president) David Geffen, Furay left Poco in September 1973 and joined with J. D. Souther and Chris Hillman to create the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band on Asylum. Poco decided not to replace Furay and continued as a quartet.**

Previously known largely for his multi-instrumental talents, especially on pedal steel guitar, Young stepped up to become one of the band's primary songwriters and singers on subsequent albums.
They released Seven in 1974, and very soon I'll be fixing this problem, but the only track i've heard from this one is Rocky Mountain Breakdown, and it certainly isn't my favorite track from them... I'm sure the rest of the album will make up for it though. Jim Messina joined back up with Poco and played mandolin on one or two... or three songs.

Their eighth album only released a few months after Seven, Cantamos was the first to be technically "self produced". The production credits go to Poco, and this is a favorite album of mine. Cantamos features the same core quartet and I could be wrong, so don't hold me to this, but was the first Poco album without any outside studio musicians to play on the record. Rusty Young and Paul Cotton dominated the writing on this album, TBS wrote a small number of 2 out of nine songs. Not that they were bad songs, just not his usual number.

Their ninth album Head Over Heels released in 1975 featured possibly Poco's biggest, most well songs, "Keep On Tryin'". that track has some of the best vocal harmonies I've ever heard, even better than the band I stand by as the best harmony band(Alabama):D... The album had a lot of production and wasn't as raw as the last few, not overproduced like many of the time, but they were definitely going with the fad, but very classy:grinthumb

**copied from wiki**
**Poco Live is the tenth album, and second live album, by the country rock band Poco. The material for this album had been recorded for Epic Records shortly after the Cantamos album, but it was not released until over a year later, after Poco's success with the Head Over Heels album. The release of this album produced confusion in the marketplace over whether this or Rose of Cimarron was Poco's newest album, helping sales of Poco Live and hurting sales of Rose of Cimarron.**

Possibly my favorite album, the 11th, Rose of Cimarron was released in 1976. The title track was covered by the country legend Emmylou Harris... Too Many Nights Too Long is my favorite off this album, it is absolutely incredible... epic and country-y and rock n roll-y and perfect!
Once again lush production, but not over done, over all an excellent album.

Indian Summer released in 1977 was the last album to feature the classic Poco line up, and a member of my fourth favorite band played synth/keys on a few tracks, Donald Fagen.:grinthumb
I absolutely hate the title track, "Indian Summer", but I love the rest of the album, so it makes up for it:heheh:
I also have a copy on vinyl.

After Indian Summer in 1977, some Poco drama started and once again I'll turn to wikipedia for some help:D
**copied from Wiki**
**n August 1977, with the support of the rest of Poco, Schmit quit to join the Eagles, coincidentally replacing former Poco member Meisner yet again. Unfortunately, as a result, the live album's release was cancelled by ABC. After lanquishing in storage for many years, the album was eventually released as The Last Roundup in 2004.

After Schmit's departure, Poco decided to take a break. Grantham took some time off, while Young and Cotton decided to continue as the "Cotton-Young Band" and redoubled their efforts to succeed, selecting Britons Steve Chapman (drums) and Charlie Harrison (bass) (both of whom had played together with Leo Sayer, Al Stewart and many others) to round out their new quartet. However, ABC decided to pick up the Cotton-Young album — as long as they continued under the "Poco" name. Thus, although Grantham had never quit Poco, he found himself bought out of the group. He subsequently landed a job as drummer for Ricky Skaggs.**

Legend was their most commercially successful album, but critics and fans go both ways on the quality of it. I personally like it a lot, maybe not as much as the previous, but it's certainly not bad. I don't think Young and Cotton should have been made to continue with the name Poco, I feel they actually did the right thing when they decided to be called the Cotton-Young Band, but ABC would only resign them if they used the Poco name, which I feel was a low thing to do for sales that would have happened anyways. But anyways, back to the tunes... well almost.... ABC was bought by MCA, and Legend was reissued on MCA.

Now back to the tunes....
I really like Legend, and I love the title track.... as soft as some folks will say the album is, Legend(song) hits me in the chest like a MF... It is a brilliant, heavy hard rock tune with some pop/southern influence, it really is heavy though.

Legend's(album) success really put their momentum to good use playing hit "Heart of the Night" on the live album No Nukes in support of nuclear-free energy with others such as Springsteen and Jackson Browne.

They released another album in 1980 with the new line up of Cotton, Young, Steve Chapman, and Charlie Harrison. I don't own this album either, but I have heard Under The Gun(song) and Midnight Rain, the two big hits off of this one, and I like them a lot, they have the same type of feel as Legend, which is a change, but not a bad one.... Different, but not bad at all.

In 1981 they released Blue and Gray.
It is a concept album, the theme being the Civil War and hopefully someone can help to fill in some info on this one because I haven't heard a single song from it.;)
 
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0000

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Re: Poco - Not done yet

1982, the album that started it all for me.. drum roll........
Cowboys and Englishmen, Poco's 16th album. This was the first album to have half or more of the songs not written by members of the band.
I bought this one because I liked the cover and name, and I knew Timothy B. Schmit's name, even though he wasn't Poco in the time:bonk:
This one as I said has lots of covers and I like it a lot, good ol' country rock pure and simple.

They moved to Atlantic Records for their 1983 release Ghost Town and 1984's release Inamorta. Inamorta had contributions from former members or the original line up, but neither of these sold very well at all. "I'll leave it Up To You" was in the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack, and that was sort of the end of Poco's decade and a half long country rock reign.

and because I'm getting a tad lazy, back to the wiki
**copied from wikipedia**
**After a lengthy recording hiatus, at the urging of Richard Marx, Poco re-emerged on the RCA label with the successful Legacy (1989), reuniting original members Young, Furay, Messina, Grantham, and Meisner twenty years after Poco's debut. The album produced a top twenty hit, "Call it Love" and a top forty hit, "Nothing to Hide" earning Poco its second gold album (in its 19th album). The group (having added a keyboardist, Dave Vanecore) toured in early 1990 opening for Marx. Furay bowed out early on and Poco toured as a headliner in the summer of 1990 with Sundrud returning to take over rhythm guitar from Furay. In 1991, Poco toured as an acoustic trio with Young, Messina and Meisner (drummer Gary Mallaber joined them for dates in Japan that July). But by the end of 1991, Messina and Meisner had returned to their individual careers.

By early 1992, Poco was once again without a record deal. But despite this, Young once again teamed with Cotton, brought in new members Richard Neville (vocals, bass) and Tim Smith (drums) and toured through the end of the decade. Young and Cotton occasionally also appeared as Poco as an acoustic duo.

In 2000, Grantham and Sundrud once again returned to Poco, reuniting the group's 1985 lineup, and Running Horse (2002) found the band in the studio for the first time in thirteen years. Furay (who had continued to make guest appearances at their shows over the years when they played in his native Colorado) reunited with the band again for a sold out show in Nashville in May 2004, resulting in the CD–DVD release Keeping The Legend Alive (2004). In July of the same year, Grantham suffered a ****** during a live performance. His recovery has been slow and expensive and the group has created a donor fund on its official website, Poconut.com, to offset some of his considerable medical expenses. The site offers a variety of ways of donating money. Grantham has recently begun occasionally appearing with the band again but limits his contributions to vocals only. George Lawrence (who had subbed for Tim Smith on drums in 1999) rejoined Poco as drummer.**

They released a few albums in the early 2000's, I haven't really heard anything off of them, but The Last Roundup was supposed to be released in the 70s before TBS left the band for the Eagles, but their label dropped them. They released 2 more live albums, the latest being in 2006, and they featured mostly acoustic versions of covers and songs from early in Poco's career. They are still touring now. Poco released 18 studio albums, 6 live albums, 27 compilations, and 18 singles through their now over 40 year career.

I love Poco, and hope you all do too:grinthumb:cheers:

Rose of Cimmeron & Keep On Tryin' & Just For Me and You


Good Feeling to Know & And Settling Down & C'mon
 

Magic

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Re: Official Poco Thread

I never thought I would see an Opus dedicated to POCO, but you have proven me wrong :)

Nice post, Eberg.

I am a Poco fan, too. I had a dog I named Poco, and was constantly explaining to people what that name meant and where it was from :grinthumb
 

flipflop

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Re: Official Poco Thread

I've got a couple of Poco albums and I think they're a great band. I've also got a couple of Randy Meisner solo albums which I really love too... might want to check them out if you're into Poco.
 

0000

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Re: Official Poco Thread

I've got a couple of Poco albums and I think they're a great band. I've also got a couple of Randy Meisner solo albums which I really love too... might want to check them out if you're into Poco.

I definitely will, I love the Eagles too, especially during the Meisner years:grinthumb

TBS released a new album this past year I think, I haven't had a chance to really listen, but the little previews sound pretty good, I have too much to collect and too much time to make up for I didn't have:bonk:
 

LG

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Re: Official Poco Thread

Legend will always be my favorite album, I still have my vinyl copy. I didn't realize they were still touring and recording though, but 40 years in this business is worthy of respect.:bow:
 

0000

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Re: Official Poco Thread

Legend will always be my favorite album, I still have my vinyl copy. I didn't realize they were still touring and recording though, but 40 years in this business is worthy of respect.:bow:

I don't think the band is recording together any more, they tour, and I'm not sure of the line up, but they did a bunch of shows with Firefall last summer.... and yes, forty years is quite a long time for a band to be together, well, without members dying and feuding and what not, but I see TP+HB surpassing that, I'm surprised Legend is your favorite though... I would have guessed one of the earlier ones:)
 

R. Evans

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Re: Official Poco Thread

Awesome!:grinthumb A Poco thread is long overdue.

Some good ones:
Under the Gun


Crazy Love
 

LG

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Re: Official Poco Thread

I don't think the band is recording together any more, they tour, and I'm not sure of the line up, but they did a bunch of shows with Firefall last summer.... and yes, forty years is quite a long time for a band to be together, well, without members dying and feuding and what not, but I see TP+HB surpassing that, I'm surprised Legend is your favorite though... I would have guessed one of the earlier ones:)

I love Firefall, especially Elan. Legend strikes a certain chord with me,,,due to numerous factors not including the music itself...:heheh:

Still I like this band, I have their 2 CD compilation, while it doesn't have all the great songs from the early period, it covers enough ground for me.
 

Craig in Indy

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Re: Official Poco Thread

I am very happy to see this thread, eberg. Well done.

I've been a huge Poco fan since college (way too long ago to even think about). I always found it interesting that back in their early years they were considered the authentic item, and the Eagles were thought of as wannabes.

As far as the personnel on the first album is concerned, I was under the impression that no one has been able to recall with certainty if the recording as issued actually contained any of Meisner's performances, or if he'd left already.

For me the title of "best album" will always be a toss-up between Crazy Eyes and Cantamos. Both are classics in their own way, with the former heavily influenced by Ritchie Furay, and the later being more of a full-band effort. Both have uncommonly good songs.

I also really enjoyed Legacy and thought it was great to have the initial movers and shakers back together to try to recreate that magic. Where else are you going to find Furay, Messina and Meisner all together? :D My only problem with the album is the engineering/mixing. I've listened to it over and over, and compared it carefully to all the other Poco albums from the band's prime, and decided it comes down to this - reverb, especially on the drum tracks. To me, that's a sign of decades-old arena rock acts, and is completely foreign to the relatively dry instrumental tracks Poco always laid down. They may have sweetened the vocals with some reverb, but rarely the instruments.

One other extremely worthwhile CD issue of theirs is the fine, fine 2-CD retrospective, The Forgotten Trail. It's got a wealth of material on it, some previously unreleased, and is a great overview of the band's career. It also has some incredibly comprehensive liner notes as well.
 

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