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The early Poco with from left, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner, George Grantham, Richie Furay and Rusty Young.
Poco on Wikipedia
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
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
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)... 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
**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.
I absolutely hate the title track, "Indian Summer", but I love the rest of the album, so it makes up for it
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
**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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