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Memphis

4.5 out of 5 stars 401 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Grammy-Award winning rock legend Boz Scaggs showcases both original songs and choice covers in his new album, MEMPHIS out March 5, 2013 on 429 Records. Produced by Steve Jordan (John Mayer), Memphis was recorded at Willie Mitchell legendary Royal Studio in Memphis, where the late Mitchell recorded Al Green and other hit music artists. Joining Scaggs on MEMPHIS are Willie Weeks (bass), Ray Parker Jr. (guitars), Spooner Oldham (keyboards), the Memphis Horns, Lester Snell (string arrangements) and Steve Jordan (drums).




William Royce Boz Scaggs began a long and storied career in 1965 with the release of his first solo recording Boz. Scaggs quickly developed into an iconic singer songwriter cutting his teeth playing with Steve Miller on several highly successful projects and honing his rock and R&B chops working with the likes of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and Duane Allman. Scaggs hit it big in 1976 achieving multi-platinum success with Silk Degrees and its follow ups. Scaggs continued on a lauded and multi-genre musical journey with successes in film soundtracks. He and his band continue to tour worldwide and Scaggs also performs alongside Donald Fagan and Michael McDonald in their band billed as The Dukes of September.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Savoy
  • ASIN: B00AYR2FOI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Alexander VINE VOICE on March 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Memphis is the first album/CD we've had from Scaggs in quite some time. This doesn't mean he hasn't been active on the music scene, however, as he was recently touring with Michael McDonald and Donald Fagan. I caught one of those shows and Boz was on his game the entire time; just as he was the eight other times I saw him perform live.

If what you think of when you hear the name, Boz Scaggs is `Lowdown,' `Lido Shuffle,' and `We're All Alone,' then you've really been missing out on what Scaggs has been putting out since then. This is especially true of late, such that his newer songs don't sound like those at all. Thus, if you're looking to pick up where you left off with Silk Degrees by purchasing Memphis, you'll be disappointed.

If, on the other hand, you've followed Scaggs' career through the years, you will find that this album brings us full circle--albeit with a more mature and solid voice--back to how he was performing in the pre-Silk Degrees days. Here, we have flavors of `Moments,' `My Time,' and `Boz and Band.' You will also hear a lot more `Come on Home' sounds than those of `Silk Degrees' or the albums that immediately followed. This is especially true with the song `So Good to be Here,' a number previously recorded by Al Green.

In a variety of ways, the spirit of Al Green (yes, I know he's still alive) influences this whole album. I believe it was even recorded in a studio used by Green years ago. This influence and relationship is a long one, as both Boz and Al recorded `Old Time Lovin' long before `Silk Degrees' hit the market. In fact, while you're buying this CD, make sure you download Scaggs' version of that song (oh, ok, get Green's too).

This current album has 12 tracks, only a few of which were familiar to me.
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Format: Audio CD
It's been a while, approximately 5 years since his last release, the jazzy "Speak Low" CD which had an R&B feel to it like previous "Silk Degrees" offering from years gone by. This new release takes us back in time, Memphis represents the best of all extremes,(from soul to jazz and the R&B in between) a set of 13 well-chosen soul tracks (including two originals), backed by legends of the music city that lends the album its title.

I read...

"Recorded at Royal Studio, site of Al Green's greatest sessions, producer/drummer Steve Jordan captures an early '70s vintage sound from a crew of classic hands, including Spooner Oldham on electric piano, Ray Parker Jr. on guitars, Willie Weeks on bass, the Memphis Horns, and string arranger, Lester Snell. The result is one of Boz Scaggs' most satisfying collections of his solo career."

This can be a complicated journey at times with plenty of genre jumping, crooning, reggie, Delta blues, ballads, R&B to name a few. Quite a mixture of covers but as usual Scaggs' musical voice shines, he brings something to this CD that we have never heard before. They're the same warm, subtle sounds found on soul recordings made by Al Green and other artists at Memphis' Royal Studio in the 1970's. "Nobody can touch Green, even four decades later, for pure carnal rapture, but I'll be damned if Scaggs, at least on these cuts, doesn't get right up to the edge of it."

Scaggs' bluesy voice, is still in top shape. "Listen to the way he drops into the music on the opening `Gone Baby Gone' like a soft-speaking ghost who wants to fill you in on his sad, lonely story. It's expert timing by an artist who's made a career out of this sort of thing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first heard Boz Scaggs was doing a covers album, I was scared. I thought he was joining the ranks of Rod Stewart, Michael McDonald, etc...basically phoning it in.

Happy to say this isn't the case

First of all, Boz covers a lot of fairly obscure classics by Al Green, The Moments, Willy DeVille, Steely Dan, even Tony Jo White, so you're not treated to the playlist from your local oldies station

Second of all, the arrangements are spare, allowing Boz's voice to shine

I enjoyed this...I didn't expect to. From the sound of it, I think he liked making it. A definite recommendation
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Listening to this CD, I was reminded of the phrase which was also the title of the Righteous Brothers' breakout album: Some Blue Eyed Soul. Boz Scaggs has it. His voice is as silky as ever. He doesn't quite reach the low notes at the beginning of Rainy Night in Georgia, but once he hits his stride it's smooth sailing.

I love that he picked some lesser known songs by iconic artists. This is the first cover of Bob Dylan's Corrina, Corrina that I have ever heard, and it's as good as the original in a different way. I did not recognize Pearl of the Quarter by the title. When it started, though, I was able to sing along. I listened to a lot of Steely Dan back in the day. Again, who else has covered Pearl of the Quarter? And what a great song it is.

Love on a Two Way Street is one of the better known songs from that era. I remember a co-worker at Burger King using it to prove why hard rock was the only kind of music to listen to (as in, the alternative was Love on a Two Way Street - except I told him that I liked that song and lost his respect forever. Too bad.) Admittedly this is not the deepest song ever written, but Boz elevates it with a certain seriousness and sincerity.

The spirit of Al Green shines forth often. Pretty cool how much Boz sounds like Rev. Green when he has a mind to.

This is simply great music to kick back to. It puts a smile on my face. This is the first Boz Scaggs music I have ever owned, and it won't be the last. I like this CD a lot.
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