Boz Scaggs -- _My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology (1969-1997)_ (Sony/Legacy, 1997)

You know how every so often you'll hear a familiar old song on the radio and briefly think "Hey, I remember that one! I wonder who sang that?" If you don't know the name Boz Scaggs, then he may be the answer to quite a few of those "Who sang that?" questions. People may not know the titles "Lido Shuffle", "Lowdown", "Jojo", or "Miss Sun", but these hits and others were _everywhere_ on the radio in the late '70s and early '80s.

Scaggs has covered a range of styles with his signature bluesy croon, shifting from straight blues to Van Morrison-style R&B to disco-laced pop, incorporating touches of Latin, Progressive Rock, and other styles along the way. For an artist like this to have only one dinky 10-song anthology (called "Hits!"; apparently, 1980 was a banner year for creative album titles)... well, it just wasn't right.

Finally, Sony Music has released a 33-song, 2 CD collection, _My Time_, that spans his entire career. The selections make very clear Boz Scaggs' musical center: Rhythm & Blues. Sometimes he was bluesier (1969-1974, 1992-1997) but when he was more rhythmic, slinking into the pre-disco groove and huge commercial success from 1974 to 1980, he gave us his best known tunes. These tracks are pop classics, like the silky and infectious pre-disco "Lowdown", the energetic Classic Rock of "Lido Shuffle", the gently propulsive "Miss Sun", and gorgeous ballads such as "Look What You've Done To Me" (from the film _Urban Cowboy_) and "We're All Alone" (a huge hit for Rita Coolidge, but penned by Scaggs). All of his major hits are on this extensive compilation.

While never straying far from the smoothed-over R&B that made him a star, Boz did branch out a bit. With the sweet atmosphere of "Painted Bells", the gorgeous late '80s hit ballad "Heart Of Mine", the ambitious, funk-flavored "Hercules", the driving "Breakdown Dead Ahead", and the emotional, downbeat, folky "Sierra" all a part of _My Time_, the album shows the diversity of Scaggs' career, sweetly arranged for maximum Hit Radio effect by the best production and performances that Los Angeles had to offer. And all with _that voice_, that unmistakable, shining singing voice.

Spanning blues, R&B, pop, and just a hair beyond, _My Time_ is a sweet collection, a worthy window on a major artist and a well-deserved improvement over the hits album that it supersedes.


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