Boz Scaggs entered widely into the consciousness of the world with his blend of jazz/soul/rock heard on his breakout album, the multi-million seller Silk Degrees from 1976. The album produced 4 hit singles with the unforgettable “Lido Shuffle,” the disco-friendly “What Can I Say,” “It’s Over,” Silk Degrees’ first single, and the rock song “Lido Shuffle.” Released in the heat of the disco movement, the album found a groove that even allowed it to exist within the framework of the dance era.
Boz Scaggs, a veteran of The Steve Miller Band and a series of largely unsuccessful (but good) solo releases, crafted a perfect album with his 6th, Silk Degrees. With the album’s 10 songs that included the excellent “Jump Street,” a song tucked into a spread of soul and jazz, and the jazz/R&B hybrid monster hit, “Lowdown,” Silk Degrees stayed accessible on the charts for nearly 2 years feeding an alerted and growing fan base, eventually selling over 5 million copies. The disco-friendly, reggae-tinged “Love Me Tomorrow” complements the album’s other disco song, “What Can I Say.” “Jump Street” rocks with “Lido Shuffle,” and the soft (and perfect) “Harbor Lights” slips into bed with “We’re All Alone,” all in all a memorable collection.
This newly remastered reissue is expanded with an addition of 3 live tracks from a support tour of Silk Degrees in 1976. The previously unreleased bonus inclusions come from an August 15 (1976) performance at LA’s Greek Theatre. Boz Scaggs’ live performances are excellent; ask anyone who has seem him in a live setting. These extra tracks are welcome additions to an already classic album.
This re-release has an expanded 12-page booklet, welcome given the previous release version’s skimpy slip card. There is a 2-page spread of liner notes from Boz Scaggs as well as a 3-page essay from Bud Scoppa written for this reissue. Extra album photos, expanded credits, and a nice price give fans a no-brainer bargain pickup.
Boz never achieved the level of excellence that he had set for himself with Silk Degrees again, although he never disappointed fans with his subsequent – and previous - releases. Silk Degrees was a hard act to eclipse. With a great selection of 10 songs, each with its own charm, each outstanding, and each as good as the song before it and after it, Silk Degrees is a worthy candidate for update. I’m quite glad that Columbia gave this album the beautifully remastered attention it deserved along with a more fan-friendly booklet.
-- Dedicated to the biggest Boz fans that I know - Jen Ford-Simpson --