Boz Scaggs released his first album in 1965. The album entitled Boz was only released in Sweden. It is virtually impossible to find the album anywhere as it was a very limited release. After his first album was released, Boz Scaggs spent time recording with the Steve Miller Band. In 1969, Boz Scaggs released his sophomore album entitled Boz Scaggs. It was an album that featured an A list of great musicians including the legendary Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. The inclusion of such a fine cast of musicians would be utilized again throughout Boz Scaggs’ recording career. The musicians may change, but the caliber of play was always the best.
Boz Scaggs released two albums in 1971. The albums entitled Moments and Boz Scaggs & Banddefined a blues, soul, funk sound intertwined with great ballads that would become a trademark of all Boz Scaggs albums.
In 1974, Boz Scaggs released the album Slow Dancer. Once again, the album featured an arsenal of incredible musicians. The album would eventually be certified Gold. However, the interest in the album would come later after the astonishing success of his next album.
In 1976, the album Silk Degrees was released. The album instantly made Boz Scaggs a household name. The success of the album was fueled by the smash hit “Lowdown.” The song took over the radio airwaves on both the FM and AM dial in 1976. Three other singles were released from the album. “Lido Shuffle,” “It’s Over,” and “We’re All Alone,” all were hits. It would become Boz Scaggs most successful album of his career. Silk Degrees has become one of the biggest selling albums of all time as it has been certified platinum five times.
Boz Scaggs continued his platinum success with the release of his next two albums, Down Two Then Left in 1977 and Middle Man in 1980. After the release of Middle Man in 1980, Boz Scaggs took an extended break from the recording studio. Eight years would pass in between albums util Boz Scaggs released Other Roads in 1988.
Since the release of Other Roads in 1988, Boz Scaggs has been releasing albums that explored many different genres of music from r&b, soul, memphis blues to jazz standards. The days of hits are long gone, but the album releases continue in an exploration of class and substance.
Our Top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list explores many different avenues of his career. We could have easily taken 10 songs from the glory years between 1976 and 1980, but that would have ignored so many of the great records Boz Scaggs made before and after the Silk Degrees years. It was tough to pick only ten, but we think we have come up with a good presentation of the incredible artist known as Boz Scaggs.
# 10 – I’ll Be Long Gone
We open our Top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list with a great track from his second album entitled Boz Scaggs which was released in 1969. The Boz Scaggs song “I’ll Be Gone,” was placed as the second track on side A. The song was written by Boz Scaggs. The album also featured the legendary The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
# 9 – Monkey Time
One of our favourite Boz Scaggs albums of all time was the fantastic release entitled Boz Scaggs & Band. The album was released in 1971. We have included the album’s opening track entitled “Monkey Time,” here on our top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list. While this album may sound so different from the Silk Degrees record, the sound of Boz Scaggs vocals and the rhythm of the groups are still so similar in heart and soul.
# 8 – We Were Always Sweethearts
The great Boz Scaggs song “We Were Always Sweethearts,” was released on the album Moments in 1971. The album quickly became a favorite among critics. The song was written by Boz Scaggs. Later in his career, Boz Scaggs recorded so much material written by others. That probably led many people to not realize how in the early days, Boz Scaggs wrote most of his own material.
# 7 – Full Lock Power Slide
While many people reading this list may have never heard of some of these songs, that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be on on our Top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list. We are actually hoping that you will be blown away be these Boz Scaggs songs that show just how much great material he recorded before he became a household name with the Silk Degrees album.
The song “Full Lock Power Slide,” was released on the My Time album in 1972. The song was once again written by Boz Scaggs.
# 6 – What’s New
In the early 1980s, Linda Ronstadt became one of the first rock pop artist to record an album of jazz standards. It was a very bold move that could have backfired on her. However, the album was widely accepted by music lovers and began a new phrase in Linda Ronstadt’s career. The album also fueled a movement by many rock stars to record jazz standard albums. Rod Stewart had an amazing run with a series of standards albums,
Boz Scaggs recorded two jazz albums in the 2000s. The first album entitled But Beautiful was released in 2003. The second album was titled Speak Low which was released in 2008. Both were wonderful jazz standard albums that defined the brilliance of Boz Scaggs as a vocalist.
Our favorite track from both these albums was the opening number on the But Beautiful album entitled “What’s New.” It was the same song that Linda Ronstadt recorded that launched her jazz standard part of her career.
# 5 – JoJo
If this great Boz Scaggs song “JoJo,” sounds a little like Toto, it’s because most of the members of Toto played on the song. The late 1970s delivered some incredibly produced records that showcased the best musicians in the world. Albums by Steely Dan, Carly Simon, Boz Scaggs and many others used the best players. “JoJo,” is slick and soulful and stands as one of our favorite Boz Scaggs songs ever released. The song was released on the Middle Man album in 1980.
# 4 – Flames Of Love
This rocking piece “Flames Of Love.” was released on the soul infused Boz Scaggs album entitled Boz Scaggs & Friends. The album was released in 1971. The song was written by Boz Scaggs and Clive Arrowsmith.
# 3 – Loan Me A Dime
The amazing track “Loan Me A Dime,” was released on the Boz Scaggs album that was issued in 1969. For so many fans that only know the Boz Scaggs of the late 1970s, this track will blow everyone away. Featuring the late Duane Allman on guitar, “Loan Me A Dime,” is a powerful blues song that stands with the best of them. Barry Beckett lays down some smoking keyboard work that is to die for. Don’t miss this one!
# 2 – We’re All Alone
Boz Scaggs has sung many ballads throughout his career. “We’re All Alone,” my be his finest vocal moment. A beautifully well written song is taken to an entire different level once Boz Scaggs steps up to the microphone. The song is only one of two songs that we have included on out top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list. Most people will argue that there should have been more songs from the album featured on this list. It’s tough to argue against that. Nonetheless, we wanted to showcase Boz Scaggs other material. Yet, this was one we could not leave off, and the next one even more so.
# 1 – Lowdown
Landing at number one on our top 10 Boz Scaggs songs list is of course, the phenomenal song “Lowdown.” The incredible opening of this song with it’s iconic drum, bass and keyboard lick will never be forgotten by anyone growing up in the 1970s. I still get chills listening to this song. It’s one of those songs that you just can’t define in a literal sense. The song was written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich.
“Lowdown,” was not Columbia Records first choice as the debut single from the album. “Lowdown,” was released as the second single and became a smash hit. The song hit number three on US Billboard Hot 100. It hit number one on the US Cashbox Singles charts. The song was a huge hit worldwide. Jeff Porcaro played drums on the track along with David Hungate on bass and David Paich on keyboards. Those three guys would from Toto a few years later.
“Lowdown,” was absolutely the commercial highlight of Boz Scaggs’ career. From an artistic standpoint it’s hard to pick. It depends upon what style of music one enjoys listening to Boz Scaggs perform. Nonetheless, if we had to choose one, “Lowdown,” would be our choice.
Top 10 Boz Scaggs Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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