REVIEW: Poco “Legacy”


Poco – Legacy

While my Poco favorites will always be “Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” “A Good Feeling To Know,” & their entire 5th LP Crazy Eyes, (1974) I believe they lost a little momentum when Richie Furay departed. But that was resolved. Years later 1989’s Legacy,  (their 2nd certified gold LP) solidified their excellence.


The song “Call It Love,” from Legacy (Drops June 16) features the original Poco lineup of Richie Furay, George Grantham, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner & Rusty Young. This proved they never lost any of their ingenuity, musical perfection & timelessness. The songs on this CD are rich with perfectly managed mainstream melodies. The dynamic & intensity that was evident on “Crazy Eyes,” was just magical. That’s hard to recapture. But they did.

However, the Grammy-nominated band Poco (1968-2021) was a countrified rock band with superior melodies, their varied vocalizations sparkled & their musicianship was superb. So, Blue Elan Records has reissued this iconic 11-track LP in a 6-panel die-cut package with lyrics.

While the country-rock innovation credit is often bestowed upon the late Gram Parsons (& rightfully so) I always found that Poco managed to solidify the style, make it more agreeable to many more ears & refrain from too much of the syrupy additives that are typical of country music. They’ve displayed a more gospel-oriented side as well (“Look Within”).

While not all songs are originals the interpretation is outstanding. The majority were recorded in L.A., so they have that generous sway & harmonic value of  The Eagles & CSN&Y. I prefer Poco — I believe their music aged better. The harmonies are sweeter & some songs are surprisingly far edgier & smokin’ (“What Do People Know” “Rough Edges” & “Lovin’ You Every Minute”).

Produced by David Cole with “Nothin’ To Hide,” produced by Richard Marx the band has been regarded as pioneers of the country rock genre. Poco, unlike The Eagles, wasn’t a sculptured Top 40 type group, neither were the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Goose Creek Symphony, the excellent Epic Records band West, or in part the original James Gang (“Walk Away”). But for 53 years they never released anything subpar even when founder Richie Furay was away for a few years.

Highlights – “When It All Began,” “Call It Love,” “The Nature of Love,” “What Do People Know,” “Rough Edges,” “Lovin’ You Every Minute” & a very CSN&Y-like “If It Wasn’t For You.”

Musicians – Jim Messina (guitars/vocals), Richie Furay (guitars/12-string guitar/vocals), Rusty Young (steel guitar/banjo/dobro/guitars/acoustic piano/vocals), Randy Meisner (bass/vocals), George Grantham (drums/vocals) with Brian Mendelshon (synclaiver programming), Bill Payne & C.J. Vanston (keyboards), Frank Marocco (accordion), Bruce Gaitsch (acoustic guitar), Joe Chemay & Leland Sklar (bass), Paulinho da Costa (percussion), Richard Marx (vocals), Gary Mallaber & Jeff Porcaro (drums).

B&W image courtesy of Jim Shea. The 44-minute CD @ https://pocoband.com/home

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