Other Roads was Boz Scaggs' eighth hit charting album with Columbia Records. The effort was a remarkable R&B/pop effort which leaned more towards the future, by not locking in musically with all that has since been long forgotten during the eighties. While taking a break from the recording scene for almost a decade, his much welcomed return in 1988 was met with a major hit single, a respectable chart album, and another home run collection of songs to add to his legendary catalog of music.
Produced mostly by Bill Schnee, Other Roads was true in a sense to the word, as Boz's music took on a new direction. This was in part due to the songwriting contributions and several collaborations with the late beat poet/musician Jim Carroll (The Basketball Diaries and People Who Died), Bobby Caldwell (What You Won't Do For Love), Patrick Leonard (Madonna) and a host of other unique associates.
The other aspect that always made a Boz Scaggs album an event was the players he would assemble to round out the recording process. For this venture, he chose his good friends in Toto, the late Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, David Paich and David Hungate. Plus more star talent like Timothy B. Schmit from The Eagles, soul crooner James Ingram, and much respected wrecking crew players like Carlos Rios and Alan Pasqua.
Where David Bowie had Station To Station, Boz Scaggs has Other Roads. Balancing art with a beat and a slight change in style, once you dropped the needle on this LP, you could still hear traces of magic found on his Silk Degrees from the previous decade. But now with more of an edge, more guitar oriented with synth interplay and certainly with more of an adult leaning groove.
The first single from the album was the chart topping Heart Of Mine. Produced by Stewart Levine (The Crusaders/Simply Red), this superior ballad received a ton of airplay. Featuring a stunning vocal delivery that only Boz Scaggs could bring home, it's become a staple in his repertoire and was the track that helped solidify his superstar return to the charts.
More solid singles and album tracks followed, including the Scaggs/Carroll funk groover What's Number One, which is truly one of the more interesting illustrations from this rare partnership. The island fused Cool Running is also included and attained nice club and radio play thanks to the rare Shep Pettibone remix, which is now included in this deluxe edition.
One of the strongest tracks which shows Boz Scaggs in his usual cool form is the soul rocker Claudia. Paul Butterfield alumnus Buzzy Feiten lends his special guitar chops throughout this classic tune, along with the thumping bass of Freddie Washington. If there ever was tune that deserved repeat listens, Claudia is indeed that special song.
Other Roads was Boz Scaggs' long awaited and well deserved return to the musical stages of the world. The fans had been yearning for a new album from this platinum artist. He delivered in his usual fashion a fine work of art that was still commercial, had all the elements of his previous smashes, while also grooving ahead to the future.
As another installment in our extensive Boz Scaggs Deluxe Edition Series, Other Roads/The Deluxe Edition, is now impeccably remastered from the original Columbia Records tapes. Three very solid bonus tracks have also been added, including the aforementioned remix of Cool Running, his collaboration with Lamont Dozier You'll Never Know and the first time issued on compact disc Soul To Soul. Enjoy!