The Full Wiki

Poco: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poco

Poco, in 2007 L-R: Young, Lawrence, Cotton, and Sundrud
Background information
Origin United States
Genres Country rock, rock, folk rock
Years active 1968-present
Labels Epic
ABC
MCA
Atlantic
Associated acts Buffalo Springfield
Eagles
Great Plains
Loggins and Messina
Sky Kings
Souther-Hillman-Furay Band
Website Official website
Members
Rusty Young
Paul Cotton
Jack Sundrud
George Lawrence
Former members
Richie Furay
Jim Messina
Randy Meisner
Timothy B. Schmit
George Grantham
Al Garth
Steve Chapman
Charlie Harrison
Kim Bullard
Tim Smith
Richard Neville

Poco is an American country rock band originally formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The title of their first album, Pickin' Up The Pieces, is a reference to the break-up of the Springfield and is the only debut album ever to receive a perfect rating from Rolling Stone Magazine. A favorite of AOR FM stations in the early 1970s, Poco was considered to be a highly innovative and pioneering band. Although the band charted a handful of Top 20 hits, overall their Top 40 success was uneven, and many of their most innovative records were commercially unsuccessful. Throughout the years Poco has performed in various groupings, with the latest version still active today. With 24 original albums and 27 "Best of" and anthology collections, the band boasts a total catalog of 51 releases.

Contents

Inception

During recording of the third Buffalo Springfield album (Last Time Around), each of the three lead singers (Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay) recorded songs without the other members present. One of Furay's solo songs was the country-influenced ballad "Kind Woman", which he recorded with the help of producer/engineer/bassist Jim Messina and pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young.[1] When Buffalo Springfield then split up, Furay, Messina and Young decided to start their own group oriented toward such songs.

The original lineup of this new group was Furay (vocals and rhythm guitar), Messina (lead guitar, vocals, producer), Young (pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin and vocals), George Grantham (drums and vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass and vocals). The group was signed to a recording contract with Epic Records, which acquired the rights to Furay and Messina from Atlantic Records (the Springfield's label) in return for the rights to David Crosby from the Byrds and Graham Nash from the Hollies (who were moving to Atlantic as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash).[1] Originally, the new group was named "Pogo" after the famous comic strip character, but it had to change its name when Pogo creator Walt Kelly objected to their use of the name. "Poco" is a Spanish term meaning "little" or "un", as "poco importante", which means unimportant in Spanish and a musical term meaning "to diminish by small measures".

Their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces (1969), is considered to be the best and most important album of a new musical genre that united country with rock music.[2] However, the album was not a commercial success, falling short of the top 50 on the Billboard album charts.

Prior to its release, Meisner left the group as a result of a conflict with Furay (reportedly, Meisner had objected after Furay barred all but himself and Messina from the first album's final mix playback sessions).[3] After a stint playing with Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, Meisner later became a founding member of the Eagles. Messina assumed the bass chores until Timothy B. Schmit joined Poco in September 1969.

The "Furay era"

The studio album Poco (1970) and the live album Deliverin' (1971) followed. Guided by the vision of Furay and Messina, these became touchstones of country rock music, making Poco the yardstick by which all country rock bands are measured. Poco's unique blending of Bakersfield-influenced country music with energetic California rock translated well to live performances, and was consistent with currently charting country and rock artists. The band developed a loyal following on the road with both critics and fans alike. Although each new album picked up moderate airplay with songs like Messina's "You Better Think Twice" and Furay's "C'mon". Critical acclaim did not yield commercial success, however. Even though Deliverin' became Poco's first album to reach the top 30 on the Billboard album charts (peaking at #26), Messina, more accustomed to studio life, chose to leave the band in October 1970. He became a studio producer for Columbia Records, and, eventually, half of Loggins and Messina. At the suggestion of Peter Cetera of Chicago, Paul Cotton, guitarist and vocalist from The Illinois Speed Press, replaced Messina.

The realigned Poco, now on its third lineup on just its fourth album, hired blues legend Steve Cropper as producer and released From The Inside (1971), featuring Cotton's "Bad Weather", which became a signature song for the band. The band and its management was dissatisfied with Cropper's production and hired star producer Jack Richardson, who oversaw the next three albums, beginning with A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972). Although the Furay title track became the most recognizable Poco song of their early years, it completely failed to chart despite more critical acclaim. As a result, Furay became increasingly discouraged with Poco's prospects, especially since ex-bandmates Stills, Young, Meisner and Messina were so successful with their respective groups. The next album, Crazy Eyes (1973), was another strong effort that ultimately proved to be Furay's last as a member of the group. The album employed extensive overdubbing of horns and strings for a lush, heavily produced kind of sound, strikingly different from the blend of Bakersfield country and rock that characterized Poco's albums previously. The title track was a Furay song written about fellow country-rock pioneer and close friend Gram Parsons of Flying Burrito Brothers fame, who had died of a drug overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn just prior to the recording of the album; Furay also sang Parsons' song "Brass Buttons" on the album.

At the urging of Poco manager (and later Asylum Records president) David Geffen, Furay left Poco in September 1973 and joined with J. D. Souther and Chris Hillman to create the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band on Asylum. Poco decided not to replace Furay and continued as a quartet.

The "post-Furay era"

Furay's departure provided an opportunity for Rusty Young. Previously known largely for his multi-instrumental talents, especially on pedal steel guitar, Young stepped up to become one of the band's primary songwriters and singers on subsequent albums. Seven (1974) and Cantamos (1974), their last two albums for Epic Records, established the group as a strong quartet without Furay. The band left Epic after Cantamos due in large part due to a dispute with the label over the album cover artwork, causing hard feelings for all concerned. Poco then signed with ABC-Dunhill Records. Head Over Heels was their first ABC release, featuring Schmit's acoustic "Keep On Tryin'", which became an AOR favorite and the group's most successful single to date. The success of the single was a surprise for the group after leaving Epic. Around the time of the release of Head Over Heels, Epic released The Very Best of Poco, a compilation that documented the group's years with Epic. Epic's release fought with Head Over Heels for the attention of fans, arguably causing reduced sales for both albums.

The group's next ABC-Dunhill album was Rose Of Cimarron. Though the album was generally considered one of the group's finest, featuring Cotton's Outlaw Country-inspired "Too Many Nights Too Long" and Young's classic title track, its sales were poor due to competition with another poorly-timed Epic release, the live album Live. Indian Summer was released the following spring. Despite the fact that it received little promotion, it ended up charting higher than its predecessor, driven by Cotton's title track. Believing their greatest strength was live performances, ABC-Dunhill encouraged the band to record yet another live album in a second attempt to break through with the Indian Summer and Rose of Cimarron songs, featuring Furay's first guest appearance with the band since his departure some four years before.

Success

In August 1977, with the support of the rest of Poco, Schmit quit to join the Eagles, coincidentally replacing former Poco member Meisner yet again. Unfortunately, as a result, the live album's release was cancelled by ABC. After lanquishing in storage for many years, the album was eventually released as The Last Roundup in 2004.

After Schmit's departure, Poco decided to take a break. Grantham took some time off, while Young and Cotton decided to continue as the "Cotton-Young Band" and redoubled their efforts to succeed, selecting Britons Steve Chapman (drums) and Charlie Harrison (bass) (both of whom had played together with Leo Sayer, Al Stewart and many others) to round out their new quartet. However, ABC decided to pick up the Cotton-Young album — as long as they continued under the "Poco" name. Thus, although Grantham had never quit Poco, he found himself bought out of the group. He subsequently landed a job as drummer for Ricky Skaggs.

Legend (1978), the Cotton-Young album with cover art by graphic artist (and later comedy actor) Phil Hartman, subsequently became the group's most commercially successful album, containing two Top Twenty hits, Young's "Crazy Love" (which also had a seven-week run at Number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1979, the biggest hit on the AC chart that year) and Cotton's "Heart of the Night". The album was certified gold, Poco's first album to achieve this distinction. Kim Bullard (keyboards) joined the band in December 1978 just as Legend was being released. While "Crazy Love" was riding up the charts, ABC Records was sold to MCA Records. Poco was retained by MCA and the Legend album was reissued on the MCA label. With the momentum built up from Legend's success, Poco played their new hit "Heart of the Night" on the live album No Nukes in support of nuclear-free energy, which featured several other big artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne.

The later years

Jim Messina - Founding member of Poco performing in 2009

In the 1980s, the group released five more albums: Under The Gun (1980), Blue And Gray (1981), Cowboys & Englishmen (1982) on MCA and, moving over to Atlantic Records, Ghost Town (1982) and Inamorata (1984). Despite creating music that lived up to the quality of the band's earlier efforts, Poco ultimately failed to duplicate the success achieved by Legend, although their song "Shoot For the Moon" did receive considerable air play and peaked at #50 and spent 23 weeks on the charts. Poco contributed the song "I'll Leave in up to You" to the [{Fastimes at Ridgemont High}] soundtrack but, in the wake of changing musical tastes and a fickle marketplace in the early 1980s, Poco increasingly faded from the forefront of the popular music scene as the decade went on.

Furay, Schmit and Grantham had, since their departures, each guested with Poco at various times. Inamorata in 1984 included contributions by all three former members, but the album did not result in a lasting reunion, in part due to its lack of success.

The group lost its recording contract with Atlantic due to the slow sales of Inamorata but continued to tour, mostly in small clubs. Bullard left to rejoin Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1983 and Harrison (who had not played on Inamorata) departed in mid-1984. New members Jeff Steele (bass) and Rick Seratte (keyboards, backing vocals) came in for Poco's 1984 tour dates, only to be replaced in 1985 by Jack Sundrud and the returning Grantham. Grantham's reunion was brief though, in 1986 Ricky Skaggs asked him to rejoin his band. Chapman came back to take over drums again.

After a lengthy recording hiatus, at the urging of Richard Marx, Poco re-emerged on the RCA label with the successful Legacy (1989), reuniting original members Young, Furay, Messina, Grantham, and Meisner twenty years after Poco's debut. The album produced a top twenty hit, "Call it Love" and a top forty hit, "Nothing to Hide" earning Poco its second gold album (in its 19th album). The group (having added a keyboardist, Dave Vanecore) toured in early 1990 opening for Marx. Furay bowed out early on and Poco toured as a headliner in the summer of 1990 with Sundrud returning to take over rhythm guitar from Furay. In 1991, Poco toured as an acoustic trio with Young, Messina and Meisner (drummer Gary Mallaber joined them for dates in Japan that July). But by the end of 1991, Messina and Meisner had returned to their individual careers.

By early 1992, Poco was once again without a record deal. But despite this, Young once again teamed with Cotton, brought in new members Richard Neville (vocals, bass) and Tim Smith (drums) and toured through the end of the decade. Young and Cotton occasionally also appeared as Poco as an acoustic duo.

In 2000, Grantham and Sundrud once again returned to Poco, reuniting the group's 1985 lineup, and Running Horse (2002) found the band in the studio for the first time in thirteen years. Furay (who had continued to make guest appearances at their shows over the years when they played in his native Colorado) reunited with the band again for a sold out show in Nashville in May 2004, resulting in the CD–DVD release Keeping The Legend Alive (2004). In July of the same year, Grantham suffered a stroke during a live performance. His recovery has been slow and expensive and the group has created a donor fund on its official website, Poconut.com, to offset some of his considerable medical expenses. The site offers a variety of ways of donating money. Grantham has recently begun occasionally appearing with the band again but limits his contributions to vocals only. George Lawrence (who had subbed for Tim Smith on drums in 1999) rejoined Poco as drummer.

The present

Poco continues to write and record a substantial volume of music while performing at festivals and top rock venues in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. Young, Cotton, Sundrud, and veteran drummer George Lawrence comprise the current lineup. Cotton and Sundrud recently released solo albums, and Young is the author of an upcoming autobiographical history of the band. Poco alumni continue to periodically reunite in concert with the current lineup. Richie Furay and Jim Messina returned for several 2008 Poco performances at the Wildwood Lodge in Steelville, Missouri and at Stagecoach in 2009 with Timothy B. Schmit and George Grantham. Bareback At Big Sky (2005) and The Wildwood Sessions (2006) are Poco's most recent original releases, capturing live acoustic versions of songs both new and familiar from their forty-year plus career.

Discography

Poco member history

1968–1969
1969
  • Richie Furay – guitars, vocals
  • Jim Messina – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1969–1970
  • Richie Furay – guitars, vocals
  • Jim Messina – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, harmonica, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1970–1973
  • Richie Furay – guitars, vocals
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, harmonica, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1973–1976
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, harmonica, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1976
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, harmonica, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
  • Al Garth – saxophone, violin
1976–1977
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, harmonica, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1978
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Charlie Harrison – bass, backing vocals
  • Steve Chapman – drums
1978–1983
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Charlie Harrison – bass, backing vocals
  • Steve Chapman – drums
  • Kim Bullard – keyboards, backing vocals
1984
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Steve Chapman – drums
  • Rick Seratte – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Charlie Harrison/Jeff Steele – bass
1985
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Jack Sundrud – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1986–1987
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Jack Sundrud – bass, guitar, vocals
  • Steve Chapman – drums
1988–1989
  • Richie Furay – guitars, vocals
  • Jim Messina – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Randy Meisner – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
1989–1990
  • Richie Furay – guitars, vocals
  • Jim Messina – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Randy Meisner – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
  • Dave Vanecore – keyboards
1990
  • Jim Messina – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Randy Meisner – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
  • Jack Sundrud – guitar, vocals
  • Dave Vanecore – keyboards
1991
  • Jim Messina – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Randy Meisner – bass, guitar, vocals
  • Gary Mallaber was added on drums for a July 1991 Japanese tour
1992–1999
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Richard Neville – bass, vocals
  • Tim Smith – drums, backing vocals
  • Young and Cotton also appeared as a duo during this era playing acoustic sets
  • George Lawrence filled in on drums for Smith for some shows in 1999
2000–2004
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Jack Sundrud – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Grantham – drums, vocals
2004–present
  • Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals
  • Paul Cotton – guitars, vocals
  • Jack Sundrud – bass, guitar, vocals
  • George Lawrence – drums

References

  1. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. 'Poco'; Allmusic.
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. Pickin' Up the Pieces review, Allmusic.
  3. ^ Marc Eliot. To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles . Da Capo Press, 2004. Pg. 37. ISBN 978-0-306-81398-6

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message