Boz Scaggs ‘Lowdown’ (greg wilson edit)
Previously limited vinyl only 2008.
This is a straightforward, no added elements extension of ‘Lowdown’ that I knocked together back in 2004, and which would later be shared on limited vinyl in 2008 as ‘Blue Eyed Boz’, issued on the same 12” as ‘Adriano Italiano’ to launch the GW Ruff Edits series. It’s popped up in a few of my live mixes down the years, and features in the East Village London mix on here from last December.
'Lowdown' was released in the UK 35 years ago, in September 1976. Between January 2006 and September 2007 I compiled a series called Time Capsule for Samurai FM, where, month by month, I revisited the tracks I used to play in the clubs exactly 30 years earlier. It was a real labour of love, for not only did I have to research and often re-source the music included (I had a load of records stolen in 1985, so there were big holes in my collection), I also wrote an accompanying piece every month looking at the records featured, and how my fledgling DJ career was shaping up. 'Lowdown' was a single I used to play at the time in my New Brighton residencies, the Chelsea Reach and the Penny Farthing. Time Capsule covered the period I was at the Chelsea and the Penny, leading up to when I took over at the Golden Guinea, where I’d spend 3 memorable years before embarking on my Wigan / Manchester adventure in the early 80’s.
I’d hoped to take Time Capsule all the way through 1977, but the workload became too much and I found myself unable to meet the monthly deadlines, so I reluctantly had to stop at Sept 77, with the intention of getting back to it in the future if I ever have sufficient time on my hands. Even if this turns out to be all I ever manage to do, Time Capsule, as I left it 4 years ago, still stands as a snapshot archive from a key moment in dance culture, as the Disco era gained full momentum and the 12” gradually began to take over from the 7” in the affections of British DJ’s.
All the programmes, plus ‘First Impressions’, which inspired the series, can be accessed here:
Here’s what I wrote about ‘Lowdown’ for the Sept 76 Time Capsule:
“Regarded as one of the classic Blue-Eyed Soul singles, 'Lowdown' by Boz Scaggs, despite its popularity on the UK club scene, peaked at a somewhat disappointing position of number 28 on the British chart. By contrast, the single had reached number 3 stateside, with the album it was taken from, 'Silk Degrees', becoming an American classic, which sold more than 5 million copies and spent over 2 years on the chart! Picking up a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues song, 'Lowdown' was recorded with a team of session musicians, who would later form the nucleus of the hit band Toto. In the early 60's, Scaggs, who was Ohio born, had left his Texas home to briefly join London's burgeoning R&B scene, returning to record his debut solo album, 'Boz' in 1965. He'd later appear on the first 2 Steve Miller Band LP's, 'Children Of The Future' (1968) and 'Sailor' (1969), before continuing his solo career with a series of albums for Atlantic Records. However, it wasn't until he signed to Columbia that the commercial acclaim, which had previously eluded him, finally came thanks to 'Silk Degrees'.”
Greg Wilson – September 2011