Buddha and the Chocolate Box and the single "Oh Very Young" gave Cat Stevens fans reasons to hope he had returned to the form that attracted his massive following. Fans had met his last album, Foreigner, and its pretentious 18-minute, side long suite with puzzlement.
There is still plenty to puzzle over here. Cat's life-long spiritual journey leads him to compare Jesus with Buddha and there are lyrics like "He was the king of trees/ Keeper of the glades/ The way he enchanted my life /Makes me so amazed " that makes you wonder if he's going Wicca on us.
My fave deep cut: "A Bad Penny", probably because it sounds like something off Teaser and the Firecat.
The Eagles continue to bastardize the music and memories of Gram Parsons, who is the subject of former Burrito Brother Bernie Leadon's touching, if not slightly homo-erotic "My Man".
And so he traveled along, touch your heart, then be gone
Like a flower, he bloomed till that old hickory wind Called him home
Most of the album features frat rock paens to loose women left in the dust by these strong-feeling, victory song singing California macho men. How can you not hate the Eagles?
And yet, Goddammit, "Best of My Love" is great song.
The Hollies celebrate the return of Allan Clarke with one of 1974's biggest hits, a cover of Albert Hammond's "The Air That I Breathe" recorded using the 1973 arrangement of Phil Everly. Consistently good and highly professional, The Hollies sounds too generic and too calculated to make an immediate connection.
With famed Motown producer Johnny Bristol helping out, former Steve Miller Bandmate ,Boz Scaggs , shares his infectious love of soul music on Slow Dancer, the predecessor to his breakout, 5 million selling 1976 album Silk Degrees.
The opener, "You Make It So Hard ( To Say No)" gets things going right off the bat. Scaggs also covers Allen Toussaint's "Hercules", which should have been a bigger hit for Aaron Neville in 1972.
A star in his own state, Detroit rocker Bob Seger is just two years away from super stardom when he records this compact 31-minute collection of rockers featuring, for the first time, his Silver Bullet Band. Together they would spend much of 1974 touring as an opening act for Kiss.
His Chuck Berry re-write, "Get Out of Denver" peaked at #80 in the Billboard Hot 100. "U.M.C.( Upper Middle Class)" is another highlight while "20 Years From Now" has that sexy late night vibe that would "Night Moves" such a huge hit.