Monday, November 7, 2022

Roger McGuinn - Peace On You (1974 us, amazing folk classic rock, 2008 japan remaster)

When Roger McGuinn released his second solo album, Columbia promoted it by playing up McGuinn’s status as a rock & roll legend. It was a point that needed making after several mediocre Byrds albums and a solo record that somehow managed to fly under the radar of rock fans and radio stations. Peace on You isn’t a markedly better record than his first, again suffering from an identity crisis as McGuinn brings in material from other writers, although the production value has more oomph this time. It’s not a bad record and, in fact, grows on me the more I listen to it, but at no point do I have the sense that I’m listening to a rock & roll legend.

Of course, McGuinn wasn’t the only rock star to flounder in the mid Seventies: Neil Young rejected his rock-star status, John Lennon retired, Joni Mitchell was making jazz records. And Peace on You isn’t any worse than those Stephen Stills albums. Individually, the songs are interesting enough. In fact, the songwriting partnership with Jacques Levy was proving almost as fruitful as the Hunter-Garcia team. The Lady, Gate of Horn and Without You are all solid songs with good lyrics. Two songs from James “Donnie” Dacus, who would join Stills in the studio the following year, are also very good: Going to the Country and Do What You Want To.

The remaining songs come from very different quarters. Better Change from Dan Fogelberg is a nice match for McGuinn’s voice; (Please Not) One More Time, featuring Al Kooper, not so much. But the oddest choice is the decision to make a fairly straight cover of Charlie Rich’s Peace on You (from his award-winning Behind Closed Doors album of the previous year) the centerpiece of the album. It gets the album off to unsteady start from which it never really recovers.

As I said, this album grows on me the more I listen to it, and the quality of the individual songs make up for its inconsistencies. Bill Halverson (credited with wife Suzanne) provides plenty of production polish and the backing band (featuring past and future Stills collaborators) is a nice change of partners.
by Dave Connolly, October 4, 2022
1. Peace On You (Charlie Rich) - 4:01
2. Without You (Jacques Levy, Roger McGuinn) - 4:07
3. Going To The Country (Donnie Dacus) - 3:17
4. (Please Not) One More Time (Al Kooper) - 3:23
5. Same Old Sound (Roger McGuinn) - 3:30
6. Do What You Want To (Donnie Dacus) - 3:00
7. Together (Jacques Levy, Roger McGuinn) - 3:38
8. Better Change (Dan Fogelberg) - 3:00
9. Gate Of Horn (Jacques Levy, Roger McGuinn) - 2:45
10.The Lady (Jacques Levy, Roger McGuinn) - 4:16
11.Rock And Roll Time (Bob Neuwirth, Kris Kristofferson, Roger McGuinn) - 3:17

*Roger McGuinn - Lead Vocals, 12-String Rhythm, Lead Guitar
*Donnie Dacus - 6-String Rhythm, Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals 
*Dan Fogelberg - Backing Vocals, Electric, Acoustic Guitar (Tracks 6, 8)
*Paul Harris - Keyboards 
*Russ Kunkel - Drums, Percussion
*Lee Sklar - Bass 
*Jorge Calderon - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Tish Coulter - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Gwendolyn Edwards - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Brenan Gordon - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Jordan Halverson - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Charles Higgins, Jr. - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Brooks Hunnicutt - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Howard Kaylaw (Kaylan) - Backing Vocals (Tracks 5, 8)
*Mark Kellgren - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Eddie Lee Kendrix - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Al Kooper - Sweetening,  Clavinet, Piano, Guitar, Arranger,  Conductor  
*Al Perkins - Steel Guitar  (Track 6)
*Brian Russell - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*William Smith - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Paul, Cynthia - Backing Vocals 
*Pilar Stallworth - Backing Vocals (Track 1) 
*Mark Volman - Backing Vocals (Tracks  5, 8)
*Tommy Tedesco - Flamingo Guitar  (Track 7)

1973  Roger McGuinn - Roger McGuinn (2013 Edition)
1975  Roger McGuinn And Band - Roger McGuinn And Band (2004 extra tracks remaster)
1976  Roger McGuinn - Cardiff Rose (2013 edition)
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1979-80  McGuinn Clark Hillman - The Capitol Collection (2007 double disc set)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)