ICE (1/91) - "...an impeccable anthology that should serve as a model for future retrospectives...The two 75-minute discs are packed with well-chosen mix of favorites and worthy obscurities."
This compilation contains 38 songs, including many new remixes from original master tapes, 6 previously unreleased songs, alternate versions of 3 others, and a comprehensive 36 page booklet, with historic liner notes and photos.
Personnel: Jim Messina (vocals, guitar, bass); Richie Furay (vocals, guitar); Paul Cotton (vocals, guitar); Rusty Young (vocals, pedal steel guitar, dobro, banjo); Randy Meisner (vocals, bass); Timothy Schmit (vocals, bass); George Grantham (vocals, drums).
Producers: Jim Messina, Steve Cropper, Poco, Jack Richardson, Jim Mason.
CD Compilation produced by Bob Irwin.
This excellent two-disc collection captures Poco's finest moments from the days when they were laying down the template for all the country-rock music that was to follow. It's hard to remember, but when the Eagles first hit the scene, they were thought by many to be a Poco-wannabe band. Listen to this set and you'll hear why. The Forgotten Trail (1969-1974) culls tracks from Poco's first eight albums, as well as unreleased cuts and singles. From the classic anthem "Pickin' Up the Pieces," which kicks things off, through "You Better Think Twice," "C'mon," "Kind Woman," "From the Inside," "A Good Feelin' to Know," "Crazy Eyes," and on and on, this is wonderful music, ahead of its time in many ways. If Poco had arrived on the scene in the early '90s, they would have been kings of the country charts. Of course, without Poco, country music wouldn't have taken on the rock trappings that it did in the '80s and '90s. As it was, the band was considered too country for the Top 40 rock format of the time, and too rock & roll for country radio. This set is the place to start for an appreciation of the original Poco, when the group was considered to be Richie Furay's band. All the ingredients are here that made their music so delightful: the trademark high-vocal harmonies; Rusty Young's pedal steel guitar wizardry; Furay's patented juxtapositions of sad lyrics against bouncy, harmony-filled tunes; and their spirit of optimism and good feelings even in the face of hard luck and bad weather. The 36-page booklet does a fine job of telling the story in print, and the 38 songs speak volumes about the band's place and influence. Thanks to this compilation, Poco's trailblazing days need be forgotten no longer. ~ Jim Newsom