Poco – Head Over Heels (1975)

Here’s a strange one… Poco were a band I only heard of thanks to Blabber ‘n’ Smoke’s Paul Kerr.  He’d mentioned them once or twice and said he liberated a copy of Head Over Heels during a visit to a charity shop.  It was mine if I wanted it.  Of course, being into records, Buffalo Springfield and being partial to a bit of ‘country rock’ in general, I said I would give it a good home (there were a few other records thrown my way that evening – including Santana’s Zebop!)

Now, I’ve listened to this once or twice since then and I thought it was, at times, very lovely and all, but nothing jumped out at me.  It kinda reminded me of yon Eagles lot and, to quote The Dude, I hate the fucking Eagles, man (hate is maybe too strong, but they bore me to tears. I need more than well crafted empty songs).  However, while it reminded me of their country rock contemporaries, I was fairly taken by their vocal shenanigans.

So, I decided to file this under ‘get to know better’ and I finally got around to making time in my schedule to sit down with it… and yeah, it’s rocking my boat.  Gently.  Ever so gently.  Those vocal shenanigans really do lift some already impressive songwriting and, unlike yon Eagles lot, the tracks are filled to overflowing with some heart and (gushing) sentiment.  The opening salvo alone is worth the admission price.  Keep On Tryin’ is an outstanding opener complete with some outrageous harmonies (so outrageous it sounds like the Bee Gees fronting, eh, the Eagles) and Lovin’ Arms is equally gorgeous.

There are a couple of stand-out tracks spread across the album’s short run-time, but just now the tracks that grab me (other than the two I already mentioned) are Let Me Turn Back To YouGeorgia, Bind My Ties and Dallas (which I learned is a Steely Dan number).

I should probably acknowledge that the first three songs or so on each side keep me engaged. Not that I drift away, cause the album benefits from that short run-time, as it means it never really feels like spending time with it is much of a chore.

And y’know, that guy Schmit (wrote that opening number) later had a stint in the (fucking) Eagles.  How do you fancy them apples!?

Album rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Bottom line, I’m not blown away or left thinking this is peerless, or even a high point in country rock shenanigans, but if this is one of their ‘lesser efforts’, I’m looking forward to discovering one of their earlier LPs with Richie Furay.

Cover rating: ⭐️⭐️

A bit of a strange one, this.  I dare say it’s at odds with the content and finds Poco entering the 80s way before some of their peers.  Some pastel colours and it’s a bit hazy (the dude with the long hair and light denim shirt and jeans is just incredible) despite the black background.

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49 Comments Add yours

  1. boppinsblog says:

    I have a ton of their albums but have never taken the time to truely delve into them
    Maybe I should.

    Like

    1. J. says:

      On the strength of this, I reckon it’s worthwhile. I have a bit of catching up to do!

      Like

  2. jhubner73 says:

    Can’t say that I could name even one Poco song. I always lumped them into the “soft rock” of the 70s which kept me at more than an arm’s length away. And like you(and The Dude), I cannot stand the Eagles. I’ve heard all the arguments for why I should like them at least a little, but there’s nothing there for like. Henley and Frey wrote these easy breezy tunes that just felt like empty carbs for the ears. Initially maybe they’re satisfying, but in the end they do nothing for the soul. But hey, that’s just me. It could also be sensory overload as it seemed that when I was young every time we got in the car to go somewhere I was either hearing “Take It Easy”, “Desperado”, or “Hotel California” ad nauseum.

    I’ll have to look up Poco and see if anything rings a bell.

    Like

    1. J. says:

      That’s pretty much how I feel about the Eagles. Some nice tunes, but just nothing that excites me. For complete disclosure, I like Joe Walsh a helluva lot and some credit him with changing the Eagles, so I dunno what that says about me.

      This is my only experience of Poco, but I honestly enjoyed it. Maybe I benefited from coming into it not knowing anything about them? I understand their earlier stuff is better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jhubner73 says:

        Oh, I like Joe Walsh too. His first few solo albums were great, as were the James Gang records. Can’t blame him for wanting some of the Eagles gravy train!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. J. says:

        Yeah, he seems like such a riot, too. Certainly more colourful than any of his Eagle chums.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. deKE says:

    I enjoy your cover and album rating…Very pro looking fella!
    I like your filing system ‘get to know you better” hahaha
    Great stuff

    Like

    1. J. says:

      Haha! Cheers, Deke. Thought I’d shake things up a bit, y’know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. deKE says:

        I like it …keep doing it….

        Like

      2. J. says:

        Thanks! Good to know it’s a welcome addition, so I’ll be sure to keep it up!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 1537 says:

    Poco, mon?
    I’d always mentally filed under ‘probably won’t like very much’ – as very open minded people like myself do. I think their first is supposed to be a classic though, isn’t it?

    Like

    1. J. says:

      I dare say there are many bands like them that I dismissed cause, well, cause.

      And yeah, my understanding is that their first album (and second) is thought of very highly. Sadly, the only Poco I ever see is the late 70s stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. boppinsblog says:

        I just popped on the first album, Pickin’ Up The Pieces and the similarities to this album and the self titled Crosby, Stills & Nash are uncanny.
        They both came out in May 1969, otherwise I would say one ripped the other off.
        This album to me is CSY with a bit of a country twang.
        I will have to put this one on the get to know better pile.
        I am 3 songs in and really digging it.
        I suggest to find this one.
        I also have their first live album Deliverin’ which I will check out too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. J. says:

        I’ll make that one a priority. Given that both have their roots in Buffalo Springfield, the similarities between the two would make sense.

        Let me know how the live album is when you get to it. Paul (who introduced me to this lot) commented above about seeing them live and I’m hoping son of that is captured on LP!

        Like

      3. boppinsblog says:

        It makes sense that the two bands may sound alike since some of Poco and Steven Stills were in Buffalo Springfield.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. J. says:

        Yeah – I just replied to an earlier comment. Seems three of the original Poco line-up had some involvement in Buffalo Springfield at some point.

        Like

  5. Paul Kerr says:

    not getting into the Eagles discussion here although I do think that The Dude’s statement is one of the funniest bits in that movie. I saw Poco live and they were storming but mostly due to Rusty Young’s fiece pedal steel. This was around the time of Rose Of Cimarron which I think is a great album. Jim probably nails this album in his roundup. The dude with the long hair and light denim is Schmidt who did indeed become an Eagle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiDNlCyHp0I

    Like

    1. J. says:

      I’d like to hear more of the pedal steel, as there’s enough to suggest he could light up some proper country rock jams.

      I’ll seek out some more Poco on the strength of this (I believe I’ve spotted Rose Of Cimarron once or twice).

      Like

    2. J. says:

      … and thanks again for throwing this my way!

      Like

  6. Never got in to Poco. a I do love your cover rating though. I love album art work and so glad to see you score that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Thanks – I thought I’d introduce a wee star rating system, as I often buy albums based on their covers!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. “Rose of Cimarron” was a huge hit (well, in some places anyway). I know people who rate (early) Poco – they are often the same folk who adore The Flying Burrito Brothers – but I’m afraid I’m not one of them. Enjoyed the write-up a lot, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      I’m in the group of folks who adore The Flying Burrito Brothers, so I dare say I’ll likely rate the early Poco! Hurrah!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Zack says:

    Schmidt actually replaced a guy named Randy Meisner in Poco, and then replaced him in the Eagles. It’s like he made a career of following the guy around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Following him around and taking his job!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jay says:

    I don’t know Poco. I may have lumped them in with the dreaded Eagles – who, to be fair, I’ve never given a fair shake because that music belongs to my mother and I’m happy for her to have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Yeah, I think there are a lot of us who may have thrown them into a certain pile.

      … I’m happy for my parents to keep the Eagles, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jay says:

        Har Har, poor Eagles.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jay says:

        We were on a cruise this past December and there was a “recording artist” on board who had one semi-popular single in the late 70s and they’ve been cruising on it ever since. They apparently also briefly toured with the Eagles and they made the most of that too, playing several of their tunes while assuring us that they were great pals.

        Like

      3. J. says:

        Incredible. I’d imagine there’s a whole host of musicians who may, or may not, have been riding the wave of that scene and still basking in the odd hit. Good chance they also appeared with the Eagles at some point, too. From what I can gather there have been many to jam with them officially or unofficially.

        Like

  10. Hackskeptic says:

    Poco have never crossed my path, and probably never will. I was never a huge fan of soft rock, so probably sub-consciously dismissed them. As for The Eagles, I can take or leave them, sometimes great, very often bland.

    Like

    1. J. says:

      You’re definitely not alone, it seems (regarding Poco and the Eagles). I can appreciate that they’ll appeal more to a specific group, but I’m finding I’m in that group (I dare say it also includes liking a few Jackson Browne albums).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hackskeptic says:

        I like Jackson Browne’s debut record, especially side 1.

        Like

      2. J. says:

        I’ve never heard that one! I have For Everyman, Late for the Sky and Running on Empty. I really like For Everyman (which includes Take It Easy). Like Poco, it was Paul who introduced me to Jackson Browne! Would you recommend the debut, then?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hackskeptic says:

        Sorry J, I was thinking of “For Everyman”, I didn’t realize that was his sophomore record. It’s a really good LP, particularly side 1.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. J. says:

        Seems we’re agreed on that one. It struck me how strong the tracks are on that first side. Accessible, great songs, and Take It Easy and Our Lady of the Well is a great opening salvo.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hackskeptic says:

        And they segue from one to the next perfectly.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. stephen1001 says:

    laughed out loud at the (parentheses) in front of the eagles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Haha! Glad you enjoyed them!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Indian summer is a nice album worth checking.. but how can you like poco yet not like the eagles.. I get the feeling history will be very kind to them. when you’re standing on the roof of the Hyatt hotel on sunset boulevard heartbroken as I once was, and ‘take it to the limit’ ( sang by Schmitt) drifts into earshot, the eagles can lift you back up, although I thought they complimented our teenage denim clad 1970’s in England and Ireland rather nicely too.. I love your posts xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for asking a very good question! I’m not sure why I like similar bands (and some Jackson Browne) and not the Eagles. Perhaps it was / is because they’re near impossible to avoid. Perhaps. My friend Paul has just about convinced me to revisit some stuff…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Mr. Bobinsky says:

    It’s nice you leave some space to evaluate the cover too. I like to do the same with the movie posters. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Yeah, I decided that it was appropriate to comment on the covers given that I often purchase an album based on the album art.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. boppinsblog says:

    I just picked up The Souther-Hillman-Furay album and I’m really digging it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      I’ll need to look out for that one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. boppinsblog says:

        I got the first, self-titled.
        They made another one which I will look out for as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. J. says:

        Apparently they’re very good.

        Like

      3. boppinsblog says:

        Jim Gordon, Al Perkins and Paul Harris among others also play on that first album

        Liked by 1 person

      4. J. says:

        Definitely worth checking out then!

        Like

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