Furay, Richie


Band members               Related acts

- Billy Batstone -- bass

- Virgil Beckham -- lead guitar, backing vocals

- Richie Furay -- vocals, lead guitar

- Gabriel Katona -- keyboards

- John Mehler -- drums, percussion

 

 

- The Buffalo Springfield

- Poco

- The Souther-Furay-Hillman Band

 

 

 


 

Genre: country-rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  I've Got a Reason

Company: Asylum

Catalog: 1076

Year: 1976

Country/State: Yellow Springs, Ohio

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small cut out notch lower edge

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 1

Price: $10.00

 

"I've Got a Reason" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) 

 

(side 2)
1.) 

 

 

 

Frustrated with watching former bandmates Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Jim Messina, and Randy Meisner shoot up the charts while Poco spent the better part of five years lingering in the second division of the Top 100, Richie Furay decided to leave the group in 1973 following its sixth album, Crazy Eyes. His departure subsequently led to the formation of the country-rock "supergroup," the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, for David Geffen's Asylum Records. The band came with a great deal of hype, only to end up disbanding after only two records. During his stint with S-H-F, Furay, through his connection with the band's steel guitarist Al Perkins, became a devout Christian. His pair of songs from their final release hinted at his conversion, but it was his 1976 solo debut, recorded with members of the Christian rock band Love Song, that made it apparent that his references to God were more than just casual ones. Produced by Christian artist, session musician, and soon-to-be Grammy winning producer Michael Omartian, I've Got a Reason expands on Furay's newfound faith, although without the usual ham-fisted rhetoric of a recent convert. The songs here are more about looking inward than they are about proselytizing. Musically, Furay continues his gradual move away from the country-rock leanings of his past, moving closer to a somewhat slicker, more pop-oriented rock sound. And while many of the tracks including the AOR of "We'll See," the banjo-kick-started rocker "Gettin' Through," and the opener "Look at the Sun" work despite Omartian's sometimes intrusive production, some otherwise decent songs such as "Mighty Maker" and "Over and Over" suffer, sounding rather silly beneath his heavy-handed strings and bloated synths. Still, it's Furay's clear, emotive tenor, along with his sense of melody and passion for the material, that carries the album. Failing to even break the Top 100, I've Got a Reason didn't change his standing in the pop marketplace, but it remains a strong personal statement for Richie Furay. It was reissued in 1981 by the Christian label Myrhh and in 2003 by Wounded Bird.


Genre: country-rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Dance a Little Light

Company: Asylum

Catalog: 6E-115

Year: 1978

Country/State: Yellow Springs, Ohio

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small cut out notch lower edge; includes original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 16

Price: $6.00

 

I'll readily admit that I'm not a big fan of Christian rock, but 1976's Jim Mason produced "Dance a Little Light" stands as one of those isolated exceptions in my collection.  It's certainly not a great LP, but my mild affection for the set may rest with the fact you'd be hard pressed to recognize this as a Christian LP.  Even though it was recorded in the wake of Richie Furay's recent born-again conversion, he was smart enough to soft peddle the religious message.  Sure, if you actually looked at the lyrics material such as 'It's Your Love', 'Ooh Dreamer' and 'You Better Believe It' had a clear religious undercurrent.  Luckily those messages were kept fairly vague (most of the time he could've been singing about women or family) and were cloaked in a first rate collection of Poco-styled country-rock. Crisp, full of great harmony vocals and quite commercial (okay, the Dixie land jazz segment in 'Yesterday's Gone' was lame), the Poco comparison was quite apt.  A casual listener could have easily taken 'Someone Who Cares', the rocker 'You Better Believe It' (the album's best selection), or his cover of the classic 'This Magic Moment' as Poco tracks.  The comparison was only underscored by backing from Poco alumnists Timothy B. Schmit and Rusty Young. 

 

Elsewhere Asylum tapped the collection for a pair of singles, though neither did much commercially:

 

- 'This Magic Moment' b/w 'Bittersweet' (Asylum catalog number E45487)

- 'Dance a Little Light' b/w '????' (Asylum catalog number E45520)

 

"Dance a Little Light" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) It's Your Love   (Richie Furay - Virgil Beckham ) - 

2.) Your Friends   (Henry Booth) - 

3.) Ooh Dreamer   (Richie Furay - David Diggs - Virgin Beckham) - 

4.) Yesterday's Gone   (Richie Furay - Virgil Beckham) - 

5.) Someone Who Cares   (Richie Furay - Tom Stipe) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Dance a Little Light   (Richie Furay - David Diggs) - 

2.) This Magic Moment   (Doc Pomus - Mort Shuman) - 

3.) Bittersweet Love   (Richie Furay) - 

4.) You Better Believe It   (Richie Furay - Tom Stipe) - 

5.) Stand Your Ground   (Richie Furay) - 

 

 

 


Genre: country-rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  I Still Have Dreams

Company: Asylum

Catalog: 6E-231

Year: 1979

Country/State: Yellow Springs, Ohio

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small cut out notch left edge; originally lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 18

Price: $10.00

 

Dumping his longstanding band, 1979's Val Garay produced "I Still Have Dreams" found Richie Foray working with a collection of in-demand L.A. based sessions players (Russ Kunkle, Leland Sklar, Waddy Wachtel, etc.).  Interestingly in normal circumstance such a move would have reeked of sell-out desperation, but in this case the results were quite good.  Furay's always had a nice voice (better than any of his partners in bands like The Buffalo Springfield, or Poco), but he seldom managed to capture it's charm as effectively as on originals such 'Oooh Child', 'Island Love' or 'Come On'.  The only real complaint stemmed from some of the covers.  While Furay's original material was uniformly enjoyable, 'I was a Fool' and the other two tracks penned by former Furay Band member Billy Batstone just didn't cut it.  Sure, none of these tunes were going to change your life, but they were tuneful and lightweight fun - songs like the title track and 'Headin' South' were perfect for top-40 radio which only made it a shame radio and the buying public overlooked the LP.  The album's commercial sheen may have also briefly cost him some of his Christian fans.  Elsewhere Elektra tapped the album for a pair of instantly obscure singles:

 

- 'I Still Have Dreams' b/w 'Headin' South' (Asylum catalog number E-46534)

- 'Oooh Child' b/w '???' (Asylum catalog number E-46599)

 

"I Still Have Dreams" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Oooh Child   (Richie Furay - David Diggs) - 3:25

2.) Lonely Too Long   (Felix Cavalierie - Eddie Brigati) - 3:28 

3.) Island Love   (Richie Furay) - 3:33

4.) Come On   (Richie Furay - David Diggs) - 3:07

5.) I was a Fool   (Billy Batstone) - 4:12

 

(side 2)
1.) I Still Have Dreams   (Billy Batstone) - 3:25

2.) Satisified   (Richie Furay - Gabriel Katonoa) - 3:55

3.) Headin' South   (Richie Furay) - 3:46

4.) Oh Mary   (Billy Batstone) - 2:57

5.) What's the Matter, Please?   (Richie Furay - Gabriel Katonoa) - 3:32

 

 

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