Jan 072018
 

from MIDDLE MAN
Written by David Foster & Boz Scaggs

To start 2018 in style, here’s “Middle Man,” the energetic title-track from Boz Scaggs’ 1980 platinum release. This up-tempo composition was another great Scaggs co-write with David Foster who arranged and played the bulk of this classic album. The title-track got the boogie-rock treatment with an inspired and powerful vocal performance by the legendary Bay Area singer supported by soulful female background vocal harmonies.

The late Jeff Porcaro (1954-1992) was impressive on drums and cemented the song’s strong foundation with his Toto partner, David Hungate, on bass. On top was the superior work of Steve Lukather’s rocking guitars and Foster’s keyboards and synths. Not surprisingly, the song shows echoes of Toto’s high-tech rock sound with the addition of Foster’s superior arranging tricks that achieved an irresistible, radio-friendly sound. On Middle Man, Scaggs and Foster, with the help of engineer/producer Bill Schnee, reached a level of musical sophistication and ear-candy results that brought the singer back to the same artistic results of his 1976 seminal record, Silk Degrees. Here’s what Scaggs said about the collaboration with the Hitman:

“David (Foster) was the arranger and co-writer on this project with me. It came about because David wanted to work with me and I wanted to work with him and the producer, Bill Schnee, was friends with both of us and he proposed that. It seemed sort of natural. David was friendly with David Paich, Jeff Porcaro and David Hungate, whom I had made Silk Degrees with. We did great work together.”

Middle Man presents some of Foster’s best songwriting work ever. What was impressive was the palette of music styles that Foster brought to the plate through his work with Scaggs. From the pop/rock on the title-track and the hit, “Breakdown Dead Ahead,” to the mid-tempo pop/soul of the other classic hits, “Jojo” and “Simone,” to a lush love song like “You Can Have Me Anytime,” Middle Man is pure listening pleasure for every musically trained ear. For those interested, there are reviews of those great songs in the archives.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Boz Scaggs
Keyboards & Synthesizers: David Foster
Guitars: Steve Lukather & Ray Parker, Jr.
Bass: David Hungate
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Backing Vocals: Julia Tillman Water, Oren Waters, Paulette Brown & Venetta Fields.

Produced by Bill Schnee


Lyrics

Yes I quite understand
I just might have your man tonight
He’ll be lookin’ good Hollywood
Everything right on cue
That’s a clue
If you’re in town and he’s around
Well anything I can do
Maybe
I could get him on the line
Yes I think you’d like him fine
You could spend all his money.. honey

He’ll want a little
Just a little
Taste of your love
He’ll need a little
Just a little
Bit of your love
He’ll take you uptown
Downtown
Up Third Avenue
So if you need a little
I’ll be the middle man for you

There’s a hot moon tonight
If I feel like jumping I just might
We could grab a pack go back and start
A little thing or two me and you
I can’t resist you know there’s
Something I’ve been dying to do
Maybe we could take in all the sights
We could roll some heavy dice
And we could blow all my money.. honey

I want a little
Just a little
Taste of your love
Not just a little
But every little
Trace of your love
I’ll take you uptown downtown
Up a lonely avenue
Yes I’m in the middle smack dab middle
Man for you

I want a little
Just a little
Taste of your love
Need a little
Just a little
Taste of your love
I’ll take you uptown downtown
Down a lonely avenue
Oh I am the middle
Yes the middle man for you
Yes I need a little
Just a little
Taste of your love