We've Been Waiting A Very Long Time!!!
D. R. Saxton | Bemus Pt. N.Y. USA | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a Seals and Crofts fan, and you know how big they were from 1972, "SUMMER BREEZE" until 1978, "Takin' It Easy", then you have felt a lot of anxiety and frustration over the fact that their CDs have not been available,---"EVER!!!" Yes, the 10 song Greatest Hits is out there and "Summer Breeze" has been available. (We were even lucky enough to have a budget copy of "Diamond Girl" tossed our way a few years back!) But, about nine Seals and Crofts albums have never seen the light of day until this month!!
"I'll Play For You" (1975) was released while Jim and Dash were still hot on the charts and pouring out one great album per year. "Get Closer" followed it up in 1976, then their popularity began to wane. "I'll Play for You" was very poppy but it was also quite diverse. From the emotional "song-writer styled ballad", "Wayland the Rabbit" to the latin grooved "Freak's Fret", Seals and Crofts venture into several different music genres that really work on this album.
"I'll Play For You", a top hit in '75 leads off the CD. My only complaint is that I detected a slight volume drop out at the 2:16 mark of the song and then again a rather bad channel pan and drop out at 2:35. I have a feeling that the original master was not used on this CD. (The quality is pretty good, but it won't blow your socks off.)
"Golden Rainbow" follows which is a beautiful, soft and laid-back song that has a blue mood feeling.
"Castles in the Sand" has the classic Seals and Crofts sound with the signature mandolin and great instrumentation from all the great studio musicians that S and C used in their hey day. This song is also on their GH CD.
"Blue Bonnet Nation" is a strong rock beat song with a nice horn section filling in. There are several changes in the rhythm in this song. The bad news is that I heard another sonic drop-out at the 2:05 mark.
"Ugly City" was the last song on side one on my old 33 and a third record. This is a lonely but beautiful ballad which builds and then leaves you on this note of wonder and hope. This is my favorite on the CD.
"Wayland the Rabbit" starts with a beautiful orchestration and goes into a long and desolate story about poor Wayland. It turns into an acoustic piece with light orchestration.
"Freak's Fret" is the most fun song and it is also an instrumental. Great latin edged beat featuring the acoustic guitar and mandolin.
"Truth is But a Woman" is another medium, laid-back song with great harmonies and a bit of a country flavor added in the guitar solo. This song ends on a classic sounding S and C major 7th chord.
Finally, "Fire and Vengeance" is a rock piece with the great wah wah guitar sound that seemed prevelent in the 70's. The horns are funky as Jimmy and Dash go out in a grooving glory.
"I'll Play for You" isn't my favorite Seals and Crofts album, but it is in my top 3. If you like Jimmy and Dash, try to pick this one up. Hey, even if you just like 70's mellow pop, this one is a real keeper!!
Minnesota Martha | Chaska, MN | 01/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album was my favorite Seals & Crofts album and one of my favorites overall. I've been waiting for years for it to come out on CD and here it is! I couldn't be more thrilled!
I can't wait to hear Wayland the Rabbit on modern equipment. The orchestral intro to that song will give you goose bumps, and after the mostly acoustical main part of the song, the orchestra comes back and builds a beautiful ending. The words and meaning of the song are moving as well.
The other songs on the album are excellent, too. It was one of the few albums I had that I would always play all the way through without skipping over any songs.
I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves beautiful harmony, moving instrumentation and meaningful songs."
A Kind of Magic
PHILIP S WOLF | SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA. USA | 08/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By 1975, the duo of Seals & Crofts, really did have it both ways. With: "Summer Breeze", "Diamond Girl" and the title track of this record: "I'll Play For You" as hit singles, the Top-40 was their home. FM Radio, also took notice of many of their album cuts, and they fit in there as well. Seals & Crofts, were just about everywhere in the mid-seventies.
For me, this one just might be the best of the bunch. "I'll Play For You" contains two hit singles: "Castles In The Sand" and the title track. But, besides those two great tunes, this record has my all-time favorite Seals & Crofts, song on it...."Wayland The Rabbit". With very pretty orchestration, heartfelt singing and harmonies, and light brilliant acoustic guitars, Jim & Dash present in a song, their shining moment. To call this song: "moving" would be at least quite an understatement! As I do know that Seals & Crofts will be best remembered for their hit singles, I will always be in awe of this song and this performance. Like the standards: "Stardust" and "Yesterday", I feel 'Wayland' ranks right up there as a modern American classic song.
Besides my 'Rabbit' raving, there are plenty of gems on this record. "Golden Rainbows", "Blue Bonnet Nation" and "Fire and Vengeance" are really fine to hear again over three decades on. There is even a snappy little instrumental tucked in here as well called: "Freaks Feet", this shows the jazzy side of Jim & Dash, and stoplights just how great these guys where when you give them the wood and the wires.
Seals & Crofts, play highly crafted pop music that was loved in the 1970's. Today, they no doubt will gain more fans, as these CD's are exposed to a brand new audience.
This was great music to hear in 1975, and it is still a treasure.
Four Stars !!!"