Legend by Poco

MCA Records, 1978

A1. Boomerang
A2. Spellbound
A3. Barbados
A4. Little Darlin’
A5. Love Comes Love Goes
B1. Heart of the Night
B2. Crazy Love
B3. The Last Goodbye
B4. Legend

Drawn in by the minimalist artwork, I was not disappointed by this Poco LP. Apparently the band was the next chapter for two former members of Buffalo Springfield. Wikipedia suggests that they were well-loved and an enduring band, with a career that has stretched from the late ’60s through as recently as 2021. Last year, sadly, founding member Rusty Young passed away. He wrote six of the nine tracks on Legend

The record itself is in pretty good condition and I can understand why Poco has been described as a pioneering band in the SoCal rock niche. I have also seen them described as “country rock,” which I suppose simply reinforces the importance of steel guitar in their music. I get it, it’s distinct. (But if we’re talking Cali Country, Poco’s origin of Los Angeles has nothing on the legacy of Bakersfield.) 

Overwhelmingly, this is a sappy, love record. The instrumentation tells its own story, which is the greatest feat of Legend; give me the whining intro to “Heart of the Night” on loop, I’m begging. But I can’t help but feel that the songs were written in a vacuum. Romantic, sure, but also, kinda generic and nauseating. I didn’t do enough research to know if I’m wrong, but please, don’t email me. 

One thing I did retain from my quick search of this album is that the album art is by Phil Hartman. Yes, that Phil Hartman. The band’s manager was his brother and he was a graphic designer at the time. Makes me wonder if this record really was an enormous commercial success, forgotten to time like brief stars often are. 

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