Introduction: The Pinnacle of Music’s Golden Age
The late seventies and eighties are often revered as the golden age of music, a time when the industry flourished with the advent of MTV and the financial clout of baby boomers. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” epitomizes this era, merging artistic brilliance with unprecedented commercial success.
Los Angeles: The Heartbeat of Pop Music
The shift of the music scene from New York to Los Angeles marked a significant turning point. LA became the nucleus of pop music, hosting major record labels and drawing artists with its state-of-the-art studios and favorable climate. This environment was fertile ground for creative collaboration and innovation.
The Evolution of Studio Musicians
In the 1960s, studio musicians like the Wrecking Crew were the unsung heroes behind many hits. Their role evolved as music transitioned from single hits to album-focused projects. Bands started insisting on playing their instruments, leading to a new generation of studio musicians who contributed to a richer musical landscape.
A New Wave of Musical Talent
By the time “Thriller” was released, LA’s studio scene was thriving again, marked by a blend of seasoned and emerging talents. Grammy-winning albums of the 80s, including Toto and U2, heavily featured studio musicians, showcasing a collaborative spirit that defined the era.
The Greg Mathieson Project: A Musical Phenomenon
“The Baked Potato Super Live” by the Greg Mathieson Project captures the essence of this golden era. Recorded live at a small jazz club in North Hollywood, it featured performances by industry giants like Larry Carlton, Abe Laboriel, and Jeff Porcaro. This album is a testament to the spontaneous and raw energy of studio musicians unleashed from the constraints of structured studio sessions.
Steve Lukather: A Rising Star
In 1981, Steve Lukather stepped in to replace guitar legend Larry Carlton in the project. At a time when his career with Toto was taking off, Lukather brought a unique energy and skill to the project, showcased brilliantly in tracks like “Bomp Me.”
The Essence of Collaboration
The album highlights the profound synergy between musicians like Porcaro, Lukather, and Pops Popswell. Their interplay, complemented by Mathieson’s compositions, exemplifies the collaborative spirit of the era. It’s a celebration of music making at its finest – spontaneous, dynamic, and joyous.
The Legacy of an Era
For fans of this golden era of music, “The Baked Potato Super Live” is more than just an album; it’s a historical snapshot capturing the essence of an extraordinary time in music. Its rarity only adds to its allure, making it a treasured find for collectors and enthusiasts.