Have You Heard? CALIFORNIA GROOVE Vol. III [2011]

I think we can all agree that some really cool things have come out of France: fries, bread, toast, dip sandwiches, connections and kissing, to name but a few. And from David Dutreuil and his small but dedicated team at Warner/Rhino France came the magnificent series of three 4CD box sets (and a single-disc Special Edition) known as California Groove. The illustration of a woman on the cover seems like a hybrid of Pat Benatar and Terri Nunn to me. Does it remind you of anyone? California Groove Vol. III is subtitled <<<From L.A. to Miami>>> and was released in 2011. 73 songs, 4 compact discs, 1972-2011 though never in chronological order - you know how they do. By this time, the series is reaching so far down that anyone other than an obsessive fan of the yacht rock that gives the series its name will not find much to like. I'll be kind and say the whole thing kicks off on a wonderful note with the vocal talents of Stevie Lange but it goes quickly downhill from there, with only brief glimpses of more good stuff like Benjamin Orr and Russ Ballard. I'm gonna be my usual generous self here and say California Groove Vol. III is best heard as a single disc. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. And for heaven's sake, can someone tell me why David Lee Roth is on this album?!? Did someone lose a bet? Wait, is he worshiped over in France like Jerry Lewis? My bad.

1Hot Summer NightsNight1979
2Don’t Turn My Music DownRoger Voudouris1978
3Ooh My LoveThe Rowans1976
4Nathan JonesNicolette Larson1982
5Long Distance LoveLittle Feat1975
6It Keeps You Runnin’Carly Simon1976
7How Will You Feel TonightPoco1982
8No Time to LoseThe Tarney/Spencer Band1979
9Dancing in the CityMarshall Hain1978
10Do You Want to DanceBette Midler1972
11I Could Really Show You AroundJudy Collins1980
12From A Silver PhialGene Clark1974
13White LineJonathan Edwards1976
14I Feel for YouBarnaby Bye1973
15She’s GoneDaryl Hall and JohnOates1973
16Midnight ProwlJ.D. Souther1976
17Someone to Lay Down Beside MeLinda Ronstadt1976
18Mystery GirlBugatti & Musker1982
19Lovin’ and Losin’ YouDwayne Ford1982
20Waiting for You LoveToto1982
21Fool in Love with YouJim Photoglo1981
22If There’s a WayWaters1977
23ShineAverage White Band1980
24Easy to LoveLeo Sayer1977
25Figli Delle StelleAlan Sorrenti1977
26Nobody ElseCrackin'1978
27Once in a LifetimeMichael Ruff1984
28Your Sweet LoveAl Jarreau1980
29Gotta Have the Real ThingRick Riso1985
30Let Me Go LoveNicolette Larson & Michael McDonald1979
31Run Home GirlSad Café1978
32I Want to Love YouRubicon1978
33No Strangers in ParadiseCharlie1978
34Love You Like I Never Loved BeforeJohn O'Banion1981
35What Can There BeChris Christian1981
36How Can Yo Love MeAmbrosia1982
37On My Way in L.A.Phil Carmen1985
38Highway to the SunGeyster2011
40To Know What You’ve GotBobby Caldwell1980
41Sweet FreedomMichael McDonald1986
42On the BoulevardManhattan Transfer1981
43You Can’t Go Back (But You Can Go On)Bill Cantos2000
44Look Who’s Lonely NowRicky Peterson1990
45MiraclesLeon Ware1982
46Every Home Should Have OnePatti Austin1981
47Through the FireChaka Khan1984
48Til I Hurt YouLarry Carlton2000
49It’s the Falling in LoveCarole Bayer Sager1978
50This Feeling’s Killing MeThe Jones Girls1979
51Stay the NightJim Messina1981
52If You Leave Me NowSergio Mendes & the New Brasil ’771977
53I’ve Been SpunCity Boy1977
54Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)Christopher Cross1981
55Falling ManMarc Jordan feat. Luke McMaster2010
56A Faraway GirlJeff Larson2006
57The Boys of the SummerSunway2011
58Highway RainMichael Tomlinson1987
59Piece of ParadisePM1988
60CheyennePeter Friedstat2008
61California GirlsDavid Lee Roth1985
62VoicesRuss Ballard1984
63Stay the NightBenjamin Orr1986
64Say You WillForeigner1987
65Hot Summer NightsBalance1981
66Somewhere Out in the NightBeau Coup1987
67Listen to the LonelyWhiteheart1982
68For Your LovePeter Brown1977
69Wave to Friends & FamilyJosef Melin2010
71I Can’t Say I Love YouThe Norwegian Fords2008
72Last Night at DancelandRandy Crawford1980
73Flying CloudsThe Doobie Brothers1974
But the story doesn't end there. David Dutreuil forged a partnership with Spotify under The Good Sound banner and one of the first playlists he and his team compiled in 2013 was - wait for it - California Groove, a 90 song playlist running a little over six hours. While the playlist features a lot of songs from the series of compilations, there are some worthwhile songs included that missed the cut for whatever reason.

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