Have You Heard? Rhino's CALIFORNIA GROOVE II [2010]

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 II was released in July 2010 and like the first volume was sold exclusively in France. The four discs are filled with 69 songs from 1969-2010 that includes many holdover artists from the previous compilation. Again, there a quite a few of my favorite songs as well as a couple new to me I discovered from the album itself. There is one track on the set that stands out like a dated artifact of late Eighties, however. Not gonna call him out but the song is on the fourth disc and was released in 1987. You'll know it when you hear it. This time around, I like about three discs worth of the album. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing (early April 2016), California Groove II is the only California Groove set still available through the usual channels with both new and used copies selling for suspiciously low prices. There are a few reviewers who say the album suffers from inconsistent mastering but I didn't notice anything suspicious or disappointing but as always your mileage may vary. Also, if you really like what you hear and you want to hear more, many of the original out of print vinyl albums that the majority of the songs are sourced from have been released on compact disc in Japan over the past 40 years (AOR/Westcoast music has always been crazy popular in the Land of the Rising Sun) as well as by specialty labels here in the US like Wounded Bird, Collector's Choice Music and others.
1Love SongRobert Lamm1974
2JealousyMichael Franks1982
3The Good LifeBill LaBounty1988
4Don't Let Me GoNielsen/Pearson1980
5Moolah Moo MazumaSanford Townsend Band1976
6What You Won't Do for LoveBobby Caldwell1978
7Young BloodRickie Lee Jones1979
8Marina Del RayMarc Jordan1978
9Further NoticeLarsen-Feiten Band1980
10Hi-FlyBen Sidran1979
11I Gotta TryMichael McDonald1982
12Nothin' But a HeartacheLauren Wood1979
13Steal AwayRobbie Dupree1980
14Best of FriendsLenny White & Twennynine1979
15Is It You?Lee Ritenour1981
16Magnificent MadnessJohn Klemmer1980
17On the LinePeter Cetera1981
18LowdownBoz Scaggs1976
19Let's Just Say GoodbyeDavid Sanborn1981
20Long As We're TogetherDebra Laws1981
21Street PlayerChicago1979
22If You Love MeJohn O'Banion1981
23South Bay StrutThe Doobie Brothers1980
24Dancin' By MyselfAmbrosia1978
25Baby Come BackPlayer1977
26Wrong Side of the TrackDavid Roberts1982
27Over the LineGreg Guidry1982
28Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceJerry Corebtta1978
29I'm ReadyNarada Michael Walden1982
30Matinee IdolYellowjackets1981
31Knock the Walls DownSteve Kipner1979
32City GirlStephen Bishop1980
33Listen for the LovePages1978
34All for a ReasonAlessi1977
35Takin' It to the StreetsThe Doobie Brothers1976
36Lonely BoyAndrew Gold1976
37A Lifetime WeRobert Lamm1974
38ReminiscingLittle River Band1978
39Midnight at the OasisMaria Muldaur1973
40DavySergio Mendes1975
41Carolina CarolineJonathan Edwards1977
42RosaleeMichael Johnson1981
43You Might Need SomebodyTurley Richards1980
44One Way or AnotherFifth Avenue Band1969
45How Does It Feel (To Be in Love)LeBlanc and Carr1977
46Mixed Up GuyJimmy Webb1977
47ElenaThe Marc Tanner Band1979
48Lost in the ShuffleDanny Kortchmar1980
49AlexisJames Gang1973
50VehicleThe Ides Of March1970
51Hearts in TroubleThe Dukes1979
52So WrongPatrick Simmons1983
53Talk to MeFiona1985
54SailingChristopher Cross1979
55Warm WeatherPieces Of A Dream1981
56Broken WingsMr. Mister1985
57Moonlight Over ParisPM1988
58King of HeartsKing Of Hearts1994
59This Is Not the Right TimeSven Larsson2010
60Island FeverJack Wagner1987
61Cool BreezeThe Jeremy Spencer Band1979
62Lost in a Mind GameState Cows2010
63Video BandSmooth Reunion2008
64Which One of Us Is MeJay Gruska1984
65Sure EnoughTom Scott1982
66Right Before the DawnNightshift2007
67Just This One NightDeodato1982
68New York BarsBrenda Russell1983
69Monkey See Monkey Do [Live 1980]Crossfire & Michael Franks1980
In time for the Holiday Shopping Season, My California Groove Package was released in November 2010 featuring a 160 page notebook, a unique one sheet 2011 calendar and a California Groove Special Edition compact disc with 18 tracks from 1970-1983. Most of the songs had already appeared on the first two compialtions in the series but there were three or four songs making their first appearance beneath the California Groove banner. The lone track from California Groove Special Edition unavailable on Spotify can be heard here. It's a tasty track from 1982 that features three members of Toto as the backing band and Jay Graydon as executive producer.

1GenevieveAndrew Gold1978
2Steal AwayRobbie Dupree1980
3Beanie G. And The Rose TattooDaryl Hall and John Oates1974
4T.W.A. SariEye To Eye1983
5Biggest Part Of MeAmbrosia1980
6B'Wanna-He No HomeMichael Franks1977
7Your Life My FriendOrleans1975
8Sleepin' In The DaytimeJimmy Webb1970
9Who'll Be The Fool TonightLarsen-Feiten Band1980
10Never Gonna Let You GoDavid Roberts1982
11Ghost TownPoco1982
12HummingbirdSeals & Croft1972
13It Doesn't MatterFirefall1976
14SurvivalMarc Jordan1978
15Ride Like The WindChristopher Cross1979
16I Keep Forgettin'Michael McDonald1982
17You're So VainCarly Simon1972
18Lotta LoveNicolette Larson1978


  1. A lot of favorites of mine on this volume too. Definitely a good sound.

  2. This strong compilation has earned the Soft Rock Kid seal of approval. Rhino, you've done it again!

  3. Hi Herc, are the sleeve notes to the "package" in English or French?

    1. The booklet is in French.