Smoke from a Distant Fire/Nail Me to the Wall (CD) by Sanford & Townsend



Is there any song that sums up the late ’70s music scene like Smoke from a Distant Fire?” It had that blue-eyed soul high-gloss L.A. production sound of the Doobie Brothers Kenny Loggins and other superstars of the era with the kind of hook only real pros could create. For as is often the case with so-called “”overnight sensations Ed Sanford and John Townsend had spent years in the music business before hitting it big with “Smoke.” Indeed the sound of this record was no accident; the duo had worked with both Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins (who repays the favor with a great vocal on “Oriental Gate”) before cutting this 1977 release whose sound also benefited from the nonpareil production skills of the great Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett. We’ve paired it with their 1979 album Nail Me to the Wall which was released under the name Sanford & Townsend Band and makes its CD debut here; their final release it didn’t enjoy the same chart success as its predecessor but does offer the same studio-perfect West Coast ’70s pop. Gene Sculatti’s liner notes and photos feature an interview with John Townsend too!”