Fools Gold – Fools Gold

Album Review | Retro World | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

At the same time that Ry Cooder’s Chicken Skin Music, The Eagles’ Hotel California and The Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station were being released to critical acclaim, another California outfit by the name of Fools Gold were hoping to find success with their own studio outings.  Consisting of Tom Kelly on bass, Denny Henson on guitars, Ron Grinel on drums and Doug Livingston on pedal steel, Fools Gold were best known as Dan Fogelberg’s live band but were fortunate enough to be managed by John Baruck who had connections with the company that helmed the careers of The Eagles, Boz Skaggs and Steely Dan. With the help of such influential friends as Glyn Johns, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh, Fools Gold released their eponymous debut in 1976 followed by a second album in 1977 before disappearing.  Now, forty years after its release, Fools Gold has been remastered to present ten fine examples of that typical California sound that had such a great impact on seventies pop and rock.  Highlights include the pedal steel-infused cover of Dan Fogelberg’s “Choices”, the evocatively sun-kissed Sailing to Monterey and the CSNY-inspired “I Will Run” complete with spine-tingling harmonies and a chugging west coast bite.  Why this gem of an album failed to reach any success in the wake of such releases as Hotel California, Can’t Buy a Thrill or The Sound of Bread is anyone’s guess.  But it can’t be said that this collection of tightly-performed, well-written and exquisitely-produced songs lacks anything other than the wide listenership it deserves.