I'd Really Love To See You Tonight (Extended Cut) - England Dan & John Ford Coley
Parker McGee is best known for writing the breakthrough hits for England Dan & John Ford Coley, the sublime "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," and "Nights Are Forever Without You." Both titles are not included but would have been perfect on this Big Tree/Atlantic self-titled debut. What is interesting is that the line-up of sidemen is almost identical to that on the Nights Are Forever album by the aforementioned England Dan Seals and John Ford Coley -- both discs bookends produced and engineered by bassist Kyle Lehning. Single-handedly, Parker McGee actually sounds like the duo who had two Top Ten hits thanks to his efforts. "You Got Me Runnin'" is a sister song to "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," right down to the intro notes. McGee has that two-and-a-half-minute pop song formula down pat. "Talkin' 'Bout Loving You" has a bit more identity, with female vocalists and slick musicianship helping the singer. You can almost hear "It's Sad to Belong," the Randy Goodrun hit for England Dan and his partner in "Angel Dancing." The real oddity is that "I Just Can't Say No to You" is the only song with a co-writer, Parker employing ideas from guitarist Steve Gibson. It sounds exactly like, you guessed it, England Dan & John Ford Coley. Frighteningly so. Had they released this tune under that banner it would have joined their other hits. While other major '70s songwriters (Tim Moore, David Pomeranz, and Randy Edelman) found their material revamped and given a treatment much different than their own, producer Kyle Lehning is content to clone his own work. "Got That Feeling" starts side two, and it is an anomaly here. Fiddle and banjo alter the pop sound found on most of the disc, bringing an interesting country sound -- it works better than the maudlin "Goodbye Old Buddies" which opens side one. Sugary sweet short songs with harmonies and minimal lyrics are where Parker McGee shines. "Boy Meets Girl" and "Feather Lite and Honey Smooth" are two more diversions from the recipe, a refreshing change. On the whole, Parker McGee is a very nice album for fans of Seals & Crofts, Linda Ronstadt, and other Top 40 performers and songsmiths who ruled radio in the mid-'70s.
LOVE IS THE ANSWER
From John Ford Coley's Facebook page