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Silk Degrees is the seventh album by Boz Scaggs, released on Columbia Records in 1976. The album peaked at No. 2 and spent 115 weeks on the Billboard 200. It has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA and remains Scaggs's best selling album. Silk Degrees spawned four singles. "It's Over", "Lowdown", and "Lido Shuffle" made the Top 40, while "What Can I Say" peaked at No. 42.

Silk Degrees
Album Silk Degrees.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFeb 18, 1976
RecordedSeptember-October 1975[1]
StudioDavlen Sound Studios, North Hollywood, California; Hollywood Sound Recorders, Los Angeles, California
GenreBlue-eyed soul, soft rock, blues
LabelColumbia 33920
ProducerJoe Wissert
Boz Scaggs chronology
Slow Dancer
Silk Degrees
Down Two Then Left


Boz Scaggs on the meaning
of the album's title
"It was just something I had scribbled on the side of a page. The last thing I do after I record an album is name it. [Silk Degrees] doesn’t mean anything specifically. It's just an image I couldn't get out of my head."[2]

The album was recorded at Davlen Sound Studios and Hollywood Sound Studios in Los Angeles. Among the accompanying musicians, David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, and David Hungate became members of Toto, while Fred Tackett became a member of Little Feat. The album marked Scaggs's commercial zenith, a mix of pop rock ("Jump Street" and "Lido Shuffle"), soul ("What Can I Say" and "Lowdown"), and ballads ("Harbor Lights" and "We're All Alone", which became a hit for Rita Coolidge).

Release and receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[4]
Rolling Stone      link
The Village VoiceB+[5]

"Lowdown" reached the top 5 on the club play, black, disco, and pop charts and also did respectably on the AC chart, with its peak at #3 on the pop chart. It earned a Grammy Award, as the Best R&B Song at the Grammy Awards of 1977, and the song is an airplay staple to this day, particularly on AC, oldies, and smooth jazz radio stations. "It's Over", "What Can I Say", and "Lido Shuffle" reached #38, #42 and #11, respectively, on the pop chart. Scaggs also received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, Best LP Package, Best Pop Vocal by a Male, and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Male for "Lowdown".

Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1976, Robert Christgau praised the album as "white soul with a sense of humor that isn't consumed in self-parody."[5] Alex Henderson of music database website AllMusic noted that Scaggs "hit the R&B charts in a big way with the addictive, sly "Lowdown" [...] and expressed his love of smooth soul music almost as well on the appealing "What Can I Say."" However, Henderson stated that "Scaggs was essentially a pop/rocker, and in that area he has a considerable amount of fun." He concluded: "Though not remarkable, the ballads have more heart than most of the bland material dominating that format."[3]

On February 27, 2007, Silk Degrees was reissued by Legacy Records with three bonus tracks recorded live at the Greek Theatre on August 15, 1976.

Track listingEdit

Side one

1."What Can I Say"Boz Scaggs, David Paich3:01
3."Jump Street"Scaggs, Paich5:14
4."What Do You Want the Girl to Do"Allen Toussaint3:53
5."Harbor Lights"Scaggs5:58

Side two

6."Lowdown"Scaggs, Paich5:18
7."It's Over"Scaggs, Paich2:52
8."Love Me Tomorrow"Paich3:17
9."Lido Shuffle"Scaggs, Paich3:44
10."We're All Alone"Scaggs4:14

2007 bonus tracksEdit

11."What Can I Say" (live)Scaggs, Paich3:24
12."Jump Street" (live)Scaggs, Paich5:06
13."It's Over" (live)Scaggs, Paich3:37




Year Single Chart positions[21]
1976 "It's Over" 38
"Lowdown" 3 5 5
"What Can I Say" 42 68 (1977)
1977 "Lido Shuffle" 11


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[22] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Images for Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. Silk Degrees - Boz Scaggs at AllMusic. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (July 12, 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  7. ^ "RPM Top Albums". RPM. Vol. 26 no. 2. October 9, 1976. p. 29. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  8. ^ " – Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  9. ^ " – Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees". Hung Medien.
  10. ^ "Boz Scaggs | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  11. ^ "Boz Scaggs Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Boz Scaggs Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  13. ^ Lyttle, Brendan (January 8, 1977). "Top 100 Albums of '76". RPM. Vol. 26 no. 14 & 15. p. 11. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  14. ^ "Top Pop Albums". Billboard. December 25, 1976. p. TA-12. ("Talent in Action" supplement)
  15. ^ Kent (1993). p. 429.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '77". RPM. Vol. 28 no. 14. December 31, 1977. p. 15. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  17. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1977". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  18. ^ "Top Pop Albums". Billboard. December 24, 1977. p. 66.
  19. ^ Kent (1993). p. 430.
  20. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1978". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "Boz Scaggs US singles chart history". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  22. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees". Music Canada.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Silk Degrees in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit