Friday, November 21, 2014

Tom Scott - Come Back To Me (1983)

Come Back To Me
Tom Scott

Written by: Tom Scott, Kenny James & Michael Wilk
Produced by: Tom Scott
Album: Target (Atlantic, 1983)

Tom Scott is a prolific jazz fusion recording artist, TV show theme composer (Starsky and Hutch, Family Ties) and was a first call session musician for pop musicians back when pop songs had saxophone solos (that's him on McCartney's "Listen to What the Man Said").  I started enjoying his work with his 1981 live album Apple Juice and bought this Target album when it was released in 1983.  As if he didn't have enough to do, I think Scott was also in the Blues Brothers band at the time.

While most of Scott's music is instrumental, track two of Target, "Come Back to Me," includes vocals from Kenny James (you can be forgiven for initially thinking it's James Ingram - I made the same mistake).  As you can probably guess from the song title, this song isn't breaking any new ground lyrically, but the music is an overlooked West Coast/AOR gem.  Formulaic, sure, but that doesn't mean it's bad.

This pop ballad wouldn't be out of place on The Dude by Quincy Jones - slow, sparse start that builds, female background vocals, upward modulation for the last chorus, and of course, a sax solo.  This song might not even qualify as a deep album cut because 7" and 12" singles were released by Atlantic.  However, I can't find anything that would indicate a chart appearance (please correct me if I'm mistaken about that).  Timing may have been issue - this thing sounds straight out of 1979 or 1980.  No matter, add this one to your AOR shuffle and it will fit in nicely.


  1. Killer cut, Kid™... And a new one to me, believe it or not. I'll definitely have to add that one to my Early '80s, "smooth jazz" arsenal.

    In addition to Q's "The Dude" album you referenced above, "Come Back To Me" also evokes the spirit of Stanley Clarke/George Duke's '81 hit "Sweet Baby"; and another song from the same year that Dirk ranks among his 'Top 5 Slow Jam's Of All Time': Ronnie Laws' brilliant, 'A+' anthem, "Stay Awake".

    1. This Just In: Tom Scott's "Come Back To Me" debuted on Billboard's R&B Singles chart, 11/12/1983, and peaked at #80.

    2. Good call on "Sweet Baby" - that song ain't nuthin' to shake a Dukey Stick at!