#4: Crazy Love by Poco

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Month: March-April 1979
Peak Position in Fredericton #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube: “Crazy Love
Lyrics: “Crazy Love

Richard Furay was born in 1944 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He got his first guitar when he was eight years old. He met Stephen Stills in the summer of 1963, and the pair formed the Au GoGo Singers. In 1965, they joined the Buffalo Springfield. Furay was part of the trend-setting sound of the Buffalo Springfield, with “For What It’s Worth” and other classics. The Buffalo Springfield began splintering in 1968. When Bruce Palmer left the band, he was replaced by Jim Messina who was in the recording studio for the bands’ last album Last Time Around. Messina and Furay formed Poco later that year. Messina began playing guitar at the age of five. He left Poco after the first two albums and became part of the duo of Loggins and Messina.

Rusty Young was one of the original members of Poco. He played steel and rhythm guitars, dobro, banjo, mandolin, percussion, and contributed vocals. Young was born in Long Beach (CA) in 1946. He began playing lap steel guitar at age 6, and taught guitar and steel guitar lessons during his high school years at Jefferson High School, Lakewood, Colorado with future Poco bandmate George Grantham. During that time, he also played country music in late night bars. Young played in a well known Denver psychedelic rock band Boenzee Cryque.

Furay, Messina, Young and Grantham were in the studio to record Poco’s debut album, Pickin’ Up The Pieces. It was released in 1969. The title track made the Top 20 on the singles chart in Kingston (ON). After the release of Picking Up The Pieces, Poco’s fifth bandmate, Randy Meisner, quit the band and formed a band called The Eagles.

Paul Cotton replaced Jim Messina in 1970. Cotton was born in Fort Rucker, Alabama, in 1943. He started learning the guitar when he was 13 years old, and became involved in his first band a year later. He relocated to Illinois by age 16 and joined the Mus-Twangs, which later became the Illinois Speed Press. He played for the group throughout the next decade until 1970.

Among their single releases, “You Better Think Twice” was a Top Ten hit in 1970 in both Chilliwack (BC) and Lethbridge (AB). In 1971, “C’mon” reached #9 in Vancouver, though it stalled at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Between 1968 and 1983, Poco was variously a four or five-piece band. Ten different members of the band were in various lineups over these years. Richie Furay left Poco in 1973. Though they built a fan base, by 1978 they had only one album make the Top 40 on the Billboard album chart: Crazy Eyes at #38 in 1973.

Poco released their eleventh studio album, Legend, in late 1978. The band consisted of Young, Cotton, Charlie Harrison on bass guitar, and Steve Chapman on drums. The album shot to #14 one the Billboard album chart. It featured Poco’s biggest hit, “Crazy Love”.

Crazy Love by Poco

Rusty Young wrote “Crazy Love”. It is a song about a “faded memory” of a past love. However, the memory isn’t quite so faded. Every time this guy hears the name of his former lover he starts to cry. His frequent companion is his own teardrops that keep falling down.

The song’s lyrics are an upbeat counterpoint to the tragic-romantic state the ex-boyfriend finds himself in. “Just when I think I’m over her…” What is this “crazy love” that wraps around his heart and refuses to unwind teaching him? Beyond cycles of sobbing, the lyrics don’t tell us more. We don’t know if she’s still single and available. We don’t know if she’s happily involved with someone else. For most listeners, the dreamy lines the song offers like “count the stars in a summer sky that fall without a sound” are enough to leave us happily recalling a time when we ourselves have counted stars in a summer sky. The final line, “And then pretend that you can’t hear these teardrops comin’ down” might well have washed over many listeners, humming along to the pleasant melody. For years I just felt happy for the singer as I sang along to the car radio, “ooh-hoo, crazy love. Ah, ha…”

“Crazy Love” climbed to #2 in Winnipeg (MB), San Diego, Bangor (ME), Springfield (MA), and Milwaukee, #3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fredericton (NB), Tucson (AZ), and Buffalo, #4 in Athens (GA) and Baltimore, #5 in Madison (WI), Denver, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, #6 in Akron (OH) and Tempe (AZ), #7 in Smithers (BC), Atlanta, and Saskatoon (SK), #8 in Toronto, St. Louis, Honolulu, Corpus Christi (TX), Montreal, and Ottawa, #9 in Windsor (ON), San Luis Obispo (CA), and Chilliwack (BC), and #10 in Philadelphia, Dallas, and Pittsburgh.

The followup single to “Crazy Love” was “Heart Of The Night”. That song reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, the single peaked at #2 in Fredericton, #6 in Montreal, #7 in Winnipeg, #8 in Ottawa and Saskatoon, and #9 in Prince George (BC).

Poco kept on releasing albums and singles. But they waited until 1989 to have another Top 40 hit: “Call It Love” which reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying album, Legacy, made it to #40 on the Billboard 200 Album chart.

Chapman and Harrison remained with Poco into the mid-80s. Rusty Young remained with Poco until his death in 2021. Cotton left Poco in 1987 and returned in late 1991. He stayed with Poco until 2010. Between 1990 and 2014, Cotton released five solo albums. His last was 100% Paul Cotton. He died in July 2021 at the age of 78. On his official Facebook page, it was stated Paul Cotton “passed away unexpectedly, peacefully.”

In 2013, Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. He released his first solo album in 2017 titled Waitin’ For The Sun. Rusty Young died at the age of 75 in April 2021 of a heart attack.

January 17, 2024.
Ray McGinnis

David Browne, “Rusty Young, Poco Co-Founder and Pedal Steel Player, Dead at 75,” Rolling Stone, April 15, 2021.
Matt Friedlander, “Longtime Poco singer/guitarist Paul Cotton dead at age 78,” August 2, 2021.
Poco Celebrating 50 Years,” Poco Band.com.
The Rusty Young (Poco) Interview,” Vintage Rock.com.

Crazy Love by Poco
CIHI 1260-AM Fredericton (NB) Top Ten | April 6, 1979

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter