SEALS & CROFTS
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where are they now?
Jimmy remains active with musical projects with other Bahá'í musicians in the U.S., and the musical projects of his children, while nominally operating a coffee farm in Costa Rica and maintaining a residence in Tennessee. He toured with his brother Dan, and with his sons Sutherland and Joshua, as "Seals & Seals" intermittently from 2002-8. He remains friends with Dash, who lives in Texas, raises Arabian horses and makes occasional singing appearances. Dash released a solo album called Today in 1998, re-released in 2000. In 2004, the duo released Traces, their first full album collaboration in over 20 years. Seals & Crofts have not truly toured together since 1992 and there are no plans for a touring reunion. For more on S & C's more recent work, see the Here and There section.
2. What music is available?
There is Traces. Several albums from the 70's were released by Wounded Bird Records in September of 2007. They do not have bonus tracks and are produced from the DAT, not the masters. Warner Brothers/Time Warner/Sony holds those masters for the old albums and they have only directly issued the Greatest Hits and Summer Breeze albums in the past. Rhino Records, the prolific licensee of the Warners Brothers catalog, released Diamond Girl in 2005 and Get Closer in 2007, through their Flashback division. Happily, all of the albums from the 70's are now on cd, even the lesser known Lote Tree album!
The S&C catalog was unreleased for many years because of a series of misadventures. Rhino ignored the albums for many years. Their plans to issue a multi-disc anthology in 2004 were scaled back to a single disc, extended hits package. The liner notes were fully prepared. But Rhino abandoned even this modest project. A box set was never even considered. Part of the problem was timing. By the time Rhino got around to a serious release, Traces was in the works. There was a perception that the anthology release would compete on the market, and hurt the sales of Traces. In February of 2005, Rhino's cut-rate Flashback division suddenly released the Diamond Girl album. The timing was peculiar and totally unexpected. Evidently, there was little concern over competition from Traces after all. It was certainly welcome despite the lack of remastering or bonus tracks. But there was no promotion and even the Flashback website continues to neglect a listing if it and Get Closer in its own catalog!
For years there was a high expectation of a boxed set or anthology, but none came to pass. Now that all the albums are available on cd, such a project may be unnecessary except to provide a discount for those seeking all the albums at once, or perhaps to expand on the original Greatest Hits album which pre-dated some of their hits. One hopes that some live recordings and previously unreleased material will be released some day. For example, there is a great 16 channel Carnegie Hall concert from 1973 in the Warner archives that could be released, which is probably their definitive live recording (some of it was bootlegged). Most of the album sessions yielded unreleased songs, which are identified on the individual album pages. There is also a complete unreleased album done in Australia in the early 1980's, and a smattering of soundtrack recordings and tidbits found throughout this website. Rhino did put out a pointless set of five hits called "Hi Five." They also re-released the old Greatest Hits album in July of 2007, which is odd since there are plenty of those available.
Some of the vinyl is becoming hard to find. The eponymous album in 1969 and the last album (Longest Road) in 1980 are the hardest to locate. The soundtrack to the movie "One On One" is also becoming scare. These were all readily available in record stores, but such stores are quickly disappearing, even in the San Francisco area where I live. (Village Music in Mill Valley, the best record store ever, is a thing of the past). EBay usually has some Seals & Crofts records for sale, and is probably the best no-hassle source.
There are three notable audio bootlegs. The best by far is the 1973 Carnegie Hall concert, which was recorded through a sound board and on a master found in the Warners catalog, as explained above. There is also a 1971 concert at Texas A&M, featuring a great early version of "Wisdom." Then there is the so-called Peace Concert, circa early 1972 at an unknown location. This bootleg is a copy of the only 70's vinyl bootleg of S&C, which features the sillouette of a child holding a flower on the cover. A photo of the album cover is at this picture page.
Video of Seals & Crofts is slowly becoming available commercially. The Rock Concert and Midnight Special series includes some decent performances. More interesting is some of the material that comes and goes on youtube.com. I have been able to collect much of this. The best overall video of S & C is the 1976 Greek Theater concert, which captures the Sudan Village tour and is chock full of documentary tidbits. I have only landed an average quality copy of this. I am also in search of their entire "California Jam" video; most copies only have Windflowers and/or Granny Don't Your Dog Bite and exclude Unborn Child. I do have a copy of a circa 1973 in-studio performance of "Hummingbird," "Summer Breeze" and "Eighth of January" which has some conversation with the WB president at the time, Joe Smith. This is the most common video to find because it was mass produced and sold in the 70's. This video transfer also has Martin Mull, and sometimes BJ Thomas. The best live performance of Summer Breeze is a 1972 black and white with bassist Bobby Lichtig - Dash's voice inflections on the high vocal are amazing, and better than the record. This video is sometimes found on karaoke machines that support video and, consequently, I do not have a clean copy without the lyrics emblazoned for the benefit of the karaoke lounge singer. There is also the "In Concert" performance (with a surprising rendition of "Paper Airplanes"). Also, Seals & Crofts had their own tv special in the mid 70's, which has been preserved. There is also a Johnny Carson show and flat out weird lip sync version of Diamond Girl, done with the gyrating Solid Gold dancers in 1980. Finally, I have a copy of their 1992 appearance at the Toronto Unity Arts Festival. I'm still hoping to find some early tv appearances like on Roberta Flack, Mike Douglas, David Frost or Glen Campbell. Also, I'm on the lookout for their appearance on Hollywood Squares.
3. Where can I get the sheet music for their songs?
I am the proud owner of "Seals & Crofts Complete," a brown-covered volume published through Warner Brothers, which has the music for all of their songs through 1977. It is nearly impossible to get, but nearly as good is the two volume "Seals & Crofts Retrospective" which has the artwork from the I & II double album. There are individual album songbooks as well. EBay is the best source for these.
None of these compilations have guitar tablature, and the chord indications are hit and miss. For example, there are good chord markings for "We May Never Pass," "High On a Mountain" and "Wayland the Rabbit." "Advance Guards" is all wrong, transcribed in the key of A. The alternating pick pattern for that song clearly starts off with a Gmaj7. "Hummingbird" is a very tough read, and probably the least covered hit because of its complexity. And forget the whole thing if you're a baritone like me (unless, of course, you're Renat Ibragimov). Musicians contributed some guitar tablature to the ultimateguitar.com website, which may be worth checking out.
4. Did Jim Seals record with Dan Seals?
Dan Seals is the younger brother of Jim, and was partner in the 70's act, "England Dan and John Ford Coley," before becoming a popular country artist. Dan sang backup on the Diamond Girl album, but this was probably limited to the song, "Dust On My Saddle." They played saxes together for the first time during those sessions, though no examples were released. Jimmy occasionally played guitar and fiddle on some of the "England Dan" records. Dash and Dan sang extensively together on several S & C tunes recorded for the Lift Up Your Voices series in 1997. Much earlier, Jim and Dan cowrote the song "Windflowers," found on S & C's Unborn Child album. There are also some unreleased songs they penned, such as "Get This Girl To Marry You" way back in 1963, and "Hold It Up To Light," in 1995. When they decided to tour as Seals & Seals, they recorded about 8 original songs that are still unreleased after Dan's passing in 2009.
5. Will Seals & Crofts tour again?
Don't know. There are currently no such plans.
6. What were the hits?
7. Why a Seals & Crofts Page?
I became a big fan the moment I heard "Hummingbird" on the radio in early 1973. To my surprise, no one else has created a website, and so I created the first version in 1998. My simple purpose is to post information to their legions of fans and introduce their music to a younger generation. If you have additional info or corrections for this website, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Tony Bentivegna