Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, The Scruffs’ easily filled the void left by The Raspberries and Big Star with their debut album, Wanna Meet The Scruffs? (1977).
Their sound was a hybrid of mid-60s influences: a little Byrds, some Beatles plus healthy doses of The Who, The Beach Boys and The Searchers.
Vocalist Stephen Burns copied much of his phrasing from Eric Carmen and at times (such as on Break The Ice) it became annoying. More often (as on Tragedy) he made it work to the point of being enthralling, even if it wasn’t original.
The link to Big Star was even greater. Studio engineer John Fry (who was greatly responsible for Big Star’s Radio City being a classic) gave The Scruffs a similar multi-layered guitar sound.
Besides being a fine vocalist, Stephen Burns was capable of writing beautiful pop ballads.