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Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs

Album: Silk DegreesReleased: 1976Charted:
  • Boz Scaggs wrote this song with David Paich, who was also his co-writer on "Lowdown." In our 2013 interview with Scaggs, he talked about how the song came about: "'Lido' was a song that I'd been banging around. And I kind of stole... well, I didn't steal anything. I just took the idea of the shuffle. There was a song that Fats Domino did called 'The Fat Man' that had a kind of driving shuffle beat that I used to play on the piano, and I just started kind of singing along with it. Then I showed it to Paich and he helped me fill it out. It ended up being 'Lido Shuffle.'"
  • The song is about a drifter looking for a big score. Scaggs and Paich were both very good at crafting songs with intriguing storylines using words and phrases that don't often show up in a lyric: "A tombstone bar," "makin' like a beeline..."

    The name Lido is very unusual as well. From the perspective of songcraft, it's very versatile, allowing the singer to get clear vocal sounds and follow with the "whoa-oh-oh-oh" hook. Kenny Loggins did something similar on his song "Footloose," writing the character "Milo" into it ("Woah... Milo, come on, come on let's go").
  • The last single from Silk Degrees, this wasn't released until about a year after the album was issued. The first single, "It's Over," peaked in May, 1976; "Lido Shuffle" didn't reach its chart peak until May, 1977. The Silk Degrees album was a slow burner, gradually gaining momentum and selling over five million copies.
  • The song's co-writer David Paich played keyboards on this track. Scaggs played guitar, bass was handled by David Hungate, and Jeff Porcaro played drums. Paich, Hungate and Porcaro would soon form the band Toto.
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Comments: 12

I could have sworn when I looked at this page months ago it said Lido Shuffle was about a traveling musician, not just a drifter. Odd.Jim - Pleasant Hill, Ca
I became a huge Boz fan in junior high in the mid-70's. My very cool history teacher (Mr. Olson)played rock all the time. This was his favorite musician and then he put the poster of the Eagles on his wall (from Hotel California) when they all looked stoned. The principal wanted him to take it down, but he left it because he was so rebellious besides the fact he was a tremendous teacher and loved history with a passion. He would incorporate rock into history lessons.Brent - Denair, Ca
Jim, I'm sure it was a synthesizer, but I love that frantic riff, too.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
I'd always assumed this was some sort of illicit running-for-the-Mexican-border tale. Re-reading the lyrics, it's all clear now. The instrumental part where the organ(?) rapidly repeats is my favorite. P.S. If anyone knows what the album title "Silk Degrees" means, please comment here.Jim - Pleasant Hill, Ca
Great song, love hearing when it comes on the radio...Boz Scaggs' voice is so awesome. The beat and rhythm of this song really make you feel like you're running right along side him, jumping into cars, pulling of a heist, dashing to the next place. That's what makes the song enjoyable; the tune enhances the lyrics.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Jeff Porcaro on the drums and David Paich co wrote the song with Boz Scaggs.Sante - Windsor, On
My wife thought it was Elton John too. Damn you Sir Elton!Paul - Toronto, On
Well, to me, the song seems to be about a small time gangster who wants to make one more score and then retire. He gets a note from his girlfriend telling him to straighten up but "one more oughta get it" and he goes ahead to try to make the big score. At the beginning he goes to Chicago (Chi-town) and "lays his money down" which may be gambling or helping to finance a heist.Rod - Gainesville, Fl
Somehow i always thought that the song was about Cocaine, Lido(caine) is sometimes used as a street word for coke, as lidocaine is often used to cut the killing substance.Also, many artist in the 70`s believed that it wasn`t that dangerous after all....John Andersson - Arnhem, Netherlands
One of my favorite Boz skaggs songs.Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
Man I thought it was Sir Elton John singing this hit !!!!!!Shawn - Lafayette, La
I interpreted this song to be about a gambling addict that got deep in debt and was forced to leave town. On his way he stopped to commit armed robbery.Launce - Clearfield, Pa