Next came Seals & Crofts' foray into the world of movie soundtracks. The accomplished songwriters Paul Williams and Charles Fox put together songs for them to harmonize on for the basketball movie, ONE ON ONE. The movie featured the actor Robbie Benson and received good reviews. Jim and Dash contributed exquisite harmonies to the hit "Love Theme (My Fair Share)" although it had the terrible lyric, "Sleep with me if you dare / celebrate my fair share." "John Wayne" is a nice surprise from this soundtrack. Around this time, Jim contributed guitar and fiddle to the England Dan and John Ford Coley lp, Down Ferry Road.

In 1978, Seals & Crofts released TAKIN' IT EASY. And Jimmy took off his hat! There are some fine songs such as "A Tribute To Abdu'l-Baha'," with some of their best guitar and mandolin accompanyment. They continued to draw upon the poetry and allegory of their spiritual leader's writings. The rockin' title song should have charted higher; "Forever Like the Rose" and the wonderfully complex "Magnolia Moon" show a musical maturity that is rewarding. Unfortunately, the album included the embarassing disco hit, "You're the Love." Jimmy once said, "We had no follow up single to 'You're the Love,' and the rest of the album was very different. Finally, we just said, hey, this is a great time to sit back and rest awhile. In retrospect, that was a wise decision." Dash recently commented more directly about "You're The Love": "Hated it!" Also in that year, Jim played sax and Dash sang on an Alessi Bros. album, Driftin'.They also sang on Tanya Tucker's album,TNT.

"Forever Like the Rose" was used as a title for an unreleased, animated film in 1978. Seals and Crofts are cartoon characters, reminiscent of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine." There are various original songs and a score composed with Bob Alcivar, a writer and arranger they've known since their days in the Dawnbreakers. "Forever Like the Rose" was produced by Hanna-Barbera through Pannonia Studios in Hungary. The story is adapted by Kimmer Ringwald from the epic poem Johnny Corncob, by Petofi Sandor and the groundbreaking 1973 film by Marcell Jankovics.

"Tearfully I raise my hands and supplicate unto thee in prayer. Close my eyes and you're there again. It's not the end. You are with me always, 'Abdu' L-Baha'."
A Tribute To Abdu'l-Baha'

"The centerpiece of life will always be unfolding its cardinal petals."
Forever Like The Rose

Remember K-Tel Records? In the 70's, they had all those fast talking t.v. ads touting their microgroove lp's. They crammed as many songs in as they could, often editing the beginnings and endings. Well, "K-Tel presents Seals & Crofts!". They squeezed in 16 songs on this lp, and slapped on an old picture from the DIAMOND GIRL photo session. Some of the track selections seem arbitrary, giving little notice to the first two albums and UNBORN CHILD. Here's the listing:

"Get Closer," from GET CLOSER; "My Fair Share," from ONE ON ONE; "Jessica," from DIAMOND GIRL; "East of Ginger Trees," from SUMMER BREEZE; "Castles In the Sand," from I'LL PLAY FOR YOU; "Goodbye Old Buddies," from GET CLOSER; "We May Never Pass This Way (Again)," from DIAMOND GIRL; "Summer Breeze," from SUMMER BREEZE; "Diamond Girl," from DIAMOND GIRL; "I'll Play For You," from I'LL PLAY FOR YOU; "Ruby Jean and Billie Lee," from DIAMOND GIRL; "Robin," from DOWN HOME; "Forever Like the Rose," from TAKIN' IT EASY; "Baby I'll Give It To You," from SUDAN VILLAGE; "You're the Love," from TAKIN' IT EASY; "Hummingbird," from SUMMER BREEZE.

Hear a McDonald's commercial they did in 1979. You deserve a break today!

Also in 1979, Seals & Crofts performed the ballad "Friends" in concert, a song written by Paul Parrish, an artist promoted by their management team. Paul released the song on his album, Song For a Young Girl. Jimmy played fiddle on the album. Here are some other tunes copyrighted by Jimmy in 1979, but never released:

Mystic Veil. Words and music by James Seals, 1979. CLNA: Dawnbreaker Music Company.
Why Do Angels Cry? Words and music by James Seals, 1979. CLNA: Dawnbreaker Music Company.
Princess. Words and music by James Seals, 1979. CLNA: Dawnbreaker Music Company.
Island of Forevermore. Words and music by James Seals, 1979. CLNA: Dawnbreaker Music Company.
The Skating Song. Words and music by James Seals, 1979. CLNA: Dawnbreaker Music Company.

Around this time, S & C recorded "The First Year" for the interesting PBS television series THE PAPER CHASE. The show followed the dramatic movie of the same name depicting the lives of first year law students and the tyrannical Professor Kingsfield, played by John Houseman. Here are the lyrics:


The first year's a hard year, much more than we know,
With good friends to love us we'll field every blow
Stay open to all things, unknown and new,
Then one day we'll all say

Hey look, we've come through; hey look, we've come through
Then one day we'll all say
Hey look, we've come through
The first year.

Reportedly, Seals and Crofts came real close to doing the soundtrack to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, instead of Neil Diamond. They also almost contributed to the soundtrack to the movie "Little Darlings," starring Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal. That came out in about 1980, but alas, the S&C involvement fell through. However, in that year they did record two songs for the movie "Foolin' Around." The title song can be heard in the movie but evidently was never put on vinyl. The second tune, "These Moments Never Live Again," was pressed into red, heart-shaped record.


By Charles Bernstein and Jim Seals, 1980

Life is just a passing day.
Time is cruel as it slips away.
These moments never live again.
Special is the dream we have.
Follow love and it [leads you again?]
These moments never live again.

And tomorrow never looks back
Only fools try, try to hold on
And we're so close, won't you hold me?

We're partners in a children's land
Building dreams out of clay and sand
These dreams they come and go
They're here today and [gone?]
These moments never live again.

The last album came in 1980, with
THE LONGEST ROAD. The title song and "First Love" are excellent. "One Plant, One People" is a delicate augur for "We Are the World." But the most interesting song is the six minute opus, "Stars." Jimmy and Dash are accompanied by the jazz tandem of Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke, Jimmy adds sharp sax riffs, and Brian Whitcomb helps out with some wonderfully abstract lyrics. The album represented a new and interesting direction for Seals & Crofts, although the battery of session musicians led to some overblown production on the remaining cuts. The failure by Warner Brothers to promote the album, and the single "First Love" in particular, led to a split with the record company after ten years together.

"You know the longest road is from the head to the heart.
Better start today if you think loving me be hard.
And the darkest shade is sometimes under the light.
If you think it's right you will be mine tonight."
The Longest Road

S & C Homepage / Payin' Dues (1940-1968) / Early Years (1969-1972) / Stardom (1973-1976)
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