After Buffalo Springfield disbanded in 1968, members Richie Furay and Jim Messina enlisted Rusty Young, George Grantham, and Randy Meisner to form Poco. The band's first appearance soon followed, when they joined a bill with Sly and the Family Stone and the Steve Miller Band in a performance at the Fillmore West. Poco released their debut studio album in 1969. Though Pickin' Up the Pieces wasn't a commercial smash, it was a critical darling, receiving a perfect score from Rolling Stone magazine (the only debut album to garner such a score). The country-rock album propelled Poco forward, setting up their Epic Records self-titled, sophomore disc. The album features on of the group's most popular songs, the Jim Messina-penned "You Better Think Twice." The band's most successful album was 1978's Legacy, which hit #14 on the Billboard Album charts. It features their two biggest hits "Crazy Love" and "Heart of the Night."

From there, Poco steadily released albums and toured up until the mid-'80s. Since 1984's Inamorata, the group has only released two albums, Legacy (1989) and Running Horse. During that time, Poco went through tons of lineup changes with Rusty Young being the only member to stay with the band for its entire history. Besides the original band, vocalist/guitarist Paul Cotton was one of the most influential members, staying with the group and writing songs for over 20 years.

Poco helped establish a new country-rock genre, although as an "original member" band, their existence was short-lived. Meisner left to join the Eagles and Messina went on to form Loggins & Messina. Both the Eagles and Loggins saw far more commercial success than Poco did. Poco continued to tour into the '80s and '90s with Young and Cotton as the central members. The current incarnation consists of Cotton (guitars, vocals), Young (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals), Jack Sundrud (bass, vocals), and George Lawrence (drums).

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