Music » Livewire

P.F. Sloan

Tuesday, September 12, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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P.F. Sloan has never been properly rewarded or appreciated for his contributions to pop. Sloan wrote such '60s classics as "Secret Agent Man" and "Eve of Destruction" for other artists while working with Steve Barri for Dunhill Records, but the label sabotaged Sloan's attempts at a solo career in order to keep its grip on the profitable songwriting team. Sloan eventually signed away all his song royalties to get out of his contract, but could generate no commercial spark on his own. He disappeared from the music biz for 35 years, popping up only for rare live performances and to release a poorly produced album in '93.

But last week Sloan reemerged with Sailover, a terrific album proving that time's been kinder to Sloan than fate has. He's still a deft songwriter, with a dry wit and smoldering guitar style. The Dylanesque folk of "PK & the Evil Dr. Z" is Sloan's post-millennial answer to "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Sailover features contributions from Lucinda Williams, Frank Black, and Buddy Miller, among others, and is being supported with Sloan's first national tour.

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