Everyone who heard the album loved it, but without a single to generate AM radio play, very few people heard it; in Davis' view, fine as it was, Home Free was a little too country-ish for mainstream radio, and fell between the cracks between pop/rock and country playlists.
A few years later, after the success of acts such as the Eagles, such distinctions would matter less, but in 1972, the music marketplace was that segregated stylistically.
His personal musical turning point came in the early '60s, before he'd reached his teens.
A gift of an old Hawaiian guitar from his grandfather introduced him to the instrument that would soon supplant the piano, and at age 12, he heard the Beatles for the first time, which not only led him to a revelation about how electric guitars could sound, but also made him notice for the first time the act of songwriting as something central to what musicians did.
After finishing high school, it was on to the University of Illinois at Champaign as a drama major, in hopes of an acting career, and then a switch to painting.
It was during 1975 that he'd returned home to spend time with his father, who had been hospitalized, and afterward, while staying in Peoria, cut what were supposed to be demos of the songs he wanted to use on his new album, with Fogelberg playing every instrument and doing all the vocals.
Instead, when Azoff and Davis heard the demos, they insisted that this was the album, and that he could never recapture the feel he'd gotten on songs like "Comes and Goes" working with other musicians.
Azoff's own Full Moon label had a production and distribution deal with Columbia, through its Epic Records imprint, and it was by way of Epic/Full Moon that he got a second chance.
This time out, however, Fogelberg would record in Los Angeles with guitarist/producer Joe Walsh.