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Archive for the ‘Jim Capaldi’ Category

Something So Strong: Jim Capaldi’s “Some Come Running” with Clapton, Harrison, Winwood Reissued

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There’s been some heavy Traffic at the record store lately.  This month has already seen a 2-CD edition of Steve Winwood’s Arc of a Diver, and it’s recently been joined by Esoteric Recordings’ latest offering from the catalogue of Winwood’s Traffic cohort, the late Jim Capaldi.  Following reissues of the songwriter and drummer’s Oh, How We Danced (1972), Whale Meat Again (1974), The Sweet Smell of Success (1980) and Let the Thunder Cry (1981), the Cherry Red Group imprint has turned its attention to 1988’s Some Come Running.

Though Traffic was an on-and-off concern until 1974, Capaldi’s solo career began in 1972 with Oh How We Danced.  As the decade progressed, he flirted with numerous styles, from soul with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section to hard rock, pop and, yes, disco.  He even had a dalliance with film scoring.  A 1975 cover version of “Love Hurts” went Top 5 in the U.K. but it wasn’t until 1982 that he finally gained entrée into the lucrative American radio market with “That’s Love” from the album Fierce Heart, featuring old friend Winwood on keyboards. Capaldi continued collaborating with many artists throughout his career.  Besides Winwood, they included Carlos Santana, Squeeze’s Paul Carrack (with whom he wrote the Eagles hit “Love Will Keep Us Alive”) and two fellows who helped raised the profile of Some Come Running: George Harrison and Eric Clapton, themselves lifelong friends and both one-time husbands of the former Pattie Boyd!

Besides the guest appearances, Some Come Running was notable as Capaldi’s return to drumming in a major way, as he had been content on many of his other solo projects to hand over the drumsticks.  It also marked his return to original home Island Records, which he had departed more than ten years prior.  Peter Vale (guitars/vocals/keyboards/bass) and Miles Waters (guitars/keyboards) produced the album with Capaldi, and the trio wrote five songs for the LP.  The remaining three songs were two Capaldi originals with other co-writers, and a cover recording of “Oh Lord, Why Lord,” introduced in 1968 by Spanish band the Pop Tops.

For Capaldi’s much-publicized Island comeback, Winwood played keyboards and sang on the title track, and supplied a guitar part to the opening song “Something So Strong.”  Eric Clapton added guitar to “You Are the One,” co-written by Capaldi and his keyboard player Chris Parren, and also appeared alongside Harrison on “Oh Lord, Why Lord.”  Harrison’s guitar is typically recognizable, as is Clapton’s during an incendiary solo.  Eighties production touches place the album in a very specific time period, but Capaldi’s songwriting was energized by his embrace of the new recording technology.

After the jump: more on Some Come Running, plus a track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2012 at 10:08

So Esoteric: Todd Rundgren’s Lost “Disco Jets” and a Jim Capaldi Duo Coming Soon

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Longtime Todd Rundgren fans are familiar with the renaissance man’s numerous genre excursions, from pop to rock and everywhere in between: psychedelia, soul, electronica, even metal.  But comparatively fewer fans have heard Rundgren’s one and only full-blown excursion into disco.  Shortly after completing 1976’s Faithful LP, the iconoclastic producer took the members of Utopia into the studio to create the album known as Disco Jets.  Yet the album crafted by Willie Wilcox (drums), Roger Powell (keyboards/vocals), John Siegler (bass/vocals) and Rundgren has never seen release under its original name, although the tracks were included on the Japan-only Todd Rundgren: Demos and Lost Albums compilation.  Esoteric Recordings, a division of the Cherry Red Group, is changing all that with the March 26 release of Disco Jets, continuing its series of latter-day Rundgren and Utopia reissues.  But that’s not all coming from the enterprising label.  Traffic legend Jim Capaldi is celebrated with a pair of his earliest albums, 1972’s Oh How We Danced and 1974’s Whale Meat Again, both due on the same March 26 date.

Roger Powell recalled in 2010 to author Paul Myers that Utopia spent one weekend “cranking out” Disco Jets, basically for the hell of it: “It was a disco spoof, but it was a hoot to record and I remember laughing so hard I cried.”  John Siegler (who departed Utopia shortly after recording the lost album, citing fatigue) opined, “It was not one of our stellar moments.”  Myers, however, believes that the all-instrumental album is hardly worthy of dismissal and is “musically as interesting as anything Utopia ever did.”  It’s not hard to believe; it wouldn’t be the first time (nor the last) that Rundgren would spin musical gold from something intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

Hit the jump for more on Disco Jets, plus two albums from Jim Capaldi! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 10, 2012 at 09:52

Release Round-Up: Week of July 5

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Erasure, Wonderland / The Circus: Deluxe Editions (EMI)

Vince Clarke and Andy Bell’s first two albums, expanded with bonus B-sides and remixes across two CDs and DVDs full of live footage. (Official site)

Jim Capaldi, Dear Mr. Fantasy: The Jim Capaldi Story (Universal U.K.)

The late Traffic legend is memorialized in a four-disc box set. (Official site)

Paul McCartney, Driving Rain (MPL/Concord)

Another Macca remaster, this one of Paul’s 2001 album. No frills, but I imagine “Freedom” will get officially included on the track list. (Official site)

Ashford and Simpson, High Rise: Expanded Edition / Switch, Am I Still Your Boyfriend? Expanded Edition / The Pointer Sisters, Hot Together: Expanded Edition / Yarbrough & Peoples, Guilty: Expanded Edition / Prime Time, Flying High: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

A new brace of titles from Big Break Records, with the usual non-LP remixes and B-sides rounding out the albums. There’s more coming from BBR this month; keep your eyes peeled for a round-up post pretty soon. (Big Break)

Various Artists, The London American Label, Year By Year – 1958 (Ace)

Ace’s latest volume in the London American series, which honors one of the U.K.’s most beloved U.S. import labels, includes hits from Chuck Berry, Bobby Darin, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and The Chipmunks! (Official site)

Written by Mike Duquette

July 5, 2011 at 17:24

Heavy Traffic: “The Jim Capaldi Story” Told On Upcoming Box Set

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It’s time to clear a space on your shelf next to Steve Winwood’s 1995 box set The Finer Things or its 2010 counterpart Revolutions. The life and career of Winwood’s longtime collaborator Jim Capaldi (1944-2005) is being celebrated by the fine folks at Universal U.K. with a lavish new box set, Dear Mr. Fantasy: The Jim Capaldi Story. Set for release on June 27, Dear Mr. Fantasy is named after one of Traffic’s most beloved songs.  It encompasses Capaldi’s work with that group as well as early singles by The Hellions, Revolution and Deep Feeling, and of course his deep solo catalogue. Famous friends of Capaldi’s are present including Winwood, Dave Mason, Paul Kossoff, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, featured on a 2004 recording making its debut here.

Capaldi’s first group, The Hellions, initially consisted of Capaldi, Dave Mason and Gordon Jackson; they are represented on Dear Mr. Fantasy with “Daydreaming of You,” a single penned by Jackie DeShannon and Sharon Sheeley. After attempting to relaunch themselves as Revolution, a disenchanted Mason departed the band; with Luther Grosvenor replacing Mason, they regrouped one final time as Deep Feeling. (One track by each incarnation of the band is included.) After disbanding Deep Feeling, Capaldi reached out to a friend he had met while on tour with The Hellions, Steve Winwood.  Free from his obligations as member of the Spencer Davis Group (“Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Keep On Running”), Winwood joined Capaldi, multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood and Mason (back on board) to form Traffic.  Capaldi wrote lyrics to Winwood’s melody for the psychedelic “Paper Sun,” Traffic’s first single in 1967. Despite a fluctuating lineup, with Mason coming and going with frequency, Traffic remained an ongoing concern through 1974, gaining fans for an intricate mix of rock and an improvisational jazz style. (The band would reform in 1993-1994 as well as in 2004 for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. One rehearsal track from Traffic’s short set makes its first appearance here.)

Capaldi launched his solo career in 1972 with Oh How We Danced, featuring contributions from Paul Kossoff of Free. A 1975 cover version of “Love Hurts” went Top 5 in the U.K. but it wasn’t until 1982 that he cracked the lucrative American radio market with “That’s Love” from the album Fierce Heart, featuring old friend Winwood on keyboards. Capaldi continued collaborating with many artists throughout his career, including Eric Clapton (for whom he played on Rainbow Concert, a track from which is included on the new box), Carlos Santana and Squeeze’s Paul Carrack, with whom he wrote the Eagles hit “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”  An unreleased demo of “Love” should be a highlight of the new collection.

Capaldi’s final studio album, 2001’s Living on the Outside, featured Winwood, Paul Weller and George Harrison as guests. Harrison can be heard on Dear Mr. Fantasy playing guitar on “Anna Julia” as well as on one unreleased song, “Love’s Got a Hold of Me.”

Jim Capaldi passed away from stomach cancer in 2005 at the age of 60.  He will be remembered with Dear Mr. Fantasy, due from Universal U.K. and Island Records on June 27.  Hit the jump for the full press release plus a complete track listing with discographical annotation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 21, 2011 at 09:31