Capaldi, Jim


Band members               Related acts

- Jim Capaldi (RIP 2005) -- vocals, drums, percussion

 

  supporting musicians (1974)

- Barry Beckett -- keyboards

- Rabbit Bundrick -- keyboards

- Peter Carr -- lead guitar

- Roger Hawkins -- drums

- David Hood -- bass

- Jimmy Johnson -- guitar

- Gaspar Lawal -- drums

- Derek Quinn -- cabassa

- Reebop -- percussion

- Jean Roussel -- bass

- Chris Stainton -- keyboards

- Chris Stewart -- bass

- Bibs White -- drums

- Steve Winwood -- keyboards, bass

 

  supporting musicians (1979)

- Ray Allen -- sax

- Peter Bonas -- lead guitar

- Rosco Gee -- bass

- Simon Kirke -- drums

- Trevor Marais -- drums

- Chris Parren -- keyboards

- Alan Spenner - bass

 

  supporting musicians (1984)

- Eric Clapton -- guitar 

- Mel Collins - saxophone

- George Harrison - keyboards, guitar

- Mike Hehir --  guitar  

- Chris Parren -- keyboards

- Mick Ralphs -- keyboards 

- Peter Vale -- vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass

- Miles Waters -- guitar 

 



 

- The Hellions (Jim Capaldi)

- Deep Feeling (Jim Capaldi)

- Heavy Jelly (Jim Capaldi)

- Dave Mason and Jim Capalid

- Traffic (Jim Capaldi) 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Whale Meat Again

Company: Island

Catalog: ILPS-9254

Year: 1974

Country/State: Worchester, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4540

Price: $9.00

Cost: $66.00

 

At least to my ears Jim Capaldi's always been Traffic's secret weapon in that his commercial leanings frequently served to balance out much of Steve Winwood's jazzy extremes.  

 

Capaldi's self-produced sophomore solo release, 1974's oddly titled "Whale Meat Again" isn't perfect by a long shot, but serves to underscore those commercial roots.  The album was recorded at Muscle Shoals with the cream of that studios' sessions players and with cameos from several of his Traffic cohorts (Reebop, Winwood).  Lots of folks think Capaldi's at his best on slow and mid-tempo numbers, but based on tracks such as 'Yellow Sun' and 'My Brother' I'll argue that he's much better on harder rocking material like the leadoff rocker 'It's All Right' and the funky 'Low Rider' (not to be confused with the War song). Other highlights include the title track which stands as a surprisingly militant anti-whaling statement (and it was recorded in 1974 !!!).  (Dock the album a star for the fact Capaldi's shown drinking Schlitz on the back cover.)

"Whale Meat Again" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) It's All Right   (Jim Capaldi) - 4:12

2.) Whale Meat Again   (Jim Capaldi) - 4:33

3.) Yellow Sun   (Jim Capaldi) - 7:16

4.) I've Got So Much Lovin'   (Jim Capaldi) - 4:45

 

(side 2)
1.) Low Rider   (Jim Capaldi) - 5:41

2.) My Brother   (Jim Capaldi) - 5:02

3.) Summer Is Fading (Including We'll Meet Again)   (Jim Capaldi - Hughie Charles - Ross Parker) - 8:30

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Electric Nights

Company: RSO

Catalog: RS-1-3050

Year: 1979

Country/State: Worchester, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: promo stamp on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6092

Price: $9.00

 

I guess it was somewhat ironic that shortly after Jim Capaldi released this album, former Traffic partner Steve Winwood decided to resurrect his solo career with 1980's "Arc of a Diver".   While Winwood's album went on to be a massive international hit, Capaldi's sixth solo album "Electric Nights" vanished without a trace. 

 

With Capaldi and Jimmy Miller separately handling production chores," Electric Nights" was very much a product of it's time.  One spin and most listeners would be able to place it as a late-1970s recording.  That wasn't meant as a criticism, but the album simply dripped of that highly produced, synthesizer drenched sound that you associate with that particular timeframe.  Capaldi always had a great voice (maybe not as instantly recognizable as Winwood's, but easily as capable), and it remained in good form across these nine tracks.  Unfortunately this time out Capaldi seemed to be casting around for a distinctive sound and an audience.  The result was an ill--focused album that seemed to be taking stabs at virtually every genre under the sun including top-40 album oriented rock 'Shoe Shine', 

 

- Complete with cheesy bubbling synthesizers and chirpy backing chorus, 'Shoe Shine' found Capaldi dipping his toe into AOR.  The track was actually quite commercial and would have sounded okay on top-40 radio along side of the likes of Bon Jovi and John Cougar Mellencamp (which is probably why it was tapped as a European single), but it sounded more like calculated aural product than anything.   rating: *** stars

- Due in part to the fact it wasn't nearly as polished as most of the collection, the rocker 'Hotel Blues' stood as one of my favorite performances.   Capaldi always sounded at his best when he roughened up his sound a bit.   rating: *** stars

- Another rocker, 'White Jungle Lady' suffered from an overdose of cuteness.  You could almost hear the record label telling Capaldi 'hey we need one more bar rocker' for the set ...  rating: ** stars

- A stark, piano powered ballad, 'Tabitha' was a pretty, but instantly forgettable ballad.  ** stars

- It wasn't quite a disco number, but the jittery rocker 'Time' was certainly danceable.  Yeah, it generated some energy and was probably one of the better songs on the album, but that didn't mean I had to like it.  ** stars

- Opening up side two, the title track was another slice of commercial AOR.  At least to my ears, Peter Bona's wah-wah guitar provided the song's highlights.  rating: *** stars

- A breezy, soul-tinged ballad, 'Wild Dogs' would have made a nice single, had it not been for the hideous synthesizers.  rating: *** stars

- With a distinctive Latin tinge, the highlight of the rocker '1890' came in the form of Peter Bonas 12 string acoustic guitar.   rating: ** stars

- Another proficient ballad if MOR-tinged, 'Wild Geese' actually sounded a bit like something off of a Paul Rodgers album.  Mildly pretty, but again quite forgettable.     rating: ** stars

 

As mentioned, the album spun off a single in the form of:

 

 

- 1979's 'Shoe Shine' b/w 'Tabitha' (Polydor catalog number POL 100)

 

Which I could recommend this one, but while listenable, there simply isn't anything remotely special on this one.

"Electric Nights" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Shoe Shine   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:52

2.) Hotel Blues   (Jim Capaldi) - 3:30

3.) White Jungle Lady   (Jim Capaldi) - 3:42

4.) Tabitha   (Jim Capaldi - R. Otu) - 4:11

5.) Time   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:38

 

(side 2)
1.) Electric Nights   (Jim Capaldi) - 4:16

2.) Wild Dogs   (Jim Capaldi) - 4:48

3.) 1890   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:11

4.) Wild Geese   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 6:54

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Some Come Running

Company: Island

Catalog: 91024-1

Year: 1988

Country/State: Worchester, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5036

Price: $7.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Self-produced, 1984's "Some Come Running" was greeted as  modest late inning return to form for Jim Capaldi.  The collection certainly wasn't hurt by the fact it found Capaldi working with one of the year's most impressive cast of friends and supporters including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Mick Ralphs, and Steve Winwood.  Not too shabby !  On the other hand my big complaint with the set was that Capaldi sounded like he was trying too hard for a commercial breakthrough.  Tracks such as 'Love Used To Be a Friend of Mine', 'Dancing On the Highway and 'Voices In the Night' all had that big ballad AOR sound that recalled ever 1980s album Phil Collins released. Needless to say, most of these eight songs haven't aged all that well.  So what are the highlights?  Well to my ears the nod goes to the closer 'Oh Lord, Why Lord' which sports some classic guitar work from Clapton and Harrison.  Elsewhere 'Something So Strong' was featured in the film "Best of the Best".  (So what's with the guitar cover ... I thought he was a drummer.)

 

"Some Come Running" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Something So Strong   (M. Leeson - Peter Vale - Mike Waters) - 4:44

2.) Love Used To Be a Friend of Mine   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Vale - Mike Waters) - 4:13

3.) Dancing On the Highway   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Vale - Mike Waters) - 4:27

4.) Some Come Running   (Jim Capaldi - Peter Vale - Mike Waters) - 4:27

 

(side 2)
1.) Voices In the Night   (M. Leeson - Peter Vale - Mike Waters) - 5:24

2.) You Are the One   (Jim Capaldi - Chris Parren) - 4:45

3.) Take Me Home   (Jim Capaldi - C. Thompson - A. Quinta) - 4:20

4.) Oh Lord, Why Lord   (P. Trim - M. Bouchar) - 4:24

 

Sadly, Capaldi died from stomach cancer in January 2005.  He was only 60.

 

 

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