Jim Capaldi: Oh How We Danced/Whale Meat Again (Raven)

Jim Capaldi: How Much Can a Man Really Take?
Jim Capaldi: Oh How We Danced/Whale Meat Again (Raven)

Drummer, singer and songwriter Capaldi recorded these two solo albums in '72 and '74 when he was still a member of Traffic alongside Stevie Winwood, Dave Mason and Chris Wood -- all of whom appear here as part of a stellar cast which also includes the Muscle Shoals Horns, guitarist Paul Kossoff of Free, Rick Grech, drummer Gaspar Lawal, Jim Gordon and others.

Pretty much a who's who of the slightly progressive but soul-oriented British music scene at the time, and so a measure of the high regard in which Capaldi was held.

It was through Oh How We Danced that Muscle Shoals sessionmen David Hood (bass), Barry Beckett (guitar) and Roger Hawkins (drums) would play on Traffic's Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory -- and they are outstanding here on the funky-framed country-styled rock where boogie-woogie/barrelhouse piano sits alongside stinging guitar solos and that tight horn section.

Capaldi assimilated blues and soul into his ambitious pop-rock, and wasn't averse to orchestration or the grand sweep of organ (Beckett or Winwood mostly). 

It isn't all up-beat and about the power of love either, material like Don't Be a Hero remind you that bad drugs and worse politics were really kicking in for a lot of people.

Capaldi's songs are flexible and allow plenty of space for the players, but he also has a keen sense of melody and a convincing voice.

Some of what is here has dated a little (some a lot) but if early Clapton solo albums, Elton before Yellow Brick Road, Little Feat and Traffic ever meant anything to you then these two-albums on a single disc with excellent annotation come recommended.

Jim Capaldi died of cancer in January 2005. He was 60.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Noticed how in action movies so few actors speak these days? They tend use an amplified whisper which has the effect of raising tension -- even when very little is happening. San... > Read more

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

When Yoko Ono released her artistically packaged Onobox in 1992 -- a six CD retrospective of a solo career which had ceased in the mid Eighties -- that would seemed to have been it from the most... > Read more

New Elsewhere

Dinah Washington: Embraceable You (1946)

Dinah Washington: Embraceable You (1946)

The Gershwin brothers' Embraceable You, written in 1928, became a jazz standard and down the decades has been covered by an extraordinarily diverse range of artists from Nat King Cole, Doris Day... > Read more

Mark Dinning: Top Forty, News, Weather and Sports (1961)

Mark Dinning: Top Forty, News, Weather and Sports (1961)

The rather sad Mark Dinning has appeared at From the Vaults previously because he was the voice on the great death ballad Teen Angel of '59 which had been written by his sister Jean. That's a... > Read more