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   Music articles index

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (Heavenly/Mushroom)

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood: Black Pudding (Heavenly/Mushroom)

Singer Mark Lanegan is the familiar name here for his work Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell and Soulsavers, but Duke Garwood from London is perhaps less well known. A... > Read more

Supreme Beings of Leisure: 11i (Elite)

Supreme Beings of Leisure: 11i (Elite)

So, whatever happened to chill-out music? About a decade ago the world was lousy with the stuff and you barely move for people raising martini glasses and trying to look like they'd stepped out of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP on a doco about a music festival about unity and hope

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP on a doco about a music festival about unity and hope

Some of the most interesting music has been immersed in the politics of its day. The attitudes of musicians are a reaction to the social, political and economic happenings that surround... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dolly Parton, The Box Set Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dolly Parton, The Box Set Series

Songwriters have long recognised Dolly Parton among the greats: she is accomplished at writing sassy songs (Dumb Blonde) heart-tuggers (Put It Off Until Tomorrow) and catchy country-pop (Something... > Read more