Category: JJ Cale

JJ Cale – The Definitive Collection

ARTIST: JJ Cale               jjcale

TITLE:  The Definitive Collection

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation


SINGLES: Crazy Mama (#22), Lies

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Call Me the Breeze, Cocaine, After Midnight

LINEUP: JJ Cale and a whole bundle of session players, many revolving around Eric Clapton or the LA Circuit

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Songwriter’s own albums are collected. His own versions are very mellow and chill.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Anyone recognizing the cover versions of his songs would be surprised by JJ Cale’s own versions. Laid back would be an understatement.

These are almost, to a note, very tasteful, mellow, laid back, blues rock. It’s definitely in the early-to-mid 70’s Eric Clapton mode, except Cale is even more of a hushed, quiet singer than Clapton and at times that takes away from the songs and very tasteful performances.

The songs are the highlight – and you wonder if these interpretations are the way he intended, or he just adapted the songs to his own personal performing motif. Because there’s a billion miles of difference between Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Call Me the Breeze” and his.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “After Midnight” was released as a promo to musicians and producers in the mid-60’s while he was working as an engineer. That’s how Clapton heard it.


GRADE: B: Good, mellow performances of some great songs. Sounds like everyone’s got a buzz on.