JJ Cale Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings

Fans of J.J. Cale’s laidback, roots-y canon will be pleased to realise that, despite Rewind being downplayed as leftovers for the truly devoted, it is in fact an unexpected pleasure. Recorded with various players between ’73 and ’82 (including Spooner Oldham, Richard Thompson and Tim Drummond), Rewind is a collection of "unreleased” originals and covers that, for one reason or another, didn’t find homes on other albums. Highlights include "Since You Said Goodbye,” which sounds like a direct lift from Naturally, and the hyper-speed "Bluebird,” which takes Cale’s signature shuffle and triples the pace. Cale’s cover of Clapton’s "Golden Ring” sounds more like Clapton than usual, their duet recording hardly an accident. Leon Russell’s "My Cricket” might demonstrate Cale’s lack of vocal agility but it is an unguarded pleasure nonetheless. It can easily be argued that the covers recorded add little to the originals, quite possibly making them worthy of rejection, but never by true Cale fans, who’ve always known exactly what to expect. His one-trick-pony style delivers exactly what’s promised, every time. Rewind delivers on this unspoken promise and devotees of his hallmark style will find 14 more reasons to kick back, relax and drink them in like ice-cold beer on a hot afternoon. This is a worthy addition to any Cale library. (Time-Life)