To celebrate the 50th anniversary of JJ Cale’s career,

his first eight, iconic, albums – Naturally, Really, Okie, Troubadour, 5, Shades, Grasshopper and #8 are presented in a limited edition vinyl box set that features some of his best known songs including ‘Cocaine’, ‘Travelin’ Light’, ‘Call Me The Breeze’ and ‘After Midnight’ that will be released on 6 October.

Each album is pressed on 180g colour vinyl with the ninth bonus vinyl containing ‘The Early Years’, a collection of his 1960’s singles. All have been remastered at Abbey Road studios.

In addition to the records, this package contains a 40 page hardback book featuring rare and unseen images, essays, memorabilia and a foreword from legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

Cale’s influence is immeasurable.

As an artist he was known for being unassuming and one to actively not seek spotlight proclaiming in 2013 “… I knew what fame entailed. I tried to back off from that. I had seen some of the people I was working with forced to be careful because people wouldn’t leave them alone… “. Raised in Tulsa, he was a true innovator who wrote and recorded his own music. His innovative nature saw him use the latest recording technology – an interest that started from his years working as a sound engineer.  As a result he became known as the originator of the “Tulsa Sound”, all though, when once asked about the “Tulsa Sound” he reflected… “I guess I had something to do with that, and Leon had something to do with it; Jamie Oldaker, Carl Radle – everybody’s kind of that way. Everybody knows everybody. I’ve played for two generations there. Tulsa was the kind of place you could slide in, and, ‘You want to be the leader? You be the leader tonight, you be the leader tomorrow night.’ That was the Tulsa sound, to me. It was in an attitude more than it was in music.”

He viewed his albums as “demos.”

Primitively (or more accurately, eccentrically) recorded, they weren’t likely to generate hit singles; instead, his original songs spawned numerous cover versions by more established artists. Songwriting royalties provided Cale with a good living. ‘Naturally’, his debut album, alone spawned Top 40 hit ‘Crazy Mama’ (covered by The Band, Larry Carlton, Johnny Rivers, and others), ‘Call Me The Breeze’ (a hit for Lynyrd Skynyrd, also recorded by Johnny Cash) and ‘After Midnight,’ which Cale reluctantly recorded for the album after Eric Clapton had already scored a hit with it.

His inspiration is multi-generational and some of those who have covered his music include – Beck with The Flaming Lips (‘Magnolia’), Captain Beefheart (‘I Got The Same Old Blues’), Santana (‘Sensitive Kind’), Jerry Garcia (‘After Midnight’), Band of Horses (‘Thirteen Days’), Waylon Jennings (‘Louisiana Women’), Dan Auerbach (‘Don’t Go To Stranger’) – for a full list see

This collection of albums in ‘Tulsa Sound’ is an extremely influential body of work. Released between 1971 and 1983, he and his work had a profound influence on some of the best known and regarded songwriters of all time…

16 augustus 2023
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