There’s been some heavy Traffic at the record store lately. This month has already seen a 2-CD edition of Steve Winwood’s Arc of a Diver, and it’s recently been joined by Esoteric Recordings’ latest offering from the catalogue of Winwood’s Traffic cohort, the late Jim Capaldi. Following reissues of the songwriter and drummer’s Oh, How We Danced (1972), Whale Meat Again (1974), The Sweet Smell of Success (1980) and Let the Thunder Cry (1981), the Cherry Red Group imprint has turned its attention to 1988’s Some Come Running.
Though Traffic was an on-and-off concern until 1974, Capaldi’s solo career began in 1972 with Oh How We Danced. As the decade progressed, he flirted with numerous styles, from soul with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section to hard rock, pop and, yes, disco. He even had a dalliance with film scoring. A 1975 cover version of “Love Hurts” went Top 5 in the U.K. but it wasn’t until 1982 that he finally gained entrée into the lucrative American radio market with “That’s Love” from the album Fierce Heart, featuring old friend Winwood on keyboards. Capaldi continued collaborating with many artists throughout his career. Besides Winwood, they included Carlos Santana, Squeeze’s Paul Carrack (with whom he wrote the Eagles hit “Love Will Keep Us Alive”) and two fellows who helped raised the profile of Some Come Running: George Harrison and Eric Clapton, themselves lifelong friends and both one-time husbands of the former Pattie Boyd!
Besides the guest appearances, Some Come Running was notable as Capaldi’s return to drumming in a major way, as he had been content on many of his other solo projects to hand over the drumsticks. It also marked his return to original home Island Records, which he had departed more than ten years prior. Peter Vale (guitars/vocals/keyboards/bass) and Miles Waters (guitars/keyboards) produced the album with Capaldi, and the trio wrote five songs for the LP. The remaining three songs were two Capaldi originals with other co-writers, and a cover recording of “Oh Lord, Why Lord,” introduced in 1968 by Spanish band the Pop Tops.
For Capaldi’s much-publicized Island comeback, Winwood played keyboards and sang on the title track, and supplied a guitar part to the opening song “Something So Strong.” Eric Clapton added guitar to “You Are the One,” co-written by Capaldi and his keyboard player Chris Parren, and also appeared alongside Harrison on “Oh Lord, Why Lord.” Harrison’s guitar is typically recognizable, as is Clapton’s during an incendiary solo. Eighties production touches place the album in a very specific time period, but Capaldi’s songwriting was energized by his embrace of the new recording technology.
After the jump: more on Some Come Running, plus a track listing and order link!
Alas, the album wasn’t a big success in the U.K. or the U.S. (No. 146 on the Billboard 200), though it fared considerably better in the Netherlands and in Sweden! It also turned out to be Capaldi’s second-to-last solo LP. He rejoined Traffic for a new album and tour in 1994, and in the ensuing years, collaborated with Steve Winwood, fellow Traffic alum Dave Mason, Jose Neto and Al Stewart. Capaldi’s final studio album, 2001′s Living on the Outside, featured Paul Weller as well as the returning Winwood and Harrison.
Though no bonus tracks have been included, Esoteric’s Some Came Running has been remastered by Paschal Byrne and includes a color booklet with liner notes from Paul Minkkinen, plus a Capaldi timeline and full lyrics. It’s available now, and can be ordered at the link below!
Jim Capaldi, Some Come Running (Island ILPS-9921, 1988 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC 2349, 2012)
- Something So Strong (with Steve Winwood)
- Love Used to Be a Friend of Mine
- Dancing on the Highway
- Some Come Running (with Steve Winwood)
- Voices in the Night
- You Are the One (with Eric Clapton)
- Take Me Home
- Oh Lord, Why Lord (with Eric Clapton and George Harrison)