Troubadour (J. J. Cale album)

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Troubadour
Cover - troubadour.jpg
Studio album by J. J. Cale
Released September 1976
Recorded 1976
Genre Blues, Americana, Tulsa Sound
Length 36:11
Label Shelter Records
Producer Audie Ashworth
J. J. Cale chronology
Okie
(1974)
Troubadour
(1976)
5
(1979)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (mixed)

Troubadour is a 1976 album by J. J. Cale, his fourth since his debut in 1972. Eric Clapton covered the song "Cocaine" on his 1977 album Slowhand, turning it into one of his biggest hits. He later covered the track "Travelin' Light" for his 2001 studio album Reptile. "Travelin' Light" was also recorded by Widespread Panic for their album Space Wrangler in 1988.

Background[edit]

Troubadour was produced by Audie Ashworth, who had also produced Cale's first three studio albums. In the 2004 documentary To Tulsa and Back, Cale recalled, "I wrote 'Cocaine', and I'm a big fan of Mose Allison...So I had written the song in a Mose Allison bag, kind of cocktail jazz kind of swing...And Audie said, 'That's really a good song, John, but you oughta make that a little more rock and roll, a little more commercial.' I said, 'Great, man.' So I went back and recut it again as the thing you heard."[2] The song's meaning is ambiguous, although Eric Clapton describes it as an anti-drug song. He has called the song "quite cleverly anti-cocaine", noting:

It's no good to write a deliberate anti-drug song and hope that it will catch. Because the general thing is that people will be upset by that. It would disturb them to have someone else shoving something down their throat. So the best thing to do is offer something that seems ambiguous—that on study or on reflection actually can be seen to be "anti"—which the song "Cocaine" is actually an anti-cocaine song. If you study it or look at it with a little bit of thought ... from a distance ... or as it goes by ... it just sounds like a song about cocaine. But actually, it is quite cleverly anti-cocaine.[3]

Although "Cocaine" would be a major hit for Clapton in 1977, the first single released by Cale from Troubadour in 1976 was the restless "Travelin' Light" with "Hey Baby" as the b-side. Critics from the music website Alltime Records reviewed the recording: "'Travelin' Light', with its funky James Burton–style guitar that Jimmy Page tried to copy on "The Crunge", along with great xylophones to fill out the sound – it moves and cooks and rolls and rocks and has just an absolutely earthy quality".[4] The song was released as a part of various compilation albums, including 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of J.J. Cale in 2002, The Ultimate Collection in 2004 and Classic Album Selection in 2013.[5] Troubadour sees Cale introducing new instruments to his sound, such as synthesizer on "Ride Me High", with William Ruhlmann of AllMusic noting, "Producer Audie Ashworth introduced some different instruments, notably vibes and what sound like horns (although none are credited), for a slightly altered sound on Troubadour. But J.J. Cale's albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you'll want to have them all."[6] Several noted musicians play on the album, including Ken Buttrey, Buddy Emmons, and Reggie Young.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by J. J. Cale, except "I'm a Gypsy Man", by Sonny Curtis.

  1. "Hey Baby" – 3:11
  2. "Travelin' Light" – 2:50
  3. "You Got Something" – 4:00
  4. "Ride Me High" – 3:34
  5. "Hold On" – 1:58
  6. "Cocaine" – 2:48
  7. "I'm a Gypsy Man" – 2:42
  8. "The Woman That Got Away" – 2:52
  9. "Super Blue" – 2:40
  10. "Let Me Do It to You" – 2:58
  11. "Cherry" – 3:21
  12. "You Got Me On So Bad" – 3:17

Personnel[edit]

  • J. J. Calevocals, guitar, piano
  • Charles Dungey – bass guitar on tracks 1 and 9
  • Tommy Cogbill – bass guitar on tracks 2, 5, 8, 10-12
  • Joe Osborn – bass guitar on 3
  • Bill Raffensperger – bass guitar on track 7
  • Karl Himmel – drums on tracks 1, 2, 4 and 9
  • Kenny Buttrey – drums on tracks 3, 6, 8 and 10
  • Buddy Harman – drums on tracks 5 and 12
  • Jimmy Karstein – drums on track 7
  • Kenny Malone – drums on track 11
  • Gordon Payne – guitar on track 8
  • Chuck Browning – guitar on track 8
  • Reggie Youngrhythm guitar on tracks 1, 6 and 9
  • Harold Bradley – rhythm guitar on track 2
  • Bill Boatman – rhythm guitar on track 7
  • Doug Bartenfeld – guitar
  • Lloyd Greensteel guitar on tracks 1 and 9
  • Buddy Emmons – steel guitar on track 5
  • Farrell Morris – percussion on tracks 2, 9 and 11
  • Audie Ashworth – percussion on track 3
  • J.I. Allison – percussion on track 7
  • Don Tweedy – ARP
  • Bobby Woods – piano on track 8
  • Bill Purcell – piano on track 12
  • George Tidwell – trumpet on track 10
  • Dennis Goode – trombone on track 10
  • Billy Puett – saxophone on track 10

Charts[edit]

Chart (1976–1977) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[7] 24
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[8] 4
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[9] 22
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[10] 2
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 43
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 53
US Billboard 200[14] 84

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Troubadour – J.J. Cale | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  2. ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
  3. ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
  4. ^ "Troubadour by J.J. Cale ::: Reviews". Alltime Records. Alltime-records.com. October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Travelin' Light – J.J. Cale". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "J.J. Cale – Troubadour". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – J.J. Cale – Troubadour" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  8. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – J.J. Cale – Troubadour" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  9. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  10. ^ "Charts.org.nz – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  11. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  12. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  13. ^ "J.J. Cale | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  14. ^ "Troubadour – J.J. Cale | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  15. ^ "British album certifications – J J CALE – TROUBADOUR". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 20, 2015.  Enter TROUBADOUR in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search