Troubadour (J. J. Cale album)

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Troubadour
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1976 (1976-09)
Recorded1976
GenreRock, roots rock, blues rock
Length36:11
LabelShelter
ProducerAudie Ashworth
J. J. Cale chronology
Okie
(1974)
Troubadour
(1976)
5
(1979)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB−[2]

Troubadour is the fourth studio album by J. J. Cale. Eric Clapton covered the song "Cocaine" on his 1977 album Slowhand, turning it into one of his biggest hits.

Recording[edit]

Troubadour was produced by Audie Ashworth, who produced Cale's first three studio albums. It 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."[3] Several noted musicians play on the album, including Ken Buttrey, Buddy Emmons, and Reggie Young.

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."[4] 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.[5]

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".[6] 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.[7] Clapton later covered "Travelin' Light" for his 2001 studio album Reptile. "Travelin' Light" was also recorded by Widespread Panic for their album Space Wrangler in 1988.

Cale's own version of "Travelin' Light" was played to awaken the crews of the Atlantis Space Shuttle and International Space Station preceding their spacewalk early on Friday May 21, 2010.

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. Cale – vocals, guitar, piano ( tr. 3 ), organ ( tr. 3 ), bass ( tr. 4, 6 ), slide guitar ( tr. 8 ), Electric Guitar, Soloist [First Solo]
  • Charles Dungey – bass guitar on tracks 1, 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, 9
  • Kenny Buttrey – drums on tracks 3, 6, 8, 10
  • Buddy Harman – drums on tracks 5, 12
  • Jimmy Karstein – drums on track 7
  • Kenny Malone – drums on track 11
  • Gordon Payne – guitar [Twin Guitars] on track 8
  • Chuck Browning – guitar [Twin Guitars] on track 8
  • Reggie Youngrhythm guitar on tracks 1, 9, el. guitar solo ( tr.6 ), Ac. guitar solo ( tr.9 )
  • Harold Bradley – rhythm guitar on track 2, Electric Guitar, Soloist [Second Solo] ( tr.12 )
  • 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, Vibraphone on tracks 2, 9, 11
  • Audie Ashworth – percussion on track 3
  • J.I. Allison – percussion on track 7
  • Don Tweedy – Electronic Wind Instrument ARP ( tr. 3 )
  • Bobby Woods – piano on track 8
  • Bill Pursell – piano on track 12
  • George Tidwell – trumpet on track 10
  • Dennis Goode – trombone on track 10
  • Billy Puett – saxophone on track 10

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] 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. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: C". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 23, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "J.J. Cale – Troubadour". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  4. ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
  5. ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
  6. ^ "Troubadour by J.J. Cale ::: Reviews". Alltime Records. Alltime-records.com. October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Travelin' Light – J.J. Cale". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – J.J. Cale – Troubadour" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – J.J. Cale – Troubadour" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  10. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  12. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – J.J. Cale – Troubadour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  14. ^ "J.J. Cale | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  15. ^ "Troubadour – J.J. Cale | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  16. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1977 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – J J CALE – TROUBADOUR". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 20, 2015.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type TROUBADOUR in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]