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Jim Capaldi - Electric Nights
 

Jim Capaldi - Electric Nights

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Genre: rock
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title:  Electric Nights
Company: RSO
Catalog: RS-1-3050
Year: 1979
Country/State: Worchester, UK
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: promo stamp on back cover
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6092
Price: $8.00

I guess it was somewhat ironic that shortly after Jim Capaldi released this album, former Traffic partner Steve Winwood decided to resurrect his solo career with 1980's "Arc of a Diver". While Winwood's album went on to be a massive international hit, Capaldi's sixth solo album "Electric Nights" vanished without a trace.

With Capaldi and Jimmy Miller separately handling production chores," Electric Nights" was very much a product of it's time. One spin and most listeners would be able to place it as a late-1970s recording. That wasn't meant as a criticism, but the album simply dripped of that highly produced, synthesizer drenched sound that you associate with that particular timeframe. Capaldi always had a great voice (maybe not as instantly recognizable as Winwood's, but easily as capable), and it remained in good form across these nine tracks. Unfortunately this time out Capaldi seemed to be casting around for a distinctive sound and an audience. The result was an ill--focused album that seemed to be taking stabs at virtually every genre under the sun including top-40 album oriented rock 'Shoe Shine',

- Complete with cheesy bubbling synthesizers and chirpy backing chorus, 'Shoe Shine' found Capaldi dipping his toe into AOR. The track was actually quite commercial and would have sounded okay on top-40 radio along side of the likes of Bon Jovi and John Cougar Mellencamp (which is probably why it was tapped as a European single), but it sounded more like calculated aural product than anything. rating: *** stars
- Due in part to the fact it wasn't nearly as polished as most of the collection, the rocker 'Hotel Blues' stood as one of my favorite performances. Capaldi always sounded at his best when he roughened up his sound a bit. rating: *** stars
- Another rocker, 'White Jungle Lady' suffered from an overdose of cuteness. You could almost hear the record label telling Capaldi 'hey we need one more bar rocker' for the set ... rating: ** stars
- A stark, piano powered ballad, 'Tabitha' was a pretty, but instantly forgettable ballad. ** stars
- It wasn't quite a disco number, but the jittery rocker 'Time' was certainly danceable. Yeah, it generated some energy and was probably one of the better songs on the album, but that didn't mean I had to like it. ** stars
- Opening up side two, the title track was another slice of commercial AOR. At least to my ears, Peter Bona's wah-wah guitar provided the song's highlights. rating: *** stars
- A breezy, soul-tinged ballad, 'Wild Dogs' would have made a nice single, had it not been for the hideous synthesizers. rating: *** stars
- With a distinctive Latin tinge, the highlight of the rocker '1890' came in the form of Peter Bonas 12 string acoustic guitar. rating: ** stars
- Another proficient ballad if MOR-tinged, 'Wild Geese' actually sounded a bit like something off of a Paul Rodgers album. Mildly pretty, but again quite forgettable. rating: ** stars

As mentioned, the album spun off a single in the form of:



- 1979's 'Shoe Shine' b/w 'Tabitha' (Polydor catalog number POL 100)

Which I could recommend this one, but while listenable, there simply isn't anything remotely special on this one.

"Electric Nights" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Shoe Shine (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:52
2.) Hotel Blues (Jim Capaldi) - 3:30
3.) White Jungle Lady (Jim Capaldi) - 3:42
4.) Tabitha (Jim Capaldi - R. Otu) - 4:11
5.) Time (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:38

(side 2)
1.) Electric Nights (Jim Capaldi) - 4:16
2.) Wild Dogs (Jim Capaldi) - 4:48
3.) 1890 (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 4:11
4.) Wild Geese (Jim Capaldi - Peter Bonas) - 6:54
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