"It's like looking at old family photographs," says JJ Cale of these outtakes from his early Seventies success through to an Eighties when his soft, bluesy shuffles were at variance with the prevailing electropop mode – as illustrated here by the synthetic keyboard sounds unsuccessfully levered into his style on Clapton's "Golden Ring". Not that he was a musical Luddite; once, in the Sixties, the back of Cale's battered guitar fell off, revealing the maze of electronics with which he had customised it to acquire his unique sound. Likewise, these tracks are sophisticated recordings disguised to sound like simple roots pieces: one can only imagine the trouble taken to render the laidback horns on "Out of Style". Many of these songs were left off the original albums because they were covers – Leon Russell's "My Cricket", Randy Newman's "Rollin'" – but the best are the earliest, such as a "Since You Said Goodbye" featuring the snakelike wah-wah slide guitar Mac Gayden played on "Crazy Mama", and a brief but delightful fast shuffle, "Bluebird".
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