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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Miniatures in Country Blues Folk, 24 Jan. 2003
By 
fields21 "fields21" (Hoogerheide, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
J.J. Cale's gave everything he got on his first album. All songs are intricately crafted and all very subtlely arranged. This is a landmark laid back album. J.J. Cale humsings his way though a number of great tracks. (The classic 'After Midnight' is much more laidback than Eric Clapton's - 'Magnolia'and 'Call me the Breeze' are the better known songs).
It seems that J.J. Cale and his band just left the Appalachian shack and went straight into the studio, still playing. The mood on the album fits perfectly with laid back Southern U.S. and is brimming with easy sunshine, some liquor, fiddles and banjo etc, without becoming too much of a 'straight' country album. Far from it, it is a truly original blend of America's best traditions.
Play when you're sitting in your garden at sunset (or better still on your porch if you have one), talking to your friends whilst having something 'nice' on the side. I gave it some friends and they all loved it, though they all had never heard about J.J. Cale before.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool blues, 6 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Naturally / Really (Audio CD)
If JJ Cale was any more laid back then he probably wouldn't get out of bed.
Naturally is cool deep south blues at its finest. JJ's unique guitar sound sits alongside a voice that doesn't try too hard. All his songs are 3 minute gems - sometimes you wish he would stretch them out - really take a sound further - particularly as he is such an outstanding guitarist.
Before chill out albums were even thought of, this is it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and fine recording, 18 Dec. 2001
By 
Mr. Bj Pree "Barnes" (Oxford UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
Descibed as the genuis of the mellow, JJ's debut is in my opinion one of the greatest records ever made, laid back bittersweet guitar, fine lyrics and that uniquely minimilist sound.This record contains the original of After Midnight, the tune popularised by Eric Clapton, listen close because this is a masterpiece.
Just listen to any early Dire Straits recording and the influence of JJ Cale's first records of the early 70s is clearly evident.
An all round lovely piece of music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool as a Cucumber, 19 Aug. 2007
By 
Mr. B. A. D. Plowman "Brendan" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
"Naturally" by J J Cale - an album that compells you to nod your head and utter the words "Hell, yeah."

Make no mistake, this album is seriously cool - a short collection of perfectly executed tunes. The tunes bop and swagger along, underpinned by tantalising guitar licks, awesome boogie-woogie piano, cheeky drum beats and Cale's laconic vocal drawl.

"After Midnight" is a cracker - a bluesy piano riff, off-beat rhythms and a sassy vocal from Mr Cale. "Nowhere To Run" is beautiful muted funk, with choppy piano, a honeyed vocal line and a solid gold horn section. Both of these tunes are perfect examples of the laid back vibe that permeates this consistently great album.

"Naturally" is as welcome and as easily enjoyable as a rare steak served with sizzling french fries. This album is one of those oh-so-rare finds :-A collection of tunes that can appeal to pretty much ANYONE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I Think I'll Get Me Some To Go..." - 2013 Japan SHM-CD Remaster of JJ Cale's Debut Album "Naturally", 11 Jan. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE JAPANESE-ONLY SHM CD REMASTER FROM 2013 ****

Since his tragic loss in July 2013 renewed interest in J.J. Cale and his wonderfully laid-back songwriting magic has never been higher. And his superb 1972 debut album "Naturally" will be a first port of call for many. Four tracks from it were remastered for the 2CD Anthology "Any Way The Wind Blows" in 1997 - but this 2013 Japanese SHM-CD represents the first time the entire album's been sonically overhauled. However - given the poor quality of the original 1970 and 1971 recordings - even this best ever audio remaster of "Naturally" has its drawbacks.

Released in Japan 26 June 2013 on Universal UICY-75627 (Barcode 4988005771582) - it's a SHM-CD (Super High Materials) and features Repro US LP artwork including the colour-coded Track/Musician breakdown on the rear cover that's missing from the card digipak of "Naturally" in the 2013 "Classic Album Collection" 5CD box set.

A SHM-CD doesn't require a special CD player to play it on (compatible on all machines) nor audiophile kit to hear the benefits. It's a new form of the CD format which picks up the nuances of the transfer better (top quality make). I own about 10 of them and they're uniformly superb. Also this 'actually remastered' reissue of his debut album is 13 seconds longer than the previous Eighties non-remaster (32:26 minutes as opposed to 32:13). The booklet is the usual 8-white pages of Japanese liner notes and a stab at the English lyrics - nothing to really get your teeth into. It should also be noted that the old issues of this CD and the one in a card digipak in the 2013 "Classic" box set are NOT REMASTERS.

SOUND:
I wore out original tan label issues (and silver and green label reissues) of "Naturally" on Seventies vinyl trying to find a copy that didn't sound like a wall of hiss coming out of the speakers. I now know why. Although the improvement in sound here is extensive - the original sessions were dogged with excessive hiss on the master tapes - and I'm afraid that's what you largely get on this 2013 reissue - only accentuated more in some cases.

Hiss culprits include "Call The Doctor", the lovely "Magnolia" and "River Runs Deep". But the piano on "After Midnight", the fiddles on "Clyde" and Mac Gayden's slide guitar on "Crazy Mama" are all wonderfully clear - major improvements. "Woman I Love" and "Bringing It Back" (lyrics above) are the kind of tracks that don't turn up on "Best Of's" that often - and I'm thrilled to say that they both sound stupendous - stunning clarity on the bass and brass. "Call Me The Breeze" (covered to stunning effect by Lynyrd Skynyrd on 1974's "Second Helping") kicks in nicely too after that beat-box rhythm opening. Overall I'd say that those expecting audiophile from this release should probably cry off - but for those who love the man and his music - then this remaster is a must-buy. Even with that hiss - the clarity is the best yet.

J.J. Cale was one of my audio heroes growing up - and his influence on Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and even John Mayer is undeniable. What a loss and what an artist.
And damn the Japanese for being so good with these bloody things (I've also reviewed "5" and "Troubadour") because I need all 8 of them now!
My long suffering bank manager will be pleased...

The albums in this June 2013 Japanese CD reissue series are:
1. Naturally (1972) on Universal UICY-75627 [SEE REVIEW]
2. Really (1973) on Universal UICY-75628
3. Okie (1974) on Universal UICY-75629 [SEE REVIEW]
4. Troubadour (1976) on Universal UICY-75630 [SEE REVIEW]
5. "5" (1979) on Universal UICY-75631 [SEE REVIEW]
6. Shades (1981) on Universal UICY-75632
7. Grasshopper (1982) on Universal UICY-75633
8. No. 8 (1983) on Universal UICY-75634
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5.0 out of 5 stars The master of laid back's album lasts the distance, 27 July 2013
This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
I first heard this in 1972, sharing a house with two wannabe guitarists who exposed to Roy Buchanan and then JJ Cale. Naturally is a gem of well constructed but laid back, cruisey blues which is intensely satisfying to listen to. JJ Cale is a gifted guitarist/songwriter. His live performance a few years after this seemed to show an extraordinary personality at work. I think there was talk the tour would not go ahead because he had a form of arthritis which might affect his ability with the guitar. The gig at the Auckland Town Hall went ahead. In days when "stars" let the band get cooking before they would walk on with false modesty to rapturous applause, JJ Cale was on stage before proceedings kicked off, tuning up and razzing with other musicians before starting into a mesmerising set covering this album and "Troubador". If his playing was affected it was perhaps in a spare use of notes but he was still impressive and value for money. But it is this album, Naturally I still play today and it makes for rich listening. There is not one track which is wasted and it fits together well as a progression of sound and texture. JJ Cale has a slightly raspy, smoky voice with bitter sweet and often quirky lyrics ("Clyde the dog plays electric bass...ok I exaggerate, it was tambourine tied to his tail and lead vocals...") probably on JJ's porch, with his band improvising, why would the hound not partake in such a warm treacle of sweet sound. My favourite tracks are the haunting love peons "Call the Doctor", "River Runs Deep". However, the album has recognisable classics, his two most well known songs "After Midnight" and "Crazy Mama". So lets chugga lug and shout for whether he was well enough known is debatable but JJ Cale was a master craftsman and I thank him for the pleasure he has given me and I will continue to treasure this album as a reflection of a life well lived. I strongly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and the best, 27 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
J.J. Cale is my favourite musician and has been for nearly 30 years.
I have got most of his records and I think that the older one are better.
The first song on Naturally which is his first album is "They call me the breeze"
which is a song that always gets me in a good mood.
"Clyde" is an other song on this cd, bluegrass as it gets best.
"After midnight" is a song that Eric Clapton friend of JJ made famous.
I rate this cd as high as possible.
Ž.G.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely, 21 Jun. 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
J. J. Cale's first album established his attitude to music-making, one that paid no heed to outside influences. He didn't believe in padding out a song, nor in multiple takes in an attempt to get the perfect solo. As a result, 'Naturally' is a collection of sub-three-minute songs, save for a couple that dip just over. Audie Ashworth's production is basic and unpolished, allowing the album's country/blues/boogie mood to resonate. You can almost hear the dust. 'Call Me The Breeze' opens with a rollicking blues boogie. Lynyrd Skynyrd would cover this song and, naturally, extend it. 'Call The Doctor' is doleful but no less effective. Thereafter, most of the songs tend to swing between these styles, but are distinguishable partly by differing arrangements. Though the album is built around a classy guitar combo, horns, fiddles and piano all lend touches to the songs. Alongside 'Call Me The Breeze', the best-known song is 'After Midnight', courtesy of Eric Clapton's cover, but he and Skynyrd could have chosen just about anything off 'Naturally' and made something of it. With Cale, you get quality, not quantity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first classic from JJCale, 13 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
This includes After Midnight which Eric Clapton made famous but listen to JJ's version and it is far better
But it got his career off to a great start and this album is full of hits and great records
I f you like a fully musically backed blues country rock album this is it A historical classic that has not dated in 30 odd years Great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Instant and timeless classic, 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Naturally (Audio CD)
Super laid back folk/rock/blues from the recently deceased JJ Cale - This is one of those recordings that sounds great the first time you hear it, and you feel you've been listening to it for years. Guy Garvey featured this on his radio show recently, I now need to check out the rest of his back catalogue.
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Naturally by J.J. Cale (Audio CD - 1987)
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