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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2003
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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on 26 April 2017
old but still good to have one.
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on 1 June 2017
Excellent
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on 13 February 2013
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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on 20 March 2017
abosultement
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"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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on 6 December 2000
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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on 18 December 2001
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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on 17 April 2017
A1 EVERYTHING AS IT SHOULD BE
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*** 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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