“Unreleased”. Perhaps the most feared and widely anticipated words in any rock fan’s vocabulary. On one hand, the casual fan might think that there’s a good reason why a track might not have been included in the initial release by an artist. I suspect this is especially true where “classic” releases are concerned. Then again, you have the die-hard fan’s perspective. That is, I’d kill to hear anything by a particular artist…It’ll provide some insight into where the artist might have been headed (in terms of musical direction), or maybe…an alternate take of an established classic.
As an unmitigated Byrds fan over the years, I’ve come to being able to deal with unreleased material…and the bottom line is…I’d fall into the “kill to hear anything new/different” clique. After hearing the Cale recordings, I’ve come to the conclusion that fans need to be exposed to ALL of an artists catalogue if they are going to be in a position to determine that artist’s contributions over time.
J. J. Cale has long been regarded as a rock iconoclast…e.g., he’s been adverse to touring, fame etc… Nonetheless, he’s been a very influential artist, particularly where some of rock’s “gods” are concerned (Clapton/Knopfler). This release might be regarded as a time capsule of musical treasures. A number of cuts were recorded in the 70’s and early 80’s. Backing musicians include some of the GREATS…Richard Thompson, Jim Keltner, Spooner Oldham.
Rewind includes a number of covers, including “Golden Ring” (written by Eric Clapton)…Check out Clapton’s first solo album to get a sense of Cale’s influence.
These tracks have been sitting in the can for up to thirty years…a shame given the clear-cut influences that they show on the “elite” of R&R. J. J. Cale finally gets his due with this release. With the release of the DVD “To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale” last year, “Rewind” adds to the legacy of an artist who “…still don’t want to be famous.”