Jim Capaldi : The Outside Years, 4CD Remastered Box Set Review

Jim Capaldi: The Outside Years Box Set – Cherry Red Records

In the realm of classic rock and the intricate tapestry of its history, few artists have woven as rich and diverse a legacy as Jim Capaldi. Known for his pivotal role in Traffic alongside Steve Winwood and his impactful solo career, Capaldi’s music has been a beacon for fans of soulful, introspective rock. Now, with the release of “The Outside Years” box set, fans old and new have the chance to dive deep into a pivotal era of Capaldi’s solo work, spanning from 1993 to 2004. This collection not only showcases his studio albums ‘Living On the Outside’ and ‘Poor Boy Blue’ but also brings to light an array of 35 bonus tracks, including mostly unreleased live performances, studio out-takes, and demos from Capaldi’s personal archive.

As a fan of Traffic and the broader spectrum of classic rock, I approached this box set with a blend of anticipation and curiosity. What I discovered was just fabulous. “The Outside Years” is a testament to Capaldi’s evolution as an artist, his ability to rock with the best of them, and his undiminished prowess in crafting songs that touch the soul. From the hard-rocking edges of ‘Living On the Outside’ to the bluesy depths of ‘Poor Boy Blue,’ Capaldi’s final album, this collection is a journey through the later years of a true music legend.

The box set is enriched by the contributions of rock royalty such as George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Paul Weller, Ian Paice, and Gary Moore. Their collaborations with Capaldi add layers of texture and depth to an already compelling collection of songs. Highlights include a hypnotic track like “Riding the Storm,” which features a Stevie Winwood-esque keyboard pattern, and the achingly beautiful ballads that showcase Capaldi’s intimate vocal and instrumental performances.

What sets “The Outside Years” apart is not just the music but the care with which this box set has been curated. The included illustrated booklet, complete with an essay, offers insights into Capaldi’s musical journey, making it a must for fans. The detailed track-by-track analysis and the wealth of photographs included make this set a fitting tribute to an artist whose contributions to music deserve to be celebrated and remembered.

In an era where music is often consumed in fleeting, digital snippets, “The Outside Years” stands as a monument to the enduring value of the album as an art form and the physical music format as a vessel for storytelling. It’s a must-have for collectors, fans, and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of classic rock history.

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Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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Paul Minkkinen
Paul Minkkinen
28 days ago

Hi there
thanks so much for the wonderful review. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. I was the compiler and sleevnote writer. All being well a similar set covering Jim’s mid-solo years will be out next year.
kind regards
paul Minkkinen

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