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The Very Best of J. J. Cale (The Definitive Collection)

J.J. CaleAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Price: $10.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Call Me The Breeze 2:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Crazy Mama 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Magnolia 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. After Midnight 2:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lies 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Midnight In Memphis 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Cajun Moon 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Rock And Roll Records 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Cocaine 2:52Album Only
listen10. Hey Baby 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. I'll Make Love To You Anytime 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Don't Cry Sister 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Thirteen Days 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sensitive Kind 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Carry On 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Mama Don't 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. City Girls 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Devil In Disguise 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Don't Wait 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Money Talks 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

The Very Best of J. J. Cale (The Definitive Collection) + The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale + Hypnotic Eye
Price for all three: $33.10

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B000007ODL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A full 20 favorites from this institution of a singer-songwriter, whose songs have been borrowed by Clapton, Santana, Skynyrd and so many others. You get Cocaine; After Midnight; I'll Make Love to You Anytime; Call Me the Breeze; Sensitive Kind; Lies; Magnolia; Crazy Mama; Cajun Moon , and more!

As best-of collections go, this one is uncommonly understated. Which is probably appropriate given that the singer/songwriter it celebrates is one of the most taciturn rock & rollers to ever saunter down a dusty road. Decades into a career that has produced more commercial success than one might suppose, Cale's Very Best consists of one disc; outtakes and rarities padding a second disc don't fit Cale's less-is-more aesthetic. There's no essay elevating the Oklahoman as a great blues-rock pathfinder, though Eric Clapton and Dire Straits are among the platinum performers who owe him a debt; just musician credits and a modest dedication from Cale adorn the booklet. (Hey, at least the camera-shy Cale sat still for a photo shoot!) As for the music, this 20-song CD consists of a representative selection of hits for himself ("Crazy Mama" and "Lies" charted early in his career) and his partisans (Clapton scored with "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," while Lynyrd Skynyrd made "Call Me the Breeze" a concert staple). The case could easily be made that Cale deserves something a bit more ambitious than this unambiguous overview, but who's going to make the case for the man? Not low-profile J.J., that's for sure. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Choice! December 28, 1999
Format:Audio CD
For those musing into J.J. Cale for the first time, this is the first CD to purchase. A concise overview, "Special Edition," is available at a lesser price, but the sound suffers. The most comprehensive compilation, "Anyway The Wind Blows," is also available, as are standard versions of Cale's entire catalog. All said and done, "Very Best" is the recommended starting point with J.J. Cale.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Artist May 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
In my 45+ years of collecting and listening to popular music, J.J. Cale stands out as being truly unique. How so?

The easiest way to explain this is to talk about my iPod song list of some 1700 selections. What I've done to create this song list is to choose only my favorite tracks on any particular album to be ripped onto the iPod.

Some albums are represented by one selection; others two or three. And for the very select few, perhaps the whole album gets included in my 'pod.

J.J. Cale is the prime example of this kind of personal special and favorite musician. Why? Well, as we all know, there is no accounting for taste. Each of us has our own musical preferences, tastes, and favorite genre.

For me it is blues based music, whether it be the hard blues rock of Jimi Hendrix, the early Elvis of the "Sun Sessions," or the mellow country blues of J.J. Cale, I love the blues.

Here is what I experience with J.J.: deeply felt, genuine, and totally organic blues expressions. The instrumentation is always tight, together, and in the groove. Each musician, each track within a song, each overdub blends perfectly with the whole.

And, J.J.'s lyrics, melodies, vocals, and guitar work are the essential and masterly glue that makes it all happen. What this means, for me, is that his music has a timeless quality. It doesn't get out of date, it doesn't get "old," and I don't get tired of listening to it.

This is why when I ripped a J.J. album onto my iPod, I almost always did the WHOLE album. I have 123 J.J. cuts on the 'Pod, but I won't buy "The Very Best of J.J. Cale." I have no need to because I already have all these cuts.

However, if I could only own one J.J. album, it would be the double set "Anyway the Wind Blows.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the essence of laid-back November 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I would venture to guess that more people know JJ Cale's work than have actually heard his own renditions. Obviously Eric Clapton's covers of "After Midnight", "Cocaine" and "I'll Make Love To You Anytime" and Santana's version of "Sensitive Kind" are well-known; I came to JJ Cale via way of Widespread Panic's covers of "Travelin' Light" and "Ride Me High" (from "Troubadour").
This compilation is great from start to finish. Cale is straight-shootin' and to-the-point. Most songs clock in around 2:00, but don't think you're not getting a lot for your money. With Cale, less is definitely more! His vocal stylings (I would hesitate to term it 'singing') are raspy smooth and understated, his lyrics the counterpoint to a unique lyrical guitar style.
"Devil In Disguise" sounds like what every Steve Miller song wishes it was, while "Carry On" conjures up something from Johnny Cash's part of the universe. "Rock And Roll Records" is one of my favorite tracks on this disc; it is indeed a "real, funky deal". No mistaking that Cale is a 100% American original!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for a true original January 21, 2006
By bstill
Format:Audio CD
J.J. Cale is one of those underrated artists, whose recordings are most appreciated by other musicians. Eric Clapton and Dire Straits are direct evidence of platinum selling artists love for the down home bluesy guitar grooves of J.J. Cale. The man wrote two of the most appreciated modern day blues rock songs, "Cocaine," and "After Midnight." What's interesting is hearing his original versions. They are more laid back and have a groove that cannot be easily replicated.

I find myself embracing J.J. Cale's versions of his tracks the most. He reminds me of Johnny Cash in a way. He is so real and raw in his recordings. This is music that warms the soul and invokes a certain comfort. Like other artists who have been covered and sampled to death, J.J. Cale stands above the heap of commercialism in music. He is a true artist. An Oklahoma road warrior. There are other examples, including a band called Cymande - on the album renegades of funk, where the power of hearing the true original voice of an artists' music is always a more authentic listening experience. This best of collection is highly recommended. I hope J.J. Cale knows that he is a true original in American music.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
No ordinary pop singer, John Not-Associated-With-The-Velvet-Undeground Cale of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is something of an acquired taste. He has maintained a solid cult following for forty years, but most people probably associate "After Midnight", "I'll Make Love To You Anytime" and "Cocaine" with Eric Clapton, "They Call Me The Breeze" with Lynyrd Skynyrd or Johnny Cash, and "Cajun Moon" with Randy Crawford, rather than with Cale.

Here they are, though, played and sung by Cale himself in his (very!) laid-back style which emphasises the songs and their rhythm over fancy solos.
J.J. Cale is an idiosyncratic vocalist, and some people may be turned off by his singing voice, or lack thereof, but Cale's loping sense of rhythm and shuffling boogie patterns became a blueprint for the adult-oriented roots-rock of men like Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler, and if you are into that kind of music you really owe it to yourself to at least give Cale a chance. You might come away preferring Clapton's covers over Cale's originals, but then again you might not.
Me? I'll take Cale's "Cocaine" and "I'll Make Love To You Anytime" and Clapton's "After Midnight". But one thing is for sure: J.J. Cale grows on you.
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