Jim Capaldi: Let The Thunder Cry (1981)

Kronomyth 7.0: DISCO IS DEAD, LONG LIVE ROCK. Finally, a fitting followup to Short Cut Draw Blood. Let The Thunder Cry is a similarly pleasant potpourri of pop/rock with a good dose of social conscience and a little romance thrown in good measure. The first side of music is especially strong; so much so that, when a rocking cover of “Louie Louie” rolls around, Capaldi has earned the good will to pull it off. Highlights include the title track (a sympathetic rocker about Native Americans), the lithe “Favela Music,” “Child In The Storm” and the slightly edgy “We Don’t Need.” The melodies are familiar; you get the sense that you’ve heard “Only Love,” “Dreams Do Come True” and “Anxiety” somewhere before, but you’re happy to make their acquaintance again. In the case of “Old Photographs,” it seems that Capaldi has updated the classic “No Face, No Name, No Number,” and the two songs reveal that not so much has changed in the last twenty years. Capaldi’s range on this record is pretty impressive. He can rock, stir things up or play it smooth. The disco years may not have produced many timeless hits, but they do seem to have given him more confidence as a singer. The performances on “Warm” and “Only Love,” for example, are those of a first-tier balladeer. As with the aforementioned Short Cut, there really isn’t a bad song on here. It’s a solid, intelligent record that isn’t too commercial or antisocial. Once again, Capaldi carves out a niche for himself as an intelligent middle-of-the-road rocker who isn’t afraid to throw in a few love songs in between trying to save the world. [When this album was released on compact disc, it featured two additional songs: an acoustic version of “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” and the nastier “Bathroom Jane.”]

Original LP Version
A1. Let The Thunder Cry (Jim Capaldi/Pete Bonas)
A2. Favela Music (Jim Capaldi)
A3. Child In The Storm (Jim Capaldi/Mikail Cipra)
A4. Only Love (Jim Capaldi)
A5. Louie Louie (Richard Berry)
B1. Warm (R. Hurley)
B2. Dreams Do Come True (Jim Capaldi)
B3. Old Photographs (Jim Capaldi/Gilson Carvalho/Joran/Marcelo Santos)
B4. We Don’t Need (Jim Capaldi)
B5. Anxiety (Jim Capaldi)

1990s, etc. CD version
1. Let The Thunder Cry
2. Favela Music
3. Child In The Storm
4. Only Love
5. Louie Louie
6. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
7. Warm
8. Dreams Do Come True
9. Old Photographs
10. We Don’t Need
11. Anxiety
12. Bathroom Jane

CD reissue bonus tracks (2004)
1-10. See original LP version
11. Brighter Fighter
12. Favela Music (alternate version)
13. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

CD (Disc One) reissue bonus tracks (2012)
1-10. See original LP version
11. Man With No Country
12. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
13. Bathroom Jane

The Players
Jim Capaldi (vocals, drums, percussion, backing vox), Pete Bonas (guitar), Richard Court (backing vox), Brent Forbes (bass), Chris Parren (keyboards) with Claudete de Azevedo (guitar on B3), Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion on A2, B4), Jose Roberto Bertrami (keyboards on B3), Vicky Brown (backing vox, vocals), Jo Cang (bass on B5), Mel Collins (sax on B2, B3), Steve Creese (drums on B1), Clovis C. de Melo (string arrangement on B3), Martin Drover (trumpet on A3, B2), Moises Davi Einhorn (cor anglais on B3), Simon Kirke (drums), Jose Alexandre Malheiros (bas on B3), Ivan Miguel Conti Maranhao (drums on B3), Andy Newmark (drums on A3, B4), Henry Thomas (bass on A2, B4), Steve Winwood (synthesizer on B3). Produced by Jim Capaldi and John Taylor; engineered by John Etchells.

Did You Know?

  • The song “Favela Music” was originally mispeled (it had an extra L); subsequent reissues fixed the probllem.

The Pictures
Illustration by Ron Fenton. Back cover photography by Mikail Cipra.

The Plastic
Released on elpee and cassette in April 1981 in the UK (Carrere, CAL 123), France (Carrere, 67.675/70765), Germany and the Netherlands (1C 064-64 342). Re-issued on elpee in 1982 in Brazil (Carrere, CAR 384.7012). Re-released on CD with two bonus tracks (“The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys,” “Bathroom Jane”) in 1991 in the UK (Jet, JETCD 1003), on March 2, 1999 in the US (Cleopatra, CLP 0491-2) with unique cover and on November 3, 2001 in the US (Receiver, RRCD 280). Re-released as 2CD set on January 27, 2004 in the US (Castle Music America, 13372) with Live: The 40,000 Headmen Tour. Re-released as expanded, remastered CD on May 28, 2012 in the US (Esoteric, ECLEC 2329) with three bonus tracks.

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