80059-1 Fierce Heart
Produced by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi
Released on January 1983
Find it at GEMM
80059-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

W ell, apparently, there’s hope for all of us in this dim, inhospitable dustbowl of a universe. I’ve wondered what purpose a Jim Capaldi solo career had to serve (other than self-grandeur) and here’s my answer: Fierce Heart. Coproduced by Steve Winwood, this has many of the earmarks of a Winwood affair: bouncy synthesizers, fleshed-out arrangements without the fat, and a genuine desire not to succumb to DIY mediocrity. The record featured two, count them, two hits: “That’s Love” and “Living On The Edge.” The backing band is also first-rate, featuring Van Morrison (!) playing acoustic guitar on one track, John Mizarolli on another, and such peripheral prog figures as Pete Bonas and Mel Collins. There’s something reassuring in the knowledge that Capaldi, at risk of being relegated to hapless has-been with a series of UK-only releases, could pull himself up by his bootstraps (so to speak) and record an album that felt like the whole world depended on it. At a time when the boogaloo bandits were walking through their careers, Capaldi runs through nine tracks with genuine gusto, putting his career back on track in the bargain. Whether it’s the Springsteen soundalike (I had originally typed “Springsteenesque” and a cold shudder down my back made me change it) “Runaway” or the Christopher Crossed “Back At My Place” (find Waldo in the vinyl), Capaldi makes the best of every setting. It’s not a modern-sounding record any more than Arc of a Diver; rather, it’s a case of clarity that makes Fierce Heart a winner. Whale Meat Again was murky, Electric Nights misguided, but this is smart and soulful stuff. If Winwood is your cup of tea, Fierce Heart is your capaldi. And that’s no bull. (You see, the cover has a picture of a bull on it and... eh, nevermind.)

80059-1 back cover 80059-1 lyric sleeve
80059-1 back cover 80059-1 lyric sleeve


  1. TONIGHT YOU'RE MINE    (Jim Capaldi)    4:08
  2. LIVING ON THE EDGE    (Jim Capaldi)    4:40
  3. BAD BREAKS    (Jim Capaldi/William Ennes)    3:06
  4. RUNAWAY    (Jim Capaldi/Solution)    3:19
  5. BACK AT MY PLACE    (Jim Capaldi)    3:06
  6. THAT'S LOVE    (Jim Capaldi)    3:36
  7. I'LL ALWAYS BE YOUR FOOL    (Jim Capaldi)    3:46
  8. DON'T LET THEM CONTROL YOU    (Jim Capaldi/Macau)    5:08
  9. GIFTS OF UNKNOWN THINGS    (Jim Capaldi)    5:32


JIM CAPALDI -- vocals, drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, Linn drum programming, piano, glockenspiel
STEVE WINWOOD -- electric guitars, synthesizers, guitars, guitar solo, vocals, organ, piano, Linn drum programming, incidental marimba, arrangements, engineer
Ray Otu Allen -- congas, percussion
Simon Bell -- burning man (7)
Pete Bonas -- guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, Ovation guitar
Mel Collins -- saxophone, saxophone solo
Geoff Driscoll -- saxophone (8)
Martin Drover -- trumpet (8)
Brent Forbes -- bass
Bryson Graham -- drums
Stevie Lange -- burning woman (7)
Jim Leverton -- bass (9)
John Mizarolli -- acoustic guitar lead (5)
Van Morrison -- acoustic guitar (1)
Chris Parren -- keyboards, synthesizers
Nicole Winwood -- vocals (6)
Phil Bodger -- engineer
Dave Belotti -- engineer
John Etchells -- engineer
Keith Fernley -- engineer
Mark Freegard -- engineer
Nobby -- engineer
Tom O'Leary -- engineer
John Walls -- engineer
Graham Watts -- engineer
Waring Abbott -- photo
Rocking Russian -- design

US/CAN January 1983 Atlantic LP 80059 lyric sleeve
GER 1983 WEA LP 250057 inner sleeve
US August 24, 2004 Wounded Bird CD 8059  


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