Back in the 1970s, when I was knee-high to the bushveld, every right-minded white person in South Africa - admittedly a minority of a minority back then - had a copy of "Cold Fact" by Rodriguez, and we all knew the words to his signature tune, "Sugar Man".
At the time I assumed Sixto Rodriguez (to give him his full name) was equally popular everywhere. Yet when I came back to the UK at the end of the seventies I discovered nobody else had heard him, apart from a few Australians as he had been reasonably popular there as well. For some reason his music connected down in the Southern Hemisphere - something that he was apparently completely unaware of for many years - but went unheard elsewhere.
Now at last he is finally getting the worldwide acclaim he has deserved for so long. There is a film about him being released in the UK this weekend. He will be playing the Festival Hall in November, which I am greatly looking forward to. And both "Cold Fact" and the 1971 follow-up "Coming From Reality" are widely available.
Call me a wilful controversialist if you must, but while "Cold Fact" was the big cult album on balance I probably prefer "Coming From Reality". There is nothing to match "Sugar Man" but taken overall I think it is a stronger album. Here are a couple of prime cuts.
"Street Boy" - Rodriguez
"I Think Of You" - Rodriguez
As a bonus, here is a track from another American hippy who was unfeasibly popular in South Africa in the 1970s, Shawn Phillips.
"Song For Sagitarrians" - Shawn Phillips
And now we move from Rodriguez to Gonzalez. My mate Winston's sister used to go out with the lead singer, so we're virtually related.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
The Swingin' Sixto
Posted by Ernie Goggins at 22:43
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I love your recommendations for the Sugar Man soundtrack! I've had the whole thing playing over and over ever since I found it available for streaming online lol http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/searching-for-sugar-man-soundtrack-rodriguez_n_1690599.htmlReplyDelete