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Latin Vinyl Records
Searching For Sugar ManThe story remains one of the music world’s most unusual tales of the 1970s: an obscure debut LP by a Detroit singer-songwriter becomes a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Now, the story of Rodriguez and his cult album Cold Fact is the basis for Searching For Sugar Man, a riveting new documentary by filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul. Light In The Attic Records in partnership with Sony Legacy are honored to announce the release of the original motion picture soundtrack, comprising tracks from Cold Fact and its 1971 follow-up Coming From Reality – both reissued in 2008 and 2009 by Light In The Attic. The soundtrack begins with the otherworldly “Sugar Man” and acts as a primer to this long-overlooked musician’s fusion of gritty funk, political poetry and blissful psych-folk.
Searching For Sugar Man, a Red Box Films & Passion Pictures Production in association with Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S., was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it won the world documentary audience award and a special jury award, and then went on to screen at SXSW, Tribeca, and the Sheffield Doc Fest. The film opens in New York, Los Angeles, and London (via Studio Canal) on July 27th and will play in other cities throughout the coming months. For a complete release schedule, visit the film’s website: www.SearchingForSugarManMovie.com.
Back in the late ‘60s, Rodriguez was discovered in a Detroit bar by renowned producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore. They recorded a 1970 album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. Instead, Cold Fact bombed, and despite the release of a second LP, entitled Coming From Reality and produced by Steve Rowland, Rodriguez drifted into obscurity, even being subject to some fantastic rumors of a dramatic onstage death.
Cold Fact took on a life of its own when a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid-era South Africa. Banned by the government, the album became a country-wide phenomenon over the next two decades, and the soundtrack to a resistance movement of liberal African youth. Back in Detroit, working in construction and renovation (he also ran for mayor), Rodriguez was totally unaware that he was not just a folk hero but a household name thousands of miles away.
Decades later, two South African fans, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom set out to find out what really happened to their hero, and their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the many myths they’d heard. Their story forms the basis of Searching For Sugar Man.
Both sides of the story, Rodriguez’s life in Detroit and the subsequent impact of his music in South Africa, proved fascinating to Stockholm-based documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul. His short documentary films for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra became the basis for such films as Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney) and The Terminal (Tom Hanks). The evolution of the financing, production, and filming of Searching For Sugar Man is as fascinating and complex as the life of Rodriguez himself.
“I describe myself as ‘musico-politico’,” Rodriguez said recently. “I was born and bred in Detroit, four blocks from the city center. Back then, I was influenced by the urban sounds that were going on around me all the time. Music is art and art is a cultural force. As far as my work from Detroit comparing to the South African Apartheid, the similarities echo. The placards of the 1970s in the United States read things like: We Want Jobs and Stop the War – I was looking at the music from a working class perspective that was relevant, as it turns out, to the kids in South Africa.”1. Sugar Man
2. Crucify Your Mind
4. I Wonder
5. Like Janis
6. This Is Not A Song, It's an Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues
7. Can't Get Away
8. I Think of You
9. Inner City Blues
10. Lifestyles - Sandrevan Lullaby
11. Street Boy
12. A Most Disgusting Song
13. I'll Slip Away
14. Jane S. Piddy
$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Cold FactFirst Official Reissue!
Mastered from the Original Tapes
Co-produced by Motown Guitar God Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore
Featuring Members of the Legendary Motown Players The Funk Bros.
Limited Edition Vinyl LP on 180 Gram Wax
Its one of the lost classics of the 60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion. The album is Cold Fact, and whats more intriguing is that its maker a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working as a menial day laborer in Detroit, Michigan. He was unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution.
Rodriguez recorded Cold Fact his debut album in 1969, and released it in March 1970. Its crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late 60s inner-city America. Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer, says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues.
But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguezs more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. When the follow-up, 1972s Coming From Reality, also sold poorly, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. Hed never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, gaining a degree in philosophy, factory work and eventually, hard labour.
As his music career became a memory, Rodriguezs legend was growing on the other side of the world. In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma not even the label knew where to find him and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumours said hed died of a drug overdose or burned to death on stage. Others said he was in a mental institution, or in prison for murdering his girlfriend. Barring a couple of sold out Australian tours in 1979 and 1981, nothing had been heard of him for almost 30 years.
But the tide began to turn in 1996, when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, Rodriguez has received not so much as a Rand in royalties), and embarked on a triumphant South African tour followed, filling 5,000 capacity venues across the country. A documentary named Dead Men Dont Tour: Rodriguez in South Africa 1998 was screened on national TV.
Rodriguez is spoken of in the same reverent tones as The Doors, Love and Jimi Hendrix.1. Sugar Man
2. Only Good For Conversation
3. Crucify Your Mind
4. This Is Not A Song, It's An Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues
5. Hate Street Dialogue
6. Forget It
7. Inner City Blues
8. I Wonder
9. Jane S. Piddy
10. Gommorah (A Nursery Rhyme)
11. Rich Folks Hoax
12. Like Janis
13. I'll Slip Away
14. You'd Like To Admit It
$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now