“I’ve played every kind of gig there is to play now/I’ve played faggot bars, hooker bars, motorcycle funerals, in opera houses, concert halls, halfway houses”
The opening lyrics from ‘A Most Disgusting Song’, originally released on Rodriguez’ 1971 album Coming From Reality speak volumes about the career of a man who, despite writing some of the most timely and profound songs of his generation, went largely unnoticed by mainstream music culture.
His debut album Cold Fact all but faded into obscurity the moment it was released, and only a few years later, Rodriguez himself went down the same path.
If it weren’t for a handful of bootlegged LPs which made their way to apartheid South Africa, sparking an entire generation of disenfranchised youth to copy, distribute and share his revolutionary music, Rodriguez would have been lost to us forever.
Searching For Sugar Man, to be released worldwide on October 4th 2012, is a film which tells the astonishing tale of two South African fans who, despite tales of onstage suicide and untimely death, set out to discover the truth about their idol.
The soundtrack to this film is a collection of tracks from Rodriguez’ various recordings dating from 1970 to 1973.
Opening with the iconic Sugar Man, a lament for the free and uninhibited days of the 60s, the album rambles through a plethora of Dylanesque, revolutionary-style numbers. Unmissable tracks being ‘This Is Not A Song, ‘It’s an Outburst: Or The Establishment Blues’, ‘Sandrevan Lullaby’, and ‘Inner City Blues’.
If you haven’t heard Rodriguez, the lyrical content alone is enough to make this a worthy listen, and even if some of the songs are a little overdone musically (too much session-band, not enough purity) this is definitely an era-defining collection of music from a man who was once thought to be long dead and forgotten.