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Rodriguez (70s): Coming from Reality [Digipak]

Track List

>Climb Up on My Music
>Most Disgusting Song, A
>I Think of You
>Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour
>Silver Words?
>Sandrevan Lullaby - Lifestyles
>To Whom It May Concern
>It Started Out So Nice
>Halfway Up the Stairs
>Can't Get Away
>Street Boy
>I'll Slip Away

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Digitally remastered and expanded reissue of his 1971 album. Coming From Reality is another treat for fans new and old, designed as Rodriguez's vision of a perfect Pop album. Coming From Reality found Rodriguez decamping from Detroit to London's Lansdowne Studios, where the album was recorded with some of the UK's top talent including Chris Spedding and producer Steve Rowland), who recalls Coming From Reality as his all time favorite recording project. The reissue also includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks recorded in Detroit in 1972 with Cold Fact collaborators Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey, representing the last thing the trio ever did together. 13 tracks.

Album Reviews:

Spin (p.92) - "Alongside his odd, streetwise talking blues are string-laden ballads that recall Van Morrison's ASTRAL WEEKS."

Blender (Magazine) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "COMING FROM REALITY is a mix of ride-my-rainbow trippiness and laid-back sensitive-maleness fueled by rage rather than good vibes."

Pitchfork (Website) - "Opener 'Climb Up on My Music' is a mellow, organ-heavy Steppenwolf/Santana jam with a screaming guitar riff..."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.138) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he likes of 'I Think Of You' and 'Two Whom It May Concern' should find favour with any fans of Love or Tim Buckley."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Rodriguez's distinctive psych-folk points of reference range from Bob Dylan and Donovan to Arthur Lee and a more street-level take on Jose Feliciano."

Album Notes

Personnel: Los Rodriguez (vocals, acoustic guitar); Chris Spedding (guitar); Jimmy Horowitz (violin); Phil Dennys (keyboards); Gary Taylor (bass instrument); Andrew Steele (drums); Tony Carr (percussion).

Audio Remasterer: Dave Cooley.

Recording information: GM Recording Studios, East Detroit, MI (1970-1973); Lansdowne Recording Studios, London, England (1970-1973).

Illustrator: Hal Wilson.

Arrangers: Dennis Coffey; Jimmy Horowitz; Mike Theodore; Phil Dennys.

Recorded in 1971 as the second chapter in this legendarily under-the-radar Detroit bard's career, COMING FROM REALITY reads like the coda to a hippie dream the singer never got to have. Dylan, Donovan, and the Beatles remain the primary influences here, but the vision and approach is all his own: images are simultaneously psychedelic and stark, lyrical themes both sociopolitical and inner, and arrangements both embroidered and hard-hitting. Much like that of FOREVER CHANGES-era Arthur Lee, the "reality" of this title encompasses both a vivid romantic's sense of heaven and a nihilist's sense of hell.

The gentle suite "Sandrevan Lullaby-Lifestyles" finds nightmarish poetics ("The generals hate holidays/Others shoot-up to chase the sun blues away/Another store-front church is open") framed by rich strings while "It Started Out So Nice" repeats the same trick with sci-fi overtones. COMING FROM REALITY's emotional centerpiece happens with "A Most Disgusting Song"--a talking-blues/country tune based on the Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon"--that chronicles in indelible detail a gig at a dive full of seriously hung-up characters and plays like an absurdist fusion of Dylan's "Desolation Row" and Billy Joel's "Piano Man." Disturbing stuff but, all told, an album as unexpected and essential as COLD FACT.


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