As if it’s not enough of a disappointment to have me back after three solid weeks of excellent Wednesday Music Posts, y’all are getting the short version this week – a simple recommendation.
Shuggie Otis was a musical prodigy. You can read about him here.
Highly RIYL: Marvin, Curtis, Stevie, Sly, or Prince.
His 1974 album Inspiration Information has just been reissued again. It’s full of gentle, jazzy, mildly-psychedelic soul/R&B, and it is one of my favorite albums to listen to when puttering around the house on a Sunday morning.
(Though I think it will do just fine for a Wednesday too.)
You might know one of Shuggie’s songs, because a 1977 cover of it by The Brothers Johnson reached #1 R&B and #5 Pop on Billboard’s charts:
The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23 (Shuggie Otis cover)
Dat bass is boss, but I prefer the original. Less carnal thump, more wistful longing:
Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23
A multi-instrumentalist one-man-band in a Prince-prefiguring way, Shuggie was even playing around with early drum machines (and creatively-mangled spellings):
Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed
Shuggie Otis – Island Letter
Shuggie Otis – Freedom Flight (10-minute edit)
If you are thinking that was some impressive guitar playing and composition in that last one, keep in mind that Shuggie was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD when he wrote and played many of the instruments on it.
What’s your favorite Sunday-morning-happily-relaxing music?
Going to see him in October.
AND now I am jealous, you lucky person you.
Did you get this most recent reissue (I didn’t, because I already have the 2001 reissue and a copy of the original album)? It comes with a second disc of stuff recorded after Inspiration, when he basically dropped out of the industry, from 1975 to 2000. Is it worth getting? I wish I could just buy the second disc for 1/2 the price. I checked and it would cost me more to download just the songs on Disc 2, than it would to buy the whole dang thing over again (the 2xCD is about $12 on Amazon rt now).
It wouldn’t be the *first* album that I have bought three times, but it still rankles.
On a Sunday, I am usually all over the place. But, here is one of my favorites.
Nothing like Shuggie, but Bootsie was on the original recording.
Crap, that’s really not a very good version.
Anyway, check out the Golden Palominos “This is how it feels” in my opinion one of the best albums of the mid nineties. Bootsie and Bill Laswell on one album, based on a Graham Greene novel.
I will, thanks! I had totally forgotten all about those guys. I used to have this one, but not sure what happened to it along the way:
sunday morning is ideally an early 80s ambient eno kind of day, quiet, maybe some sandalwood and some tai chi.
i have not had an ideal sunday morning in a very, very, very long time.
Preach it, brother. The Terrors get up early…and whether they are in a good mood or no, there will be little puttering; food must be procured stat.
“Best hangover music” could be its own thread too. I used to go with Luna – enough of a pulse to get you out of bed and moving, gentle enough not to exacerbate the pain.
Also, I know you are not an LCD fan (to put it mildly), but did you even like his Eno…let’s call it a “tribute”?:
it’s funny, if eno isn’t noodling, i’m simply not interested. roxy music? pass. all those talking headsy sounding things? pass. i’ll give here come the warm jets a pass simply because that guitar sound is so wacky cool.
hell, i even kinda like his stuff with fripp and i actually have to carry an epi pen whenever i’m around prog rock.
I have tried to get into earlier Roxy Music (I like Ferry’s solo stuff, and Avalon) but so far have not had much luck.
But that LCD track sounds so much like ambient Eno, I briefly thought it was a cover.
the vocals are very eno-ish.
the thing about eno is so that as long as he stays far away from any actual rock trappings, i will probably enjoy it. i thought small craft on a milk sea was enjoyable, though a bit too well crafted and polished.
I read these sentences and I say to myself “this man has never had a hangover”.
Which would make him, among other reasons, smarter than me.
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