Tuesday, April 16, 2013


A treasure trove of rare funk – a massive package that not only includes the legendary Inspiration Information album by Shuggie Otis, but which also adds in four bonus tracks to that classic – plus a full other album of unreleased vintage work! Shuggie Otis is the son of Johnny Otis – the LA R&B maestro who was moving heavily into funk at the end of the 60s – and he has this tripped out, super-dope guitar style that he played to strong effect on Johnny's albums of the late 60s and early 70s, and on his first two solo albums, which were kind of bluesy in tone. But for Inspiration Information, he shocked the world by moving into a stripped-down mode that pairs his guitar with spare drum machine rhythms, flanged-out deeply soulful vocals, and one of the most laidback conceptions of funk you'll ever hear. The album's a landmark – one of those gems that's unlike anything else you can think of, but which will redefine your concept of what you want in a record for years to come. Every track's a winner – and the whole thing's a perfectly unified batch of tunes that includes instant classics like "Inspiration Information", "Island Letter", "Aht Uh Mi Hed", "XL 30", and "Rainy Day" – plus unreleased bonus tracks "Miss Pretty", "Magic", "Things We Like To Do", and "Castle Top Jam".

Then – as if that's not enough – the set features incredible rare material from Shuggie – 14 more tracks as the Wings Of Love album, mostly recorded in the late 70s post-Inspiration years, plus a few tracks from later vintage too! The sound is great – the kind of extra bits we've been wanting to hear from Otis for many many years – finally unleashed from the vaults, and showing a style that really echoes the groove that others had copied from him – like The Brothers Johnson and some later contemporaries. There's plenty of great lost nuggets on Wings – and titles include "Trying To Get Close To You", "Give Me Something Good", "Wings Of Love", "Give Me A Chance", "Fireball Of Love", "Fawn", "If You'd Be Mine", "Black Belt Sheriff", and "Destination You". ~ Dusty Groove

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