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4.8 out of 5 stars13
4.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2007
This is an amazing album - a funky mellow jazzy masterpiece, with some rock influences thrown in. Listening to it well over 30 years since it was produced you can hear just how influential he has been, and how far ahead of his time he was.

Included here are 4 tracks from his earlier album, Freedom Flight (1971) and this makes the package an essential (if it wasn't anyway). If you like Sly, Isaac, Curtis, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, the Isleys, mid 70's Marvin Gaye, etc etc you will not be disappointed by this - so buy this - NOW
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on 17 March 2007
I am so lucky that I found this record. About six years ago this record was remastered and re-released. At that time I read a couple of favourable magazine reviews, came across the CD quite by chance in my local independant record store, (remember those?) and on a whim purchased it. I don't usually buy things without having a listen but I am so glad that on this occasion I did.

Shuggie was a true genius, a visionary who locked himself in the studio for months, reluctant to meet with record company executives who would visit from time to time to see how their money was being spent, sending out for horn and string sections to play his lush arrangements when required, and gradually piecing together almost single-handedly this beautiful record.

I won't go into individual discriptions of tracks because that's boring, and let's be honest; how can you have great music described to you? You have to hear it for yourself. Buy this album. You NEED it, you just don't know it yet.
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on 23 September 2005
Prodigious talent Shuggie Otis was churning this stuff out as a one man box of tricks, programming, playing most things and composing and scoring all of the orchestral arrangements. What you get is concise, funky, soulful, fully realised ideas that take inspiration from Sly & the family Stone but pushed into the future. There are times where he is pushing the envelope on this album, some would say towards completely new genres. A must for any respectable record collection.
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on 30 July 2005
Ahhh just buy it trust me!! It has the original and much superior version of Strawbery Letter 23 it has some great rhodes work in it and pioneering use of the drum machine. Funky chilled out summer goodness all written and mostly performed by the teenage Shuggie who at 14 or 15 was hired by the great Zappa to play bass on 'Peaches En Regalia' so he has to be good. BUY IT NOW YOU FOOL!
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on 21 April 2001
Half the album (plus Strawberry Letter 23, one of three inclusions from '71's Freedom Flight) is marvellous psychedelic soul - half Stevie Wonder, half Arthur Lee, or like Sly Stone if he'd made it into the '70s with optimism intact. Factor in jazzy bubblebath ambience, primitive electronica and opulent funk, and this is a bona fide lost classic.
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on 10 March 2002
To all you neo-soul lovers feenin' for ol' skool soul classics, I'd say don't sleep on this gem. I put it up there, with the best of Stevie, Marvin and Donny. It's that good and different. Much of the album has a mellow Sly & Family Stone thing going on, while the last three songs (from a previous album)have a Hendrix/bluesy undertone. Personal favourites are Island Letter and Aht Uh Mi Hed. All round exquiste vocals and musicianship.
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on 20 October 2008
I cannot actually believe Shuggie Otis was not bigger, I recently started listening to him and my god, anyone who doesn't hear this album is seriously missing out. Listen to Strawberry Letter 23 and you'll be in absolute awe of him, obviously the rest is amazing but it's fantastic. Great funk, jazzy, proper R&B music, not modern ****. If you don't buy, consider rethinking your life.
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on 14 April 2003
Like it was recorded tomorrow, this bona fide classic by Shuggie Otis is an album you must own. It was the template for Prince/Formerly and still sounds like Prince's great leap forward. It says everything modern soul has now said and more. It's quirker and sweeter than Badly Drawn et al. It's not an album apart, but one outside of time. Brilliance.
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on 6 February 2015
bought this on a recommendation.quite good but not as good as i expected it to be.one or two really good tracks but overall wasnt crazy about it.
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on 8 February 2015
Awesome album - especially Strawberry Letter 23 - which is why I bought it in the first place. Fortuitously, the rest of the album is excellent!
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