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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shugster's apprenticeship, 26 July 2005
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here Comes Shuggie Otis / Freedom Flight (Audio CD)
Most of the elements that make Inspiration Information so fabulous are to be found brewing here. 'Oxford Gray' is the ambitious, sprawling epic instrumental that opens Here Comes Shuggie, and a sign that Otis' mind was a bubbling cauldron of musical ideas. Truly a prodigy, the musicianship is excellent, even his voice is already in place, and he started work on the first album aged 15!
'Bootie Cooler', 'Gospel Groove', 'Funky Thithee' and 'The Hawks' are funky/bluesy workouts very much like Johnny Otis' (his father) music, while 'Hurricane's', good groover, hints at 'Ice Cold Daydream'. 'Shuggie's Boogie' even has the Shugster telling of his apprenticeship: how he copped all the blues licks, and had to wear shades and a pencilled-on 'tache to get into the bars to play his father's gigs!
The early songs ('Jenny Lee', 'Knowing (That You Want Him)', and 'Baby, I Needed You)', are mellow Pop with a slightly flower-power vibe, but they're not classics.
Freedom Flight is a far more mature work, and Shuggie was still only 17/18! By this stage his vibe had become more personal (his Dad's fingerprints are all over the previous album), and his sound more homogenous and focused. This is a five star album, with no bad tracks on it.
'Ice Cold Daydream' kicks the album off with bags of energy on a tight jittery riff. 'Strawberry Letter' is of course a bona fide Classic, and more raw and earthy on the original than the Bros. Johnson version. 'Sweet Thang' revisit's Dad's vibe.
'Me and My Woman' may be one of the weaker songs here, but it's a damn funky nugget nonetheless. Even the hackneyed lyric ("monday this, tuesday that" etc) is lifted by the bittersweet evocation of the stormy relationship conundrum. 'Someone's Always Singing' is the most dated sounding piece, with it's tie-dye vibe, but it's still very good.
'Purple' is a gentle 6/8 instrumental blues vehicle for Shuggie's soulful 6-string explorations. The second album ends on the shimmering Hendrix/Coltrane-esque 'Freedom Flight', where the band in general, and young Otis in particular show off their chops in an epic yet soulful semi-psychedlic exploration perfectly embodying the tune's title.
Inspiration Information is that genuine thing, a "lost classic", Freedom Flight is as near as he got before that, while Here Comes Shuggie Otis is a more mixed affair. Still, these two albums are definitely worth having, and the best moments are truly superb.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shugster's apprenticeship, 26 July 2005
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Here Comes Shuggie Otis / Freedom Flight (Audio CD)
Most of the elements that make Inspiration Information so fabulous are to be found brewing here. 'Oxford Gray' is the ambitious, sprawling epic instrumental that opens Here Comes Shuggie, and a sign that Otis' mind was a bubbling cauldron of musical ideas. Truly a prodigy, the musicianship is excellent, even his voice is already in place, and he started work on the first album aged 15!
'Bootie Cooler', 'Gospel Groove', 'Funky Thithee' and 'The Hawks' are funky/bluesy workouts very much like Johnny Otis' (his father) music, while 'Hurricane's', good groover, hints at 'Ice Cold Daydream'. 'Shuggie's Boogie' even has the Shugster telling of his apprenticeship: how he copped all the blues licks, and had to wear shades and a pencilled-on 'tache to get into the bars to play his father's gigs!
The early songs ('Jenny Lee', 'Knowing (That You Want Him)', and 'Baby, I Needed You)', are mellow Pop with a slightly flower-power vibe, but they're not classics.
Freedom Flight is a far more mature work, and Shuggie was still only 17/18! By this stage his vibe had become more personal (his Dad's fingerprints are all over the previous album), and his sound more homogenous and focused. This is a five star album, with no bad tracks on it.
'Ice Cold Daydream' kicks the album off with bags of energy on a tight jittery riff. 'Strawberry Letter' is of course a bona fide Classic, and more raw and earthy on the original than the Bros. Johnson version. 'Sweet Thang' revisit's Dad's vibe.
'Me and My Woman' may be one of the weaker songs here, but it's a damn funky nugget nonetheless. Even the hackneyed lyric ("monday this, tuesday that" etc) is lifted by the bittersweet evocation of a stormy relationship. 'Someone's Always Singing' is the most dated sounding piece, with it's tie-dye vibe, but it's still good.
'Purple' is a gentle 6/8 instrumental blues vehicle for Shuggie's soulful 6-string explorations. The second album ends on the shimmering Hendrix/Coltrane-esque 'Freedom Flight', where the band in general, and young Otis in particular show off their chops in an epic yet soulful semi-psychedlic exploration perfectly embodying the tune's title.
Inspiration Information is that genuinely rare thing, a "lost classic", Freedom Flight is as near as he got before that, while Here Comes Shuggie Otis is a more mixed affair. Still, these two albums are definitely worth having, and the best moments are truly superb. Thanks to Raven!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction, 17 Jun 2013
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I bought this LP (excellent condition too) to replace a badly warped original vinyl copy that had been stored in my loft. An fantastic record, followed by Freedom Flight, equally good. Both these albums contain more bluesy, rawer sounding music, as well as solulful funk which, to my ears is preferable to Inspiration Information (I seem to disagree with many other people on this though). The opening track to Here Comes Shuggie Otis (Oxford Gray) is a very good showcase for his early talent. He is touring soon, a bit older as we all are and I already have a ticket to see him in July
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNIQUE!, 24 July 2006
By 
Anthony Duckmanton "Soul Man" (essex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here Comes Shuggie Otis / Freedom Flight (Audio CD)
many years ago an acquaintance of mine introduced me to the name shuggie otis and he told me to buy anything and everything with his name on. suffice to say i did just that and boy am i glad that i did! what a man and what a genius and he was still a teenager when this was recorded. this man deserves recognition. GO BUY!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had forgotten how good this was !, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: Here Comes Shuggie Otis (Audio CD)
Had it on vinyl years ago, what a talent for a 15 year old . . . don't hesitate, buy it and enjoy !
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Here Comes Shuggie Otis / Freedom Flight
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