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on 17 December 2012
I went to see Sixto Rodriquez in Bristol on the 1st December and bought his CDs afterwards. I saw him due to all the hype I'd read about the documentary Searching for Sugarman, had seen him on Later With Jools and also because I love the Bristol band that were supporting him during all his UK tour dates; Phantom Limb.

I wasn't expecting much, knowing that his CDs were recorded in 1970 and 1971 and I don't think there is much music from that era that stands up that well now - apart from the absolute greats e.g. Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, Pink Floyd, Dylan, Fleetwood Mac. However, all the songs were instantly memorable and I'd only heard Sugarman before the gig. His voice was much better than it was on Later With Jools and indeed his voice is really distinctive - in a good way. He sounds like a cross between, Donovan, Rod Argent, Nick Drake and Dylan (but better tone than Dylan). The audience were very responsive, knew all his lyrics and welcomed him as the long-lost hero he surely is. They particularly went mad for Sugarman, Climb Upon My Music, I Think of You (just lovely - beautifully poignant lyrics and melody), Inner City Blues, I Wonder and To Whom It May Concern, but most of all the other numbers were given a standing ovation too. The support he got from Phantom Limb was amazing - you would think they had played back-up to him for years. They really deserve a big break too. Yolanda Quartey's voice is HUGE, she'd blow Aretha out. I think Elbow was the last gig when I came out on a similar high and where the audience reaction was so voluble.

Some of the lyrics are those of that time and I think they might sometimes be "American-specific", but they have a poetic kind of beauty. I've come across descriptions of his work as "psychedelic", which I find odd. To me his music is in the folk-rock/singer-songwriter genre. The majority of his songs have really beautiful melodies too. My iPod is constantly playing his stuff and am never bored. I have pre-ordered the Searching for Sugarman DVD but am gutted that it isn't out before Xmas - that must rank as the biggest marketing faux-pas in many a year - missing out on the Xmas market. No doubt now Rodriguez is becoming a legend, he will get the worldwide recognition that he so thoroughly deserves. A real fairy tale/Cinderella story to warm your heart and just shows you should never give up! I'd recommend that you buy both albums, as both are equally good.
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on 4 January 2016
There is a reason why this album has some many reviews. There is a very good reason why this album has such high rates.

Before spring 2014 I hadn't heard about this special folk-singersongwriter. It was my youngest brother who let my listen to two songs of Rodriguez. He also told me about a certain wonderful excellent documentary.

I don't know why, but it took me a few months to actually see the documentary. As a lover of singer songwriter music I was hooked. Very quickly I bought the two Rodriguez records. And the only thing I have regret is that I didn't bought them earlier. "Cold Fact" is a clear, good folk-singersongwriter album. Fine guitarplaying, good voice, good lyrics, well produced music: the bass loop in "I wonder", the rather intence "crucify your mind" and the other subtle songs, It just makes me wonder why this record wasn't a succes at the time.
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on 1 June 2014
After watching the Searching For on terrestrial tv for the first time I have to admit, to my great shame, that I had never even heard of Rodriguez. And I guess that there is the conundrum. WHY did this guy never make it bigtime.
A very humble guy, even in his resurgence, who just wrote some of the best songs you will ever hear.Far superior vocally than Dylan, and yet who wrote heart wrenching songs on life and the darker side of it . Rodriguez wrote about life as he knew it and experienced it, ergo making the songs all the more poignant.
It would seem that there was a lot going on during this time,70/71, external factors and corporate greed that ultimately dashed any prospects of worldwide recognition of his talent.He did sell a substantial ammount of albums in South Africa and Australia and yet he made nothing off the back of it.
In this day and age whereby a tv show can make squillions for an average at best singer or band it is a tragedy when a TRUE talent like Rodriguez can go unnoticed and relatively unrewarded for so long.
Newcomers take note, as I did, watch the documentary, get caught up in the myth which even the best script writer couldn't have wrote, be humbled by the man, but more so, get hooked on this fabulous music.
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on 26 September 2014
Watch the film " Searching for Sugarman" and like me you will hit the laptop keys and get this album. I had known of this guy and had dismissed the album based on what I heard on the 20 second samples through the laptop speakers. BIG MISTAKE. You cannot judge any musicians talent on such "tinny output with no bass. The poetry contained in each of the songs is extraordinary, his ability to convey the events of life back then [ the 60's and 70's ] is so touching and yet quite harsh on the reality front. His refusal to exploit the riches that his recent rebirth in popularity in the West have brought, he gives most of the Royalties away to help others. Absolute favourite track is " I Wonder " this would, should he ever call into Glastonbury, become the greatest anthem of them all. Compared to Bob Dylan, ........ not fair on Dylan as Rodriguez does not write pretty stuff, just hard reality, but beautifully, intelligently and so good. Just FACT.
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on 23 May 2013
Having seen the film "Sugarman" and of course been influenced by the cinematic sound system, I rushed to buy both Rodriguez's albums but without success. Sold out. Amazon to the rescue. I didn't buy the albums when I was a student in the 1970's probably because the hi fi on which I first heard the albums on was too primitive. Rodriguez could have been another Neil Young had he been less humble but he definately taught everyone a lesson in humbleness. This is a classic album. He worked in Detroit and played in dives. It was said he committed suicide (died in a fire) but some South African music enthusiasts thought otherwise and tracked him down to his home town. He was known in Australia too. Could have been a surfer.
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on 26 July 2013
Like many, I was introduced to Rodriguez through "Searching for the Sugerman". I was totally sold on the music after watching the film and ordered both his albums.

I like them both but Cold Fact is my favourite.

It is certainly a sound of the era but equally it survives the test of time. Other than some use of instruments that were a fad when it recorded, it would be quite hard to place when it was produced if you didn't know.

There quality of the audio is surprisingly good. It is a very very clean sound.

The lyrics aren't cheerful or remotely PC but quite poetic and easy to comprehend.

My music taste are broad and often not quite to the family's liking but both my wife and my son also enjoy this. It is poetic, tuneful, restful, witty and distinctive.
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on 20 July 2015
Classic album and one everyone had when I was at university. Replaced my worn out cd with a brand new vinyl copy and happily revisited all the great songs again. Maybe because he limited his output so severely, he was able to only write good songs but there is not a dud song on this album. Saw him live two years ago and although infirm he sounded as good as ever unlike many other ageing singers resting on their laurels!
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on 27 April 2018
Great album. Great songwriter. Easy to listen too, very Bob Dylan in places. Rodriguez deserved to do much better than he actually did in the music industry.
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on 27 August 2013
This guy has had a hard life.

When "Cold fact" was made he was in a great musical place, then he recorded a second album soon after which of what i've heard is also great.

But unfortunately they both flopped.... or so he thought!!!! they flopped in the states but became a key part of the soul revolution in South Africa..

I dont know much about South African politics, but this boy was bigger than elvis. It was only in 1997 when he found out and the South African nation found out he was still alive.

Such an heart wrenching and unbelievable story, this is truly a unique and beautiful part of music history.
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on 8 March 2013
This is a fantastic album with songs that you find yourself humming - and observant, cleverly put together lyrics. My boyfriend has complained about the quality of the recording when he listens to the album through high quality headphones, but it is fine in the car or when played through the computer/speaker. I tend to think that this is the type of music that was made to be played 'out and about' or with some background noise as it appears to have been 'born of the city and the people'.
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