Everything You Need to Know About Sixto Rodriguez's Coming from Reality Album
If you are a fan of Sixto Rodriguez, the enigmatic singer-songwriter who rose to fame in South Africa while remaining obscure in his native USA, you might be interested in his second and final album, Coming from Reality. This album was originally released in 1971 by Sussex Records, but it was soon discontinued and became a rare collector's item. However, thanks to the resurgence of interest in Rodriguez's music after the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, the album was reissued in 2009 by Light In The Attic Records, with three bonus tracks that were recorded in Detroit in 1972-1973.
In this article, we will explore the background, themes, and songs of Coming from Reality, and show you how you can download it as a zip file for your convenience.
The Background of Coming from Reality
After the commercial failure of his debut album Cold Fact, Rodriguez was invited by producer Steve Rowland to record a second album in London. Rowland had heard Cold Fact and was impressed by Rodriguez's unique style and lyrics. He hired session musicians like renowned guitarist Chris Spedding to back up Rodriguez on the new album.
Coming from Reality was recorded at Lansdowne Studios in London in May 1970. The album featured more orchestral arrangements than Cold Fact, giving it a richer and more polished sound. However, Rodriguez's distinctive voice and poetic lyrics remained the focal point of the album.
The album was released in November 1971, but it failed to make any impact on the charts or the critics. Sussex Records soon dropped Rodriguez from their roster, and he returned to Detroit to work as a manual laborer. He also recorded three more songs with his original producers Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey, but they were not released until 2009.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Rodriguez, his music had found a huge audience in South Africa, where it became a soundtrack for the anti-apartheid movement. His albums were bootlegged and circulated among the youth, who were inspired by his rebellious and socially conscious lyrics. Rodriguez became a cult hero in South Africa, but he was unaware of his fame until decades later.
In 1976, Sussex Records re-released Coming from Reality in South Africa under the title After the Fact. The album sold well there, but it remained out of print elsewhere until 2009, when Light In The Attic Records reissued it along with Cold Fact and the documentary soundtrack Searching for Sugar Man.
The Themes and Songs of Coming from Reality
Coming from Reality is an album that reflects Rodriguez's personal and artistic vision. It is a collection of songs that deal with topics such as love, loneliness, alienation, social injustice, and existentialism. The album showcases Rodriguez's lyrical skills and musical diversity, ranging from folk-rock to soul to blues.
Some of the highlights of the album are:
Climb Up on My Music: The opening track is an upbeat invitation to join Rodriguez on his musical journey. It features a catchy chorus and a guitar solo by Spedding.
A Most Disgusting Song: A humorous and sarcastic song that describes the various characters that Rodriguez encountered in his gigs at bars and clubs. It also reveals his disdain for the music industry and its superficiality.
I Think of You: A tender and romantic ballad that expresses Rodriguez's longing for his lover. It features a beautiful string arrangement by Jimmy Horowitz.
Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour: A song that recounts a real-life incident when Rodriguez and his friends took a bus tour to Grosse Pointe, an affluent suburb of Detroit, to retaliate against the rich people who often came to mock the hippies in the inner city.
Sandrevan Lullaby - Lifestyles: A two-part song that contrasts the peaceful life of Rodriguez's brother Sandrevan, who was a soldier in Vietnam, with the chaotic and violent life of America at the time. It features a haunting melody and a spoken aa16f39245