One of the lost classics of the '60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion, and, of course, "jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane"
It was the real deal, he was compared to Dylan, Billboard gave the album 4 stars and then it sunk without trace. The album is Cold Fact, and what's more intriguing is that its maker - a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez - was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working on a Detroit building site, unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit, Michigan. He recorded Cold Fact - his debut album - in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It's crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late '60s inner-city America. but the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez's more idiosyncratic behaviour, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez's legend was growing - on the other side of the world. In South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success. Rodriguez was still largely unknown in the northern hemisphere until 2002, when Sugar Man, the album's extra-terrestrially wonderful lead track, was picked up by David Holmes.
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