Rodriguez: Cold Fact

It’s easy to like just about everything the wonderfully eclectic Light in the Attic puts out. But when someone there told me about the label’s latest reissue, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact, and that one of the tracks had been chopped up and sampled on Nas’ You’re Da Man … well, then, you had me at hello.

Now, I can’t stop listening to Cold Fact, what Light in the Attic is calling “one of the lost classics of the ’60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion.” In truth, it’s hard to write anything more colorful than Rodriguez’s own bio.

In short: After Rodriguez dropped out of sight – rumored to be dead – Cold Fact became a cult classic among South African armed forces. Read all the details for yourself.

The album is peppered with shades of Dylan’s anti-establishment tones, appropriate for its original release date of 1970. Meanwhile, Sugar Man, the leadoff track and the aforementioned sampled song by Large Professor for Nas, is like Rodriguez’s hazy answer to Curts Mayfield’s Pusherman.

There’s also some truly great lyrical gems in there: “And don’t try to enchant me with your manner of dress, ’cause a monkey in silk is a monkey no less,” on the Byrds-esque Like Janis. “Soon you know I’ll leave you / And I’ll never look behind / ’cause I was born for the purpose / that crucifies your mind,” on my personal favorite Crucify Your Mind.

The reissue on Light in the Attic, which was mastered from the original tapes, comes out Aug. 19 (pre-order here). A deluxe LP package ($15) includes 180-gram vinyl, a bonus 45 and 50 of the 1,000 LPs will include a signed poster by Rodriguez (guess that means he’s not dead). Order that right here.

  • Rodriguez | Sugar Man

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