Music Box, Billboard Charts Albums at Odimusic
Release Info: RODRIGUEZ - COLD FACT (SUSSEX 1970)
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (also known as Rodriguez or as Jesus Rodriguez) is a US folk musician, born in Detroit, Michigan on the 10th of July 1942. He was named 'Sixto' because he was the sixth child in his family. Rodriguez's parents were middle-class immigrants from Mexico, who left in the 1920s. In most of his songs he takes a political stance on the cruelties facing the inner-city poor. In 1967 (under the name Rod Riguez) he released the single ‘’I'll Slip Away’’ though the small label ‘Impact’. He didn’t produce anything for another three years until he was signed to Sussex Records; an offshoot of the Buddah label. It was after the move to Sussex he changed his professional name to just Rodriguez. Rodriguez recorded two albums with Sussex - "Cold Fact", in 1970, and "Coming to Reality" in 1971. But after mixed reviews and low album sales he was later dropped from the label, which would later fold in 1975.
It s 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 . 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. 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. Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer, says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues. But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez s more idiosyncratic behavior, 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, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma not even the label knew where to find him and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumors said he d died of a heroin overdose or burned to death on stage. But the tide began to turn in 1996, when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, Rodriguez has received not so much as a Rand in royalties), and embarked on a triumphant South African tour followed, filling 5,000 capacity venues across the country. 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. The DJ discovered the album in a New York record store, and included it on his Come Get It, I Got It compilation...Here