Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Cold Fact

It is quite unfortunate, but music doesn't have the same effect on me as it used to. Even though great albums come and go, they never seem to stir the same emotions as they did in the past, like when I heard The Smiths for the first time. Or when I took a risk with The Stone Roses and was absolutely blown away. Or the feeling of hearing opening track The everlasting from This is my truth tell me yours for the first time (when I borrowed it off Pete). Music was really exciting back in those days; I didn't have anywhere near as many CDs as I have now, and it felt like there was so much to discover. The possibilities were endless.

Every now and then an album comes along which takes me back to those days where music truly felt exciting. Cold Fact is one such album. When listening to this album for the first time, it felt like I had discovered the holy grail. It's a real paradox of an album. It feels simultaneously of its time and timeless. It feels like the album you have known your whole life, yet at the same time you know you have never heard.

Sixto Rodriguez (who generally performed by his surname only) has created a vibe on this album that is hard to describe but easy to love. His vocals are haunting, his lyrics are surreal, his music is so early 70's but it has aged so well. He sounds like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen's more accessible cousin.

But even those descriptions can't do this album justice, it truly is something you need to hear for yourself. Like so many great albums, it's the intangible quality to this music that makes it so good. There's the reverb-soaked fadeout at the end of Sugar man. The way that he can make songs like Crucify your mind and Inner city blues sound so bloody cool despite the fact that the music can almost be considered cheesy. The urge you get to press play again after the final bars of Like Janis fade out. The little cracks and pops from the vinyl to CD transfer which just add to the charm of this magnificent work.

I can't throw enough superlatives at this album. It's an album which needs to be experienced, cherished and loved. It deserves the coveted title of lost classic. In a perfect world, this album would have been as big as any of the Beatles' albums. It would be in more homes than Dark side of the moon. But in a way, being so unknown makes it even more exciting.

If this review has in any way made you curious to hear this undiscovered gem, head down to your local JB Hi Fi (if you are located in Australia) and pick this album up. You can get it for $12.99, and I have even seen it for as low as $9.99. I'll even give you the Jiggy Money Back Guarantee (TM)*.

And if you love this album, please reply to this post and comment on it. Nothing would make me feel better than knowing that I have added this album to your CD collection.

* Album must be purchased prior to 18th October 2005 for this to be honoured


  1. sounds interesting - where did u hear about this rodriguez fella?

  2. Dunno, I think my brother (who coincedentally has the same name as you Danny) got me into him.

    From memory he purchased Cold Fact after The Fauves covered Rich folks hoax at one of their gigs.

    I gave a few spins of his CD, then listened to it a few times, and decided I needed to get it myself.

    I did purchase it, and the rest, as they say in the classics, is history.

  3. I must agree with your comments on Rodrigeuz -- great album just waiting to be discovered. Not unlike a Hispanic American Nick Drake. Crucify your mind in particular is a choice cut, with Sugarman not too far behind.
    I can understand what you mean when you say that music doesn't have that same magic anymore, but I think a lot of it comes down to age. Listening to the Smiths, for example, when you're going through your own 18-year-old melodramas, and generally discovering life, is bound to leave a greater impression than hearing it, for example, when you're a bit more settled in life. I think too that we tend to romanticise that part of our life a bit much, and it may be that your memory of the music's effect at this time is a bit clouded... but then again, I agree, it ain't what it used to be.


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