Bonus Tracks on 2009 re-issue:
Recording sessions for Coming From Reality were held over 3 weeks at Lansdowne Studios in London during mid-to-late 1970.
We spent 30 wonderful days recording the Reality album. We stayed in Belgravia, London.Rodriguez, 1997
In November 1971 this album was released in the USA by Sussex, distributed by Buddah with catalogue number SXBS 7012. It sank without a trace!
Billboard review November 6, 1971
Special Merit Picks
With almost any kind of break, Sussex records could make it two in a row and become contenders for the "breaking new artists" honors. Rodriguez, who at times sounds a bit like Jose Feliciano, could follow Bill Withers in this respect. Best cut here is "To Whom It May Concern," which definitely deserves airplay. "Cause" and "Climb Up On My Music" are also recommended for airplay.
'COMING FROM REALITY'
in Cash Box Ad
December 30, 1971
Cash Box Review
January 1, 1972:
This is the second LP from a man and a voice who is a pleasantly original amalgam of José Feliciano, Donovan and Cat Stevens. There's something for everyone here. Two MOR efforts in "I Think Of You" and "To Whom It May Concern"; a "Season Of The Witch"-ish "Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour" and a long FM narrative in "A Most Disgusting Song." Remaining numbers touch all the beautiful boundaries in between. Programmers of every classification should find something their listeners can get into here are the singer/songwriter with receive wide attention through these efforts.
In 1972 this album was released in South Africa by A&M Records, Sussex (SXBS 7012). United Artists S.A. / SXBS 8137 [side 1] and SXBS8138 [side 2] also appear on actual disc. AMLS 67012 also appears (slightly obscured) on top-left corner of front cover. An Australian release appeared in 1972 with catalogue number ASL 34,778 (also SMX41475).
The Coming From Reality LP was released in Australia on A&M in 1972 ASL-34,778Peter Millen, October 2012
The classic album Cold Fact was extremely successful in 1974 in South Africa, so in 1976 Coming From Reality was re-titled After The Fact and released on Sussex with catalogue number SXBS 7014.
January 1979 saw the Australian release of this album by Blue Goose Music. Catalogue numbers: MLF269 (LP)& MCF 7269 (Cassette). It reached #24 on the Australian album charts.
In April 1996 PolyGram South Africa released the CD with number MMTCD 1960. Read the sleeve notes for the full story.
In October 2002 PT Music South Africa re-released the CD with corrected lyrics and updated info, but the sound quality left a lot to be desired.
This album was remastered and re-released in September 2005, but for some reason the shorter edit of 'Sandrevan Lullaby - Lifelines' (see "comments" below) was used for this remastered release. Catalogue number: CDH DTA 7012.
Released, for the first time on CD in the USA, by Light In The Attic on 5th May 2009 with bonus tracks. Catalogue number LITA 038
Released in South Africa in December 2012 by Sony Music with catalogue nubmer CDSM553.
More information on releases at Discogs.
Back in 1971, Coming From Reality was Rodriguez's last gasp, the follow-up to Cold Fact and the final album he was allowed to record for the Sussex label. Unearthed, once again, by Light In The Attic Records, it's another treat for fans new and old, designed - at the time - as Rodriguez's vision of a perfect pop album.
Coming From Reality found Rodriguez decamping from Detroit to London's Lansdowne Studios, where the album was recorded with some of the UK's top talent including Chris Spedding (Sex Pistols, Dusty Springfield, Harry Nilsson) and producer Steve Rowland (The Pretty Things, PJ Proby and the man who discovered The Cure), who recalls Coming From Reality as his favourite ever recording project.
Highlights include the super-poppy "To Whom It May Concern", the "Rocky Raccoon"-inspired "A Most Disgusting Song" and period piece "Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour". The CD reissue also includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks recorded in Detroit in 1972 with Cold Fact collaborators Mike Theodore & Dennis Coffey, representing the last thing they ever did together.
Meanwhile, the Rodriguez story keeps gathering pace. A Swedish documentary company are working on a feature length documentary about the enigmatic performer's life and music, and Rodriguez is planning to bring his live show to the UK and Europe come Spring/Summer 2009, along with further North America touring.
"It's an extraordinary trip," says Rodriguez of his new lease on life. "It feels like Picasso, Monet. All these exciting new thoughts coming at me. It's global. I'm lucky to have this second chance. It's very real and totally unexpected."
Sixto Rodriguez, then. Still coming from reality, and bigger than ever before.
Recorded at Lansdowne recording studios, London, England late 1970, released in late 1971.
Arranged by Phil Dennys (tracks 3, 5, 7 & 9)
Arranged by Jimmy Horowitz (tracks 6, 8 &10)
Creative co-ordinator: Rainy M Moore
Album title: Rainy M Moore
Director of creative packaging and merchandising: Milton Sincoff
Photography & illustration: Hal Wilson
Impresario: Clarance Avant
Music & Lyrics: Rodriguez ©1971 Interior Music (BMI)
Produced by Steve Rowland
Engineer: John MacSwith
South African info:
All songs published by United Artists (SA).
Licensed to and distributed by RPM (Pty.) Ltd. under authorization of Sussex sound of success.
USA 2009 re-issue info:
All songs published by Interior Music (BMI).
Licensed courtesy of Hey Day Entertainment LLC.
Strings and additional musicicans unknown.
No musician credits appear on the original album covers, but in March 1998 Rodriguez supplied some info regarding the recording of this album and the session musicians involved. Requests to Lansdowne Studios for more info have fallen on deaf ears.
Chris Spedding was the guitarist responsible for the classic guitar solos. He is a well-respected session musician and solo artist, and played on Mike Batt's classic track "Ride To Agadir", amongst many others.
The bongos were played by Tony Carr (from Magna Carta and Donovan's band).
Keyboards were by Phil Dennys.
Violin on "Sandrevan Lullaby" was by Jimmy Horowitz.
All of the above artists (and others) appear on a 1972 album by Family Dogg titled "The View From Rowland's Head", so its possible that most members of The Family Dogg played on the Reality sessions. This album also includes a few covers of Rodriguez songs.
The timing is 6.35 on the original album (and the 2002 & 2009 re-issues) compared to 5.05 on the 1996 and 2005 CDs. The instrumental intro, a wonderful guitar/violin duet, is slightly longer on the LP version and is repeated again at the end. The violin is played by Jimmy Horowitz (on a Stradivarius, says Rodriguez).
...the musical part of "Sandrevan Lullaby" touches my heart (named after my sister Sandra and me)...Eva Rodriguez, 1997
Rehearsed for the South African tour on the afternoon of the 6th March 1998, at the Bellville Velodrome, but not performed.Brian Currin, 1998
My name is Weber and I'm impressed to find something about Rodriguez on the Net. I live in Brazil, where the song "I Think Of You" was a success. I didn't know that he's got other albums, I only got "Coming From Reality". Here in my place the music "I Think Of You" played several times on the radio stations in 1972 & 73. About that year I purchased the single "I Think Of You" / "To Whom It May Concern". The B-side played too on the radio. I got the LP "Coming From Reality" but I get this years after the single.Weber, Brazil, 29th June 1998
I Think Of You - 7SX-1008-AWeber, Brazil, 19th July 1998
To Whom It May Concern - 7SX-1008-B.
It was released here in Brazil in 1972 on A&M label.
If ever there is an air of intrigue and mystery around a pop artist, it is around the artist known as Rodriguez.
There is no air of intrigue and mystery around him anywhere else in the world (with the exception of Australia, Zimbabwe and New Zealand), because his two albums "Coming from Reality" (After the Fact) and "Cold Fact" were monumental flops everywhere else. However, South Africans took to Rodriguez like hot chewing gum to takkies, and his album "ColdFact" was stuck to turntables all around Southern Africa. It has mainstream appeal without being anywhere near mainstream in content. The songs were about hard drugs, disillusionment, misogyny and the depression of the inner city. But they were gems all the same. From the utterly stoned"Sugar Man" to the hard core cynicism of "I Wonder", the songs were blasted out in motels in Trompsburg, on secluded beaches on the south coast and in schools and varsities around the country. Housewives would iron to lines like "Jumpers, Coke and Sweet Mary Jane" and presumably think the song was about jerseys, Coca Cola and the cousin from Port Elizabeth. Whatever.
The album was definitely great. South Africans loved it, learned it, exported it, sang it in a thousand bars, told their friends overseas about it and those in exile would tape it from their friends in South Africa because they could never get it across the border and think of home. Soon after the success of "Cold Fact" the first (Brian's note: actually second) Rodriguez album "Coming From Reality" (already forgotten overseas) was found and released in South Africa as a follow up and was renamed "After The Fact". After being around for a while, it was deleted and promptly dropped off the edge of the world. At this stage, one could still find the odd rare copy of "The Best of Rodriguez", which mixed the best cuts of both albums with one or two unreleased tracks (actually 3) thrown in for good measure. For years there were mutterings about the "lost" Rodriguez album. It had been deleted so quickly that there were very few copies around. Then the rumours started. Just as a newer generation of South Africans were getting into Rodriguez, he was coming to tour S.A., then he had died of a heroin overdose, someone had seen him behind a counter of a deli in New York and chatted to him, he had murdered his woman and was in jail.
So a mystery was born and a mysterious lost album was sought after. Record shops started getting bombarded with requests for "After The Fact" from teenagers who weren't even born when "Cold Fact"was a hit. Word got around that Polygram couldn't release it because they had absolutely nothing. The masters were missing. They didn't even have a copy of the LP. There were no concrete cold facts about the artist known as Rodriguez. It is not known if he is even alive or dead. Any musicologist detectives out there?
To cut a long story short Mad Andy, Sugar Segerman, André Bakkes, Rob Allingham, Peter Pearlson (re-mastering) and Polygram S.A. had various parts to play in finding, acquiring, mastering and getting this CD into your collection.
So dig it, nobody else in the world knows it exists.
MAD ANDY AND SUGAR
RODRIGUEZ: After The Fact (Coming From Reality)
Back in the 70s, the album Cold Fact caught the imagination of South Africans living in cities, towns and dorps up and down the country, as it did in Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. In the rest of the world the album sank without trace.
It had mainstream appeal and huge dollops of cynicism - but without mainstream content.
The songs were about hard drugs, disillusionment, misogyny and inner-city depression.
Based on the success of Cold Fact, an earlier Rodriguez album (actually his second album), Coming From Reality, was released in South Africa under the title, After The Fact. After a fairly short time it was deleted by the record company and disappeared.
Even the fate of Rodriguez is unclear and no one seems sure what has happened to him.
Now, about two decades later, Polygram record company has managed to track down a master of the "missing album" and has released this as a CD.
-- Raymond Joseph
A new look, new sound Rodriguez
COMING FROM REALITY by Rodriguez. Blue Goose MLF269.
Quite a change from Rodriguez's first album Cold Fact. On Cold Fact Rodriguez sang bitter, disillusioned songs about slums, drug abuse and broken love affairs. Something in between the two albums obviously changed his point of view because Coming From Reality consists mainly of love songs. And not the cynical odes to past affairs of Cold Fact - these ones are full-blown,sentimental Paul McCartney-type love songs. And even the social comment songs on the album seem less bitter and more resigned. The strings have been laid on with a heavy hand, on some tracks providing the only backing to Rodriguez's guitar and voice. But the voice shines through and the clever poetry on some tracks is as incisive as ever. But don't expect the same Rodriguez as you heard on Cold Fact.
-- Roger Crosthwaite