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Live Fact

A live album recorded during the 1998 SA tour

Tracks | Releases | Credits | Musicians | Comments | Reviews | Sleeve Notes

Live Fact

Track times measured by my CD-ROM player.

  1. I Wonder (3.27) (3.32 on cassette - see comments)
    from Cold Fact
  2. Only Good For Conversation (4.06)
    from Cold Fact
  3. Can't Get Away (3.51)
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  4. Crucify Your Mind (2.35)
    from Cold Fact
  5. Jane S. Piddy (2.45)
    from Cold Fact
  6. To Whom It May Concern (4.49)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  7. Like Janis (2.56)
    from Cold Fact
  8. Inner City Blues (3.21)
    from Cold Fact
  9. Street Boy (5.13)
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  10. A Most Disgusting Song (4.21)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  11. Halfway Up The Stairs (3.44)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  12. I Think Of You (4.24)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  13. Rich Folks Hoax (2.51)
    from Cold Fact
  14. Climb Up On My Music (5.52)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  15. Sugar Man (4.47) (5.09 on cassette - see comments)
    from Cold Fact
  16. Establishment Blues (2.00)
    from Cold Fact
  17. Forget It (3.37)
    from Cold Fact

Total time: 64.39


On the 12th June 1998 this CD was released by Sony Music South Africa on the Columbia label with catalogue number CDCOL 5542 H. A few weeks later the cassette appeared with MCCOL 5542 H as its number.

Credits:sold out

Recorded live at The Standard Bank Arena Johannesburg, 10th March 1998.
Engineer: Dave Segal
Mastering and editing: Peter Pearlson
Introduction: Tony Blewitt

All songs composed by Rodriguez and copyright EMI Music (SA)


Sixto Rodriguez: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Willem Möller: Electric Guitar
Russel Taylor: Keyboards
Reuben Samuels: Drums, percussion
Graeme Currie: Electric bass, acoustic bass
Tonia Selley: Background vocals, percussion
Robin Walsh: Acoustic Guitar (overdubbed later, did not appear on stage)

Sleeve Notes:

Since South Africa's re-admission into the international arena, we have been fortunate to see a number of established artists perform in the country, such as The Rolling Stores, Michael Jackson and U2. But probably the most surprising and unexpected tour (greeted in most cases with a sense of amazement and disbelief) was a tour by one Sixto Rodriguez.

Long a South African phenomenon, Rodriguez has spawned many an urban legend in South Africa. Suicide, incarceration for life and death by drug overdose were some of the stories doing the rounds on the supposed untimely demise of this mysterious performer. The reality is in fact the complete opposite, Rodriguez is alive and well.

His daughter Eva had this to say about Rodriguez in 1997 - "My father is in great health, physically and mentally. In my eyes he is ageless, creative, strong, intellectual and different. He has kept his hand and mind on music, living a surprisingly average and somewhat alternative life. He has raised three daughters, laboured, got an education, ran for political office and pays dues and debts like the rest of us."

"Live Fact" was recorded during his sold-out Johannesburg shows, and is a fitting reminder of what it feels like to attend a Rodriguez concert. South Africans have always related to Rodriguez' heartfelt lyrics and honest music, and the concert was a reflection of what Rodriguez stands for - peace, love, honesty and music.

It was an amazing experience to hear the crowd sing along and know virtually all the lyrics to every song. If you were at one of the shows, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. If you missed him perform live, this album is a taste of what it felt like.

- Rui de Sousa, May 1998



I've been to a couple of Rodriguez concerts lately. Much to my regret, I wasn't in Cape Town and I won't be at Woodstock 3. Instead, I've been listening to two live concert recordings: 'Rodriguez Alive' from Australia in 1979, and 'Live Fact' (South Africa 1998).

On 'Live Fact' not only is the audience perfectly happy to be there, but he is in perfect rapport with his audience. This helps me create the illusion that I'm about fifth row center. The crystal clear fidelity of the recording helps. I imagine this is a true-to-life representation of a Rodriguez concert, and a worthy substitute if one can't make an actual performance.

The ten tracks on the Australian 'Rodriguez Alive' are all on 'Live Fact', but as with 'To Whom It May Concern', one gets different versions of the songs. On both sets the bands, whoever played in Australia {The Mark Gillespie Band - ed} and Big Sky in South Africa, stretch out instrumentally and jam. One doesn't need to be a completist collector to want both live recordings.

Both backing bands are excellent, no matter on what continent Rodriguez finds his pick-up bands. The SA live recording has the excellent Willem Möller on guitar.

As well as pretending to actually attend some Rodriguez shows, I've also been dropping in on him at work in the studio (all right, I've been listening to 'Cold Fact' and 'After the Fact'). My conclusion is that y'all in SA have discerning musical taste and sound musical judgment. Thanks for keeping him alive, as he says.

Last week, when talking about 'The Best of Rodriguez' I thought of him as a folk singer with a band, but now I think of him as a particularly fine intelligent rock singer -- witness the hard-rocking 'Only Good for Conversation' and 'Climb Up On My Music'. Rodriguez the writer and performer is an all-round talent, from pop to folk to rock.

Since one human quality is our need to categorize, I've met that need and come up with a concise phrase that neatly pigeonholes Rodriguez's talents. How about: "Rodriguez is a lyric-oriented, social-commentating, urban-consciousness performer who is at times a rhymester, is frequently a melodist, and a folk, pop, and rock singer, as well as a songwriter of the first water"? Unwieldy, it's the shortest I can say it all in. His work is music to live with.

Speaking of his music, is it dated? To some ears perhaps, but not to mine. The problems and hopes sung of in my well-intentioned youth are still with us in the on-going processes of life.

Timely? Good Lord, yes. His message for the 21st Century is to end the violence and "accept peace".

Timeless? As long as the civilization I live in, with all its urban environments and street urbanity, still exists it is timeless. Rodriguez sings astute social commentary and clever human observations in soundly-written thinking-person lyrics. And his music is fun to listen to. There is both intellectual and emotional range here.

After steeping myself in Rodriguez's songs this week ('Cold Fact', 'After the Fact', 'Rodriguez Alive', and 'Live Fact'), I can only say, "Thanks, Sixto, for the time well spent." Forget it? Not likely.

Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas,
SA Rock Digest Issue #123,
24th September 2001

I thoroughly enjoyed the "live" experience, listening to it in all its glory.... although the Great Man's voice isn't as strong as it used to be, it was a rattling good show, and the SA musos certainly complimented him well.
- Guy Flint, London, August 1998 in a letter to Sugar, after hearing the CD.
I saw this concert and now I have a CD memory of a wonderful night. Live Fact is fantastic!!!
- Scott, 17th June 1998
The folkie who came in from the cold plays live in Johannesburg. He's written some fine songs but the voice falters a bit.
- Pieter van der Lugt, You magazine, 15th October 1998
Well we've all lived through "Cold Fact" and now we have "Live Fact". This album is a recording of the concert that Rodriguez gave in Johannesburg. Many will notice that his songs are toned down versions of old favourites like "Only Good For Conversation" and "I Wonder". The best part about this album is that it's sort of a 'best of'. Rodriguez certainly didn't disappoint hardened fans at the concert - he sang all the songs you would want to hear him sing. "Inner City Blues" sounds so great on this album - typical Rodriguez loses none of his magic with his no-nonsense lyrics and vocals. "Rich Folks Hoax" and of course the unforgettable "Sugarman" have the crowd chanting along. He closes with "Forget It" - "Thanks for your time, then you can thank me for mine and after that's said, forget it". Man I wished I hadn't missed that concert.
- Juliette Stanson, Collect magazine, Issue 1, November 1998

Read a review of this concert by André Bakkes here.

Comments:Back cover

  • Some trivia for you detail nuts - the cassette version opens with a slightly longer spoken introduction by Tony Blewitt and the instrumental section between the end of Climb Up On My Music and the actual beginning of Sugar Man is longer. C'mon, this is a trivia site!

  • I'll Slip Away from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best was performed at some of the other concerts on the tour, but not at this one.

  • Here is a list of Songs NOT performed on this tour.

  • When Rodriguez says just before Street Boy: "This is Ralph", he is referring to Ralph "Gawksy" Madeira, the guitar technician, who had just brought him a new guitar. Ralph replies by saying: "This is Rodriguez". "Correct" says Rodriguez.

  • Rodriguez played two nights only at the Blues Room in Johannesburg, South Africa to launch this album. Rodriguez was again backed by South African band, Big Sky.

The Albums

Cold Fact
Coming From Reality
After The Fact
At His Best
The Best Of Rodriguez
Live Fact
SugarMan - The Best

South Africa 1998

The Forum
Live Fact
Tour Diary

Tour dates

6th March
7th March
9th March
10th March
11th March
13th March

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