Music history is filled with artists and albums, that for whatever reason, slipped through the cracks of time and history. Great musicians and songs that through no fault of their own, didn’t get the recognition at the time they deserved. But everyone once a while, the spotlight shines back on them and for singer/songwriter Rodriguez, his time is now arriving decades later than he ever imagined. Winner of the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival eariler this year, “Searching For Sugar Man” is a documentary that we called “a hugely entertaining, emotionally touching, and musically revelatory experience.”
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, “Searching For Sugar Man” tells a story that begins with the 1970 release of Rodriguez’s debut album, Cold Fact. Celebrated Motor City producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore discovered Rodriguez in the late 1960s in a local bar and were struck by his Dylan-esque songwriting. A charismatic and mysterious artist behind his shades, Rodriguez had built a strong local following, a true folk hero in the purest sense. Though well-received critically, Cold Fact did not succeed commercially, and despite the release of a second LP Coming From Reality, Rodriguez drifted into obscurity. Rumors of his fate were widely and wildly exaggerated, ranging from reports of escalating depression to a sensationally gruesome suicide onstage, involving self-immolation. Meanwhile, the LP had made its way around the world to South Africa, where it was banned by a repressive government. Copies were bootlegged and circulated, and Rodriguez inadvertently became the soundtrack of an emerging liberal African youth, whose resistance movement adopted Cold Fact as its rallying cry. Over the next two decades, Rodriguez became a household name in the country, where the number of copies of Cold Fact would have earned it platinum sales status. Both sides of the story, Rodriguez’s life in Detroit and the subsequent impact of his music in the smoldering Apartheid era, pre-Nelson Mandela, are tackled in this fascinating doc.
So, do you want to hear the songs that found new life and listeners? We’ve got 3 copies of the soundtrack to give away. Just email us your name, address and what your desert island album is and why. Good luck!
“Searching For Sugar Man” soundtrack hits stores on July 24th and the film opens in limited release on July 27th. Check out the full tracklist below along with a clip from the film.
“Searching for Sugar Man” Soundtrack Tracklisting
1. Sugar Man
2. Crucify Your Mind
4. I Wonder
5. Like Janis
6. This Is Not A Song, It’s An Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues
7. Can’t Get Away
8. I Think Of You
9. Inner City Blues
10. Sandrevan Lullaby – Lifestyles
11. Street Boy
12. A Most Disgusting Song
13. I’ll Slip Away
14. Jane S. Piddy