Sometimes we just have to look ourselves in the eye and admit we’re wrong . . .
I mentioned this album, due for re-release on Light In The Attic next month, to a soul-loving friend. I said that- after a couple of listens- I thought it was brilliant in places but bland, weak and rambling in a lot of others, that it sounded a bit like Isaac Hayes, a bit like Marvin Gaye, a bit like no-one else on earth. You can see why it got buried, I said, back in the early ‘70s, why it was destined to become a ‘lost masterpiece’. Even back then, its idiosyncrasies, its odd jazziness, its in-your-face hippy/Socialist messages, its over-earnest strings, its full and overt and unsubtle words were too sledgehammer-strong, too overwhelming for the man’s rich, rich voice and undoubted passion. Another sign, this album, I said, that- by 1974- Stax had completely lost the plot, selling its soul, de-railing talent, pointing it in all the wrong directions in CBS’s continuing attempts to out-Motown Motown. Lou Bond pretty much disappeared after this, his one and only album. The glory of Stax, the years of some of the finest music ever made, had gone forever: this album was proof.