The reissue of the year is the soundtrack to one of the most compelling music documentaries ever made, about a comeback so improbable it seems like fiction. Searching for Sugar Man follows two South African fans as they solve the mystery of the Hispanic, Detroit-born singer-songwriter Rodriguez: a charismatic phantom who vanished into working-life obscurity after his quietly urgent, elegant-R&B classics, 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming From Reality, crashed on release in the U.S. (They were Springsteen-size smashes in South Africa, though Rodriguez never saw a dime.)
The soundtrack combines the best tracks from those LPs in a greatest-hits display of Rodriguez’s supple Dylanesque voice; his fluid, lyric swing between sympathy, need and righteous candor in “Sugar Man,” “I Wonder” and “I Think of You”; and the music’s unhurried, funky delicacy. You can get the original records in full, reissued by Light in the Attic. But the Sugar Man album is a precise introduction to a gentle genius who is still here (now 70), still singing, and finally reaching the audience he always deserved.
Underground folk/rock musician Rodriguez recently visited The Recording Academy’s headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Rodriguez discussed the evolution of his music, the popularity of his music in South Africa and the new documentary in which he is featured, Searching For Sugar Man, among other topics.
“Barriers are being brought down by technology through the Internet,” said Rodriguez. “The film, Searching For Sugar Man, has excited my music career. So we are touring.”
Detroit native Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums, 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming From Reality, that made little impact in the United States. With his albums failing to attract a wider audience, Rodriguez quit music. Unbeknownst to him, his socially conscious lyrics and unique blend of psychedelic folk rock rose to popularity in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, Rodriguez would tour in Australia in 1979 and 1981, and in South Africa in 1998.
Press Release from Light In The Attic Records
Hi Friends & Family,
I wanted to say hello and let you know that this fall marks the 10-year anniversary of Light In The Attic. We feel incredibly lucky to be doing this for a decade and continuing to thrive, especially in these tough economic times. Each year has surpassed the previous year, and 2012 is set to be far and away our best. To celebrate our first decade, we’ve put together two special concerts in L.A. and Seattle featuring RODRIGUEZ, MICHAEL CHAPMAN, DONNIE & JOE EMERSON, SHIN JOONG HYUN, and STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH. Save the date; they’re going to be fantastic shows. Below/attached are the full details on who plays where and when. This fall will also see a 7″ singles series featuring contemporary artists covering Light In The Attic songs, including Iggy Pop & Zig Zags, Sweet Tea (Alex Maas (Black Angels) & Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)), Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band, and Mark Lanegan, amongst others.
Furthermore, the film documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN about Detroit singer-songwriter SIXTO RODRIGUEZ is finally in U.S. theaters. For the past 4 years, we’ve been re-releasing Rodriguez’s music and have recently partnered with Sony Legacy on the soundtrack. See the movie. It’s truly a brilliant film. If you hate it, we’ll pay for your ticket. 2012 already looks to be the year of Rodriguez. Earlier this month the man performed on Letterman (
Thanks for all the continued support and here’s to another 10 years,
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CONCERTS:
Fri, Sept 28 @ El Rey (L.A.):
– SHIN JOONG HYUN (3rd ever U.S. show)
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH
– DJ SIPREANO
Fri, Oct 12 @ Showbox Market (Seattle):
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– DONNIE & JOE EMERSON (1st ever Seattle show)
– DJ SUSPENCE
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN: NOW PLAYING AT:
HARVARD EXIT TWIN (SEATTLE, WA)
NITEHAWK CINEMA (BROOKLYN, NY)
VILLAGE EAST CINEMA 7 (NEW YORK, NY)
LINCOLN PLAZA CINEMAS (NEW YORK, NY)
THE LANDMARK ON PICO (LOS ANGELES, CA)
REGENCY SOUTH COAST VILLAGE CIN (COSTA MESA, CA)
LAEMMLE’S PLAYHOUSE 7 (PASADENA, CA)
LA JOLLA VILLAGE THEATRE (LA JOLLA, CA)
AQUARIUS TWIN (PALO ALTO, CA)
CENTURY FIVE (PLEASANT HILL, CA)
EMBARCADERO CENTER CIN. 5 (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)
SEQUOIA TWIN (MILL VALLEY, CA)
NICKELODEON FOUR (SANTA CRUZ, CA)
CAMELVIEW PLAZA 5 (SCOTTSDALE, AZ)
CHARLES THEATRE (BALTIMORE, MD)
CENTURY CENTRE CINEMA (CHICAGO, IL)
KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA 9 (CAMBRIDGE, MA)
MAIN ART THEATRE 3 (ROYAL OAK, MI)
RITZ AT THE BOURSE 5 (PHILADELPHIA, PA)
MAYAN THREE (DENVER, CO)
WEST END CINEMA (WASHINGTON, DC)
COOLIDGE CNR. MOVIEHOUSE (BROOKLINE, MA)
EDINA CINEMA 4 (EDINA, MN)
FOX TOWER 10 (PORTLAND, OR)
ARBOR CINEMAS @ GREAT HILLS (AUSTIN, TX)
VIOLET CROWN CINEMA (AUSTIN, TX)
THE MAGNOLIA THEATRE (DALLAS, TX)
ANGELIKA FILM CENTER & CAFE (PLANO, TX)
MORE INFO + ADDITIONAL CITIES: www.sonyclassics.com/searchingforsugarman/dates.html
It’s one of the most remarkable – and least known – stories to come out of the musically-rich 1970s. At the onset of the decade, mysterious Detroit-bred singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez released his debut album, Cold Fact, playing a brand of soulful folk with pointed lyrics that dealt with poverty, urban living and political corruption. However, the record fell short of its expectations, failing to make a dent in American markets. After his equally unsuccessful followup, 1971′s Coming From Reality, Rodriquez was dropped from Sussex Records and faded into obscurity. At least, on this side of the world.
|Cold Fact (LP)||Coming From
|Cold Fact (LP)||After The Fact (LP)|
|At His Best (LP)||Rodriguez Alive (LP)||The Best Of Rodriguez (LP)||Cold Fact (CD)|
|Cold Fact (CD)||After The Fact (CD)||Live Fact (CD)||Cold Fact (CD)|
|After The Fact (CD)||All The Facts (3CD)||Cold Fact (Remastered CD)||Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez|
|After The Fact (Remastered CD)||Cold Fact
|Searching For Sugar Man (soundtrack)||Searching For Sugar Man (soundtrack)|
Design a poster inspired by the soundtrack of the documentary film ‘Searching for Sugar Man’
In the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, director Malik Bendjelloul looks back at two music fans’ quest in the early ’90s to learn the fate of ’70s singer/songwriter Rodriguez (born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit), musically accompanied by the Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack that collects tracks from his two albums. Growing up in South Africa, record retailer Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and music journalist Craig Bartholomew had a very different relationship with Rodriguez than folks in his native U.S.; while debut Cold Fact and follow-up Coming from Reality (released on the short-lived Sussex label in 1970 and 1971, respectively) attracted critical praise from the few press outlets they reached, commercially they went nowhere, seemingly dooming the artist to obscurity. But against all odds, a bootleg recording of Cold Fact made its way to South Africa, just as the stronghold of apartheid was growing, and Rodriguez’s anti-establishment storytelling, filtered through a psychedelia-tinged folk-rock lens, connected deeply with black Africans as well as liberal young Afrikaners.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE AND SOUNDTRACK BRINGS RODRIGUEZ’S INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY AND 1970s MUSIC TO A NEW GENERATION
Soundtrack available everywhere starting August 13, 2012, through Columbia/Legacy
“The buzzworthy Sundance documentary” – Yahoo!
“An acclaimed new documentary goes hunting for the lost Dylan” – Grantland
“The tale is better than the telling – and the soundtrack’s better still – but music this monumental demands its moment. Now go and buy the album” – Matt Glasby Total Film UK
“I found the story in 2006. I was looking for stories, travelling around South Africa and America, and thinking the purpose was to sell them to Swedish TV, because I’d been working for Swedish TV before. I found this story and it was the best story I’d ever heard in my life and probably ever will; a great, great story.” Director, Malik Bendjelloul
We all know the lyrics, we may even have been a fan, but who knows what happened to the musician who brought us Sugar Man? SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is the most improbable but true story you will ever witness on the big screen. Rodriguez, a mysterious Detroit singer-songwriter, became a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and then he disappeared – until two South Africans set out to discover what happened to one of the biggest music sensations this country has ever known. The thought-provoking new documentary film, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, will be screened exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres on 31st August and is not to be missed!
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells a story that begins with the 1970 release of Rodriguez’s debut album, Cold Fact.
Discovered in the late 1960s, Rodriguez impressed producers with his Dylanesque songwriting. As a charismatic and mysterious artist he built a strong local following and became a true folk hero in the purest sense.
While Cold Fact was critically acclaimed, it did not succeed commercially, and despite the release of a second LP, 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 an oppressive government. Copies were bootlegged and circulated, and Rodriguez inadvertently became the soundtrack of an emerging liberal youth, including many liberal Afrikaans musicians for whom Rodriguez became an inspiration for their own music.
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 proved fascinating to Stockholm-based documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul.
His subjects have included Kraftwerk, Björk, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Kylie Minogue, Prince, and others. His short documentary films for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra, became the basis for such films as Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney) and The Terminal (Tom Hanks).
You can also download the Nokia and Samsung Android apps and book from your mobile.
The soundtrack album on Legacy will compile tracks from Cold Fact and its follow-up LP of 1971, Coming From Reality, reissued to critical acclaim in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a Red Box Films & Passion Pictures Production in association with Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premiered in New York on April 24th at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on July 27th and will open in other markets throughout the month of August. For a complete release schedule, visit the film’s website at www.SearchingForSugarManMovie.com.
Searching for Sugar Man release cinemas:
1. Rosebank Nouveau
2. Gateway Nouveau
3. Cavendish Nouveau
4. V&A Nouveau
5. Brooklyn Nouveau
6. Garden Route Mall
7. Mimosa Mall
8. Somerset Mall
Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture 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
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
“Searching for Sugar Man” is the unbelievable story of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit singer-songwriter who was once projected to be bigger than the Beatles. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because Rodriguez was a massive flop — in the States.
“Stunning. One of the greatest, and most moving documentaries ever made.” ★★★★★, Q Magazine
“A hugely entertaining, emotionally touching, and musically revelatory experience” – IndieWire
“to South Africans in the early ‘70s he was their Beatles and Dylan combined” ★★★★, Mojo
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music. In the late ’60s, two celebrated producers who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics discovered a musician in a Detroit bar. They recorded an album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it became a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez. This soundtrack consists of a selection of songs featured in the film but originally found on Rodriguez’s records COLD FACT and COMING FROM REALITY. – Amazon.com
|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|
“Sometimes, unpredictable things occur in documentary film, occasionally, unbelievable things. SUGAR MAN is a film that introduces you to people you will never forget,” says HIFF Board Member and SummerDocs Host Alec Baldwin.