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Sixto Rodriguez-Cold Fact: A Classic Album That Almost Went Unnoticed

Sixto Rodriguez-Cold Fact: A Classic Album That Almost Went Unnoticed

If you are looking for a hidden gem of an album that combines folk, rock, and soul with poetic lyrics and social commentary, you might want to check out Sixto Rodriguez-Cold Fact. This is the debut album of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit-based singer-songwriter who released it in 1970. Despite being critically acclaimed, the album sold poorly in the United States and Rodriguez faded into obscurity. However, unbeknownst to him, his music became hugely popular in South Africa and Australia, where he was seen as a voice of protest and inspiration. In this article, we will explore the story behind this remarkable album and why you should give it a listen.

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Who is Sixto Rodriguez?

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born in 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, to Mexican immigrant parents. He grew up in a poor neighborhood and learned to play guitar at a young age. He dropped out of school and worked various jobs while pursuing his musical career. He adopted the stage name Rodriguez and performed in local bars and clubs. He was discovered by two producers, Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, who were impressed by his talent and signed him to Sussex Records. They recorded his first album, Cold Fact, in 1969.

What is Cold Fact about?

Cold Fact is a collection of 12 songs that showcase Rodriguez's unique style and vision. He sings about topics such as poverty, drugs, love, politics, and religion with a blend of sarcasm, irony, and sincerity. His lyrics are often witty and provocative, such as "I wonder how many times you've been had / And I wonder how many plans have gone bad" (I Wonder) or "The mayor hides the crime rate / Councilwoman hesitates / Public gets irate but forgets the vote date" (This Is Not A Song, It's An Outburst). His music is influenced by folk, rock, soul, blues, and psychedelic genres, creating a rich and diverse sound. Some of the standout tracks include Sugar Man, Crucify Your Mind, Establishment Blues, and I Think Of You.

How did Cold Fact become popular in other countries?

Cold Fact was released in March 1970 in the United States, but it failed to attract much attention or sales. Rodriguez was dropped by his label and recorded a second album, Coming From Reality, which also flopped. He then quit music and worked as a laborer, construction worker, and social activist. He had no idea that his music had found a loyal fan base in other parts of the world. In South Africa, his songs were embraced by the anti-apartheid movement and became anthems of resistance and hope. In Australia, his music resonated with the youth culture and counterculture movements. He toured Australia in 1979 and 1981 to enthusiastic crowds. However, he remained unaware of his fame in South Africa until the 1990s, when some fans tracked him down and invited him to perform there. He was greeted by thousands of fans who knew every word of his songs. His story was documented in the 2012 film Searching For Sugar Man, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Why should you listen to Cold Fact?

Cold Fact is a classic album that deserves more recognition and appreciation. It is a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries and touch people's hearts. It is also a reflection of the social and cultural issues of its time and place. It is an album that will make you think, feel, and wonder. If you are looking for a musical experience that will challenge you and inspire you, you should give Cold Fact a try. 0efd9a6b88


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