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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bill Withers - +Justments (1974)

From The Lost Record Covers Club

1970's -  Marvin, Stevie, Aretha, Whitfield with the Temps and Undisputed Truth, Sly - all talked about as ground breaking acts.  Bill Wither's second album "Still Bill" released in 1971 was stunning and stated a case for soul without the adornment of sweeping strings and rock-like guitars.  This album followed and Bill showed a growing maturity in the writing and arrangements.  There was no hit single so it's a collectors peice now but it is a classic in it's own right and shows the progressing career of the man who wrote "Ain't No Sunshine", "Grandma's Hands" and "Harlem" ("Just As I Am" - the first album); "Lean On Me" and "Let Me Love" ("Still Bill"); Issuing a "Live at Carnegie Hall" as a third with "Friend Of Mine" as a US single.

This includes "Can We Pretend", "Ruby Lee" "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh" and completes the run of great albums by this artist who bucked the trend.

Bill would go on and release albums directly for Columbia (after Sussex was swallowed by the giant), hitting big, no massive, with "Lovely Day" and a few others which then brought diminishing returns sales wise.  I read in an article by Sheryl Crow in Mojo where she was picking her fave soul tracks that she met him and he told her he was now a stone mason, was good at it and enjoyed it so much that another album wasn't in his thinking.  If you are interested in him then the first three are all available on CD.  If you want a best of that period forget the collections and go for the Carnegie set.  If you had to pick one then "Still Bill" is the one to go for.

A+M - AMLH 68230

for more on Bill go to An Appreciation Of ...Bill Withers

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