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Inspiration Information

Shuggie OtisAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2001 --  
Vinyl, 2009 $20.47  

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Inspiration Information/ Wings of Love
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • ASIN: B000059TLS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,349 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Inspiration Information
2. Island Letter
3. Sparkle City
4. Aht Uh Mi Hed
5. Happy House
6. Rainy Day
7. XL-30
8. Pling!
9. Not Available
10. Strawberry Letter 23
11. Sweet Thang
12. Ice Cold Daydream
13. Freedom Flig

Editorial Reviews

Like Stevie Wonder and Allen Toussaint before him--and Prince and D'Angelo afterward--Shuggie Otis was a musical visionary whose early 1970s recordings showed he could do it all, writing, arranging, performing, and producing some of the decade's most satisfying, innovative, and, unfortunately, overlooked music. This reissue of his 1974 Inspiration Information album--a soulful song cycle that took three years to create and was worth every minute--ranges from early drum machine-driven experiments like "Xl-30" and "Aht Uh Mi Hed" (note the Sly Stone spelling influence) to Otis's most stunning pop confection ever, "Strawberry Letter 23." (The latter song, which ended up being a big hit for the Brothers Johnson, is one of four bonus tracks taken from Otis's 1971 Freedom Flight album). Otis, who once turned down an offer to replace Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones, continues to perform around the Bay Area on his own and with his father, bandleader Johnny Otis. Hopefully, the long-awaited resurrection of this material will help bring him the attention he deserves. --Bill Forman

Product Description

This CD is an out of print collectible! It is the original 2001 Luaka Bop release. Catalog 72348-50473-2-9. There is a saw cut on the side of the case.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unbelievable cross-pollination of styles! January 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Hmmm. For once I agree completely with the Billboard review above.
This one floors me. Each song sounds like Shuggie is reinventing soul and rock and blues and funk- all at once. And he is. I can't believe how young he was whe he put this out. In his early 20's younger than I!!!!! It would be depressing if it weren't so damn good!!!! It's rare for me to find albums that I can put on and play in their entirety. VERY RARE! This is one of the handful. Despite the complexity of the arrangements, there is continuity. Despite the shuffling of styles and modes and aural textures- it's still hella funky and soulful overall (the drum patterns on the tital track- they way they start echoing and skittering towards the third verse- it never fails to make me tap my foot). Even the string sections are funky.
This album is like having a breezy, clear, azure-beyond-belief summer day siphoned into your CD player. It is the antithesis of boring, repetitive garbage that treacles out of car windows when I do errands. This is the antidote, or, I suppose, one of the better forms the antidote has taken. Everyone I have given this to as a present has in return bought a copy for someone else who 'gets it.'
Some minutiae: Many great artists have sampled this milestone, most notably, Digable Planets on Blowout Comb (one of the best hip hop albums of all time). And like the above said, The Brother's Johnson had some fame and appeal with their cover of Strawberry Letter 23 (a version of which I heard recently used as background music in a Special K with Strawberries commercial. Yuk.) The original is far better. This is an album that has to be heard to be believed.
Finally, The one negative reviewer likened this work to Shuggie being, "the Syd barrett of the blues.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Shuggie Inspiration March 28, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to own the vinyl disc back in the 70's when Shuggie Otis was a teenage phenom playing with the likes of Al Kooper and touring with his father Johnny Otis'' blues band. A whole generation could have missed out on the music that literally inspired groups like the Neville Brothers, and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Shuggie's music was lost to a generation until the re -release of Inspiration Information. even to this day, 27 years after hearing the original release I find myself humming the tunes like Strawberry letter 23, which became a top 40 hit for the Brothers Johnson , and Freedom Flight. the album was ahead of it's time with it's message and delivery. It is bluesy, psychedelic, spiritual, and musically well performed. I can't wait to play this CD for my two teenage children. I know my aspiring musician kids will love the many layers of music Shuggie Otis offers on this classic album. I will enjoy taking this musical journey again and again. So will you.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burning Bush... July 5, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I went to a studio late one night. I walked in and my producer friend sat in front of his monitors; transfixed by the most inside out groove I'd ever heard in my life! I was infected instantly! I thought that it was one of his songs at first. I had to ask, is this you man? "No, Shuggie Otis". He slapped the CD into my hands and proceeded to give me a taste. One after another "Inspiration Information"..."Island Letter"..."Sparkle City"..."Aht Uh Mi Hed"..."Happy House"..."Rainy Day"..."XL- 30"... "Pling"...on and on and on...When he got to "Strawberry Letter", I freaked! I was listening to "the" cat who had actually created that abstract lyric to one of the most 'surrealacticoolisciousfunktified' old school love grooves that ever blessed the radios in the early 1970's. I took one look at the cover graphics and flipped because the graphics of this brother with this gigantic afro was so reminiscent of the very first Prince album titled, "For You". Talk about things that make you go,hmmmmm? So,I have Sly Stone-esque groove;Prince's album cover,The Brother's Johnson's sweet 70's love anthem revealed! I felt like Moses standing before that burning bush...I just got the word from the funk God and I'm coming down the mountain to tell everybody I can! Thank you Brother Shuggie and Luaka Bop Inc.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shuggie's long-lost LP is an inspiring find. October 30, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Shuggie may very well be the "missing link" between the Sly-Jimi-Stevie heyday of the late 60's and early 70's, and Prince and his progeny (D'Angelo, Maxwell, etc.). Without realizing it, I had already heard Shuggie through the Brothers Johnson ("Strawberry Letter 23") and Digable Planets' sampling of "Island Letter" on their 1994 hip-hop masterpiece, "Blowout Comb." Having now heard the real McCoy, I am truly impressed by this LP-compilation.
I was instantly hooked by the title track, "Inspiration Information," a breezy pop cut with some great harmonies and keyboards. I also enjoyed the mellow vibe of "Island Letter," the guitar-driven "Ice Cold Daydream" and funky "Sparkle City" and "Happy House." "SL 23" is good in its own right (although I prefer the Brothers Johnson version). The instrumentals remind me of some of the great tracks on "Shaft." The only drawbacks to this LP are that Shuggie's vocal range is limited, the sound quality is muffled (surprising for a re-release), and I'd prefer more tracks with vocals.
The album is a showcase for Shuggie's considerable ability to blending funk, rock, pop and r & b and create his own sound, before Prince arrived on the scene. Based on what I've heard. I think it's likely that newer artists like Maxwell and Jamiroquai have been influenced by Otis' work as well. This is one of the very best records I've bought all year, and you'll enjoy it as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars COVER ART is NOT as advertised
For a VINYL lover, the Album COVER ART is as important as the music. The CROPPED PHOTOGRAPH of this Inspiration Information is NOT the COVER ART that is advertised.
Published 10 months ago by uni aum Entertainment
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, eclectic brilliance
I'm in the mood for random comments tonight.

I have loved Shuggie since buying Kooper Session in 1969-70. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Philip Bradshaw
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect Product Listing... again
This album is fantastic... BUT this version is not the extended version with the updated cover that you see in the listing. It does not include the 4 extra tracks. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Eddie Riff
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Great sound and puts you in a great mood.
I liked Shuggie since I bought his debut album and thought this was excellent. A departure from his first album. He really knows his way around sound and showed true genius here. Read more
Published 14 months ago by shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars spaces in time
Some impressive guitar playing on here, as you would expect if you know about Shuggie and his prodigal talents, but the songs on this album really transport the listener to another... Read more
Published on April 10, 2012 by Donald E. Gilliland
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Essential. Next Level. Masterpiece
Every time I listen to this record it blows my mind. If you call yourself a music fan, you need to own this. Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by Carlo Almas
5.0 out of 5 stars Otis CD review
The CD will not be the first I pull off the shelf, but i will listen from time to time.
Published on January 29, 2011 by Stuart J. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Inspiration Information is melodic soul, and is strikingly ahead of its time.

Shuggie Otis was a bluesman, son of Johnny Otis who also played the blues. Read more
Published on October 16, 2009 by Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, good stuff
WOW. How did I NOT know about this guy for such a long time? Seriously, after discovering hundreds of artists from the 70's, for some reason Shuggie Otis was never... Read more
Published on March 24, 2009 by B. E Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great soul
Sounds to me like a cross between Jimi Hendrix and early Sly & The Family Stone. Very cool stuff.
Published on December 1, 2008 by Josh Austin
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