Luaka Bop - 2001 - 55 minutes

Shuggie Otis - singer, songwriter, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist – was just 21 when 'Inspiration Information' was originally released in 1974. Son of the famed R&B bandleader Johnny Otis, he was an exceptionally talented musician from an early age. Otis started playing professionally at thirteen and recorded his first album with 1960s rock/jazz maestro Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Having spent three years working on the psychedelic-soul-funk of his fourth album, 'Inspiration Information', Otis was responsible for the production and arrangements as well as playing most of the instruments on the record. Unfortunately, the album was not well received on release and Otis never recorded another. Now re-released by Luaka Bop, 'Inspiration Information', (including the original version of 'Strawberry Letter 23' - later a big hit for The Brothers Johnson – from Otis' 1971 album, 'Freedom Flight') is receiving a long awaited re-appraisal.

From the early drum-machine experimentation of 'XL-30' to the funky Sly and The Family Stone leanings of the title track, 'Inspiration Information' is a hitherto uncovered gem.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Inspiration Information - Island Letter – Sparkle City - Aht Uh Mi Head - Happy House - Rainy Day - Xl30 - Pling – Not Available - Strawberry Letter 23 - Sweet Thang - Ice Cold Daydream – Freedom Flight