Lou Bond – 1974 – Lou Bond

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One of the greatest soul-folk albums ever.

A lost classic brought out of the shadows.

Bond’s top-notch songwriting, vocals and an impeccable talent for composition and arrangement, make this a rare album where the music and the message are in perfect harmony. The record’s “To The Establishment,” a nearly 12-minute opus, has been sampled by the likes of Outkast and Mary J. Blige.

Misplaced on the We Produce imprint of the legendary Stax label, soulful troubadour Lou Bond never received the recognition befitting his talent and the strength of his recordings. A voice of conscious strumming an acoustic guitar with a magnetic vocal delivery.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original We Produce LP including covers.

Tracks
A1 Lucky Me 3:56
A2 Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards 4:37
A3 To the Establishment 11:13
B1 Let Me in Your Life 6:18
B2 That’s the Way I’ve Heard It Should Be 6:40
B3 Come on Snob 7:51

lou bond back lp

Review by J.Poet

Lou Bond is one of the forgotten heroes of Stax Records. Before he cut this record, his one and only album, he’d made two singles — “Oh Cheater” b/w “What Have I Done,” and “You Shake Me Up” b/w “Don’t Start Me Crying.” England’s Northern soul collectors now treasure both records, but the music on his self-titled album is its own animal. Black psychedelic crooners are few and far between, and, in fact, Bond may be the only one. Perhaps that’s why Stax originally released this album on the We Produce subsidiary. Bond and his producer/arrangers — Jo Bridges (Rufus Thomas, the Temprees), Lester Snell (Isaac Hayes), and Tom Nixon (Rufus Thomas) — really went out on a limb here by presenting Bond’s soulful, folk-influenced singer/songwriter protest songs with a blend of Memphis soul, orchestral strings, and jazzy horn charts. The tempos stay slow and dreamy, which may have made it a hard sell on its original release in 1974, but it’s just as likely that the combination of soul and folk wasn’t something people were ready for. Pity, because Bond’s unique vocal style is nothing short of amazing. He has a passionate growl that can slide up easily to a spine-tingling falsetto, and a unique lyrical approach. He opens with Jimmy Webb’s “Lucky Me” a treacle-drenched tune that Bond turns into a wrenching lament. The soaring strings are almost a parody of pop, but Bond’s bluesy delivery keeps everything down to earth. “Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards” is a Bond original with popping bass, acoustic piano, and understated strings. He slips into his falsetto for this meandering protest song that references Vietnam, Pakistan, Attica, school bussing, religion, and other hot button topics. When he drops a quote from “American the Beautiful” into the mix, it oozes with irony. “To the Establishment” is the album’s masterwork, eleven minutes of protest music that ranks up there with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’On.”

Bond uses his playful high register to ornament the melody, and finishes the tune with several minutes of gospel-esque improvisations full of sighs, cries, stuttered notes, growls, and wails. He also applies his falsetto to Carly Simon’s cynical ode “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” and wrings every once of painful ambivalence out of the lyric. The glacial groove is full of subtle percussive touches. “Come on Snob” could just as easily be called “Come on Whitey.” It sports another kaleidoscopic, ever-shifting lyric that decries discrimination and materialism. The arrangement features flute, strings, and the bass strings of Bond’s acoustic. His pleading refrain of “Please, please, please, please, please” references James Brown without overt imitation, and his moaned improvisations are superb. The set closes with a tune that wasn’t on the original album, a cover of Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You” played by Bond as a guitar and vocal showcase. Bond scats all over the lyric to open the tune, does a brief verse, then slips into the traditional “Sometimes I Feel Like aMotherless Child,” sustaining a stunning falsetto note for almost a minute.
A beautiful listening experience.

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Light in the Attic gets props for putting this reissue out and we should all be so thankful to revisit an artist whose work has always deserved the recognition.

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Conversation for album: Lou Bond – 1974 – Lou Bond

40 Comments
  • Dommie Illfigure
    Posted at 12:01h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    Hey buddy,

    Thanks for continuing with these great posts.

    Sadly, I am unable to access the download links on this one though

    Many thanks

  • Nikos
    Posted at 12:40h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    There will be available shortly.

  • w00z
    Posted at 14:10h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    Great Post ! looking forward to hear the rest of the LP !
    Thanks for sharing !!

  • Nuno
    Posted at 14:20h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    Nice record but not an easy one though. The Light Int The Attic reissue is great.

  • Dommie Illfigure
    Posted at 15:10h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    Problem resolved.

    Ever grateful to you for such good posts

  • Tony
    Posted at 16:26h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    A case of respect to Light In the Attic and also to you my friend. Beautiful.

  • JTF
    Posted at 19:45h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    Cool.

  • rich
    Posted at 21:34h, 13 September 2010 Reply

    very good album post nikos

  • Jazz Obsessive
    Posted at 00:03h, 14 September 2010 Reply

    I look forward to getting into this.

    Thanks for providing the opportunity.

  • Francis
    Posted at 00:12h, 14 September 2010 Reply

    Amazing share! Thank you very much.

  • Andre B
    Posted at 00:14h, 14 September 2010 Reply

    wow! what a great post. this one is a real gem. many thanks nikos!

  • hooch
    Posted at 01:05h, 14 September 2010 Reply

    Many thanks as always!

  • the jazzstronaut
    Posted at 17:13h, 15 September 2010 Reply

    Nice one Nikos, thank you very much.

  • Kevin
    Posted at 19:46h, 15 September 2010 Reply

    I will probably like this album a lot, thanks!

  • Jeff
    Posted at 20:13h, 15 September 2010 Reply

    Pure classic!! Fantastic!!

  • 92bpms
    Posted at 02:46h, 16 September 2010 Reply

    Hell yeah… loving this one.

  • Ian Carpenter
    Posted at 04:29h, 17 September 2010 Reply

    yes, was wondering when you’d get this one on up on here

  • sean
    Posted at 05:07h, 17 September 2010 Reply

    Brilliant! Thanks so much for this.

  • Sebastian
    Posted at 10:00h, 17 September 2010 Reply

    WOW! Blown away. Sick stuff.

  • Larry
    Posted at 11:38h, 18 September 2010 Reply

    Mmmmmmm…Thanks in advance for this ace record.

  • goo
    Posted at 19:50h, 18 September 2010 Reply

    ohhh myyy funnkkkk !!!!

  • mrB
    Posted at 11:09h, 19 September 2010 Reply

    maybe THE best blog of the year! thanks!

  • Adrian
    Posted at 12:06h, 19 September 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the latest postings. these will give me at least a week worth of new music to listen and enjoy. Awesome!!!

  • whoknows
    Posted at 21:21h, 19 September 2010 Reply

    this is incredible stuff! Thanks for introducing me to new music, keep on til infinity!

  • Noah
    Posted at 09:16h, 20 September 2010 Reply

    A masterpiece! Million thanks.

  • Radek
    Posted at 23:09h, 20 September 2010 Reply

    Veyr interesting. Thank you very much.

  • Dwayne
    Posted at 23:31h, 20 September 2010 Reply

    Props man I’ve been looking for this, keep doing ya thing home slice!

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 19:10h, 21 September 2010 Reply

    Absolutely fabulous !!!!!!!!!!

  • Robin
    Posted at 19:15h, 21 September 2010 Reply

    great discovery for me. great

  • Radek
    Posted at 22:45h, 23 September 2010 Reply

    I must comment once more: the more I listen to it, the more I like it. Thanks again.

  • Janos
    Posted at 16:33h, 25 September 2010 Reply

    I have downloaded many of your posted albums. Thank you for them all. I’ve purchased many since. This one included. Fantastic album, a million thanks to Light In The Attic for making it available again.

  • Janos
    Posted at 16:35h, 25 September 2010 Reply

    Oh, and one more thing! Keep up the good work. You have impeccable taste in music.

  • Nikko
    Posted at 12:05h, 29 September 2010 Reply

    heya
    there seems to be a password for this one
    can’t find it
    great blog anyway
    loadsa records I’d never heard before
    go on like this mate !

  • Nikko
    Posted at 12:17h, 29 September 2010 Reply

    my mistake sorry
    WHAAAAAAAT AN AMAZING ALBUM !

  • Nikos
    Posted at 13:20h, 29 September 2010 Reply

    It’s really fantastic. i discovered it myself lately too.

  • jean paris
    Posted at 15:18h, 02 October 2010 Reply

    what a beautiful lp….discovered 5 years ago on the net….a pure gem….thanks nikos

  • bmack225
    Posted at 20:21h, 26 October 2010 Reply

    Much thanks for this!!!

  • Vic
    Posted at 20:57h, 03 November 2010 Reply

    I didn’t even know soul-folk existed before you posted Terry Callier, who quickly became one of my favourite artists. And now here’s another example of the genre. I look forward to this being a regular playlist item. Nikos, you’re a star!

  • greg
    Posted at 21:07h, 04 March 2012 Reply

    what a great find thanks
    😉

  • Greatful
    Posted at 06:13h, 02 June 2015 Reply

    Thanks for sharing. This sounds great but would be better if you could upload these gems in a higher format.

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