Rodriguez - The Music

"...but how much of you is repetition
that you didn't whisper to him too..."

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Rodriguez has been widely covered by pub musiciansand cover bands in South Africa, but the songs listed below are theonly known actual recordings.

Viva Rodriguez is an Australian Rodriguez tribute band, read more here.

'Sugar Man' was sampled by US rapper Nas (uncredited) on his 2001 'Stillmatic' CD. Read more...

'Silver Words' has been widely covered by the Reggae fraternity. More here...

Brian's grading system:
5=Indispensible, classic song
4=Brilliant, great song
3=Good, worth a listen
1=Poor, don't bother

The Monkeywrench: I found your Rodriguez site and wanted to let you know about another cover version. A band I'm in here in the States (The Monkeywrench) recently released a version of 'Sugarman' on our CD 'Electric Children' and as a 7" single, both on Estrus records out of Bellingham Washington. You can check it out at I had no idea Rodriguez was popular anywhere!
-- Steve Turner, June 2000
Here's some news: I bought an interesting CD in Austin. The music is modern psych-rock, more rock than psych, and for the most part the album is journeyman stuff, neither poor nor great -- just tolerably good original rock. It's by the American group, The Monkeywrench, who have recorded a version of "Sugar Man". Here are my preliminary thoughts on their version of the song: flat vocals and guitar on the intro, though it picks up when the chorus begins -- purposefully flat. The singer is trying to sound jaded and perhaps worn out by a drug experience, but comes across as flat, lacking the emotional feeling Rodriguez, or Just Jinger for that matter, conveys.

The trippy middle, the interlude of sounds, is okay, they understood this part of the song, though it is very brief. All in all, an interesting and okay version by The Monkeywrench, but not as good as the two versions I've heard: Sixto himself and Just Jinger.

What I wonder is how The Monkeywrench found this song, where they heard it. Why they decided to record it is not a mystery, Sixto wrote a great song, no denying. The Monkeywrench musicians look like old potheads, whatever old potheads look like. I'll e-mail them or their company and ask where they heard "Sugar Man". Twice, though, I've e-mailed Estrus Records about the postage for a copy of the 7" single but they never answered. When I found the CD of the entire album at Waterloo Records in Austin, I said to myself, "The hell with it," and bought it.

Like I said, it's okay psych-rock, I feel I got my money's worth, and I haven't heard the entire CD yet. They do a good job with a Flamin' Groovies cover also. Most of the songs are original. It's worth a listen.
-- Kurt Shoemaker, Texas, August 2000

Family Dogg: In 1972, an album by The Family Dogg, titled The View From Rowland's Head was released. The producer was Steve Rowland, who produced Rodriguez's Coming From Reality album. The Rowland's Head album also featured Chris Spedding, the session guitarist responsible for the stunning solo on Climb Up On My Music. This album features no less than 6 Rodriguez compositions!

I'm happy to have discovered your Rodriguez page! A few years ago I found"The View from Rowland's Head" at a thrift shop and I thought it was really, really weird. Then I noticed that all my favorite songs weren'twritten by the band, they were written by Rodriguez, whoever he was! Forall I knew, it could have been one of the band's real name or something.Now that I know who to look for, I'm looking forward to tracking down moreRodriguez compositions.
- Kevin Carhart, June 1999

Kevin has posted 2 streaming WAV files from this album on the Net at: Rodriguez WAVs

Smokey?: You were wondering if 'Advice to Smokey Robinson' was really by him, and yeah,I dunno, but the credit on the record says so. Suddenly it hit me,Rodriguez is from Detroit, home of Motown records, so maybe this is likehis affectionate tribute to the Motown sound.
-- Kevin Carhart, June 1999
Family Dogg: It sounds at times like Rodriguez is kind of going for Dylan's cadences whensinging. I wonder if that makes the Family Dogg like the interpreter ofthe songwriter's songs with more lush arrangement, like the Byrds or theTurtles covering Dylan. Anyway, it's great.
-- Kevin Carhart, June 1999

Album cover and track listing for this obscure album at the Chris Spedding website

  • I Think Of You- Susan Cowsill 4

    Susan Cowsill of the Cowsills (The Cowsills recorded an excellent version of "Hair"in 1969), covered Rodriguez's 'I Think Of You' in 1977. It was released onthe flip-side of 'The Next Time That I See You' on the Warner Bros label.For more info visit TheCowsills Web Page.

    Thanks to Rodriguez for the info, Sugar for finding the site and John for finding the song.

  • I Wonder - GenerationEXT (3.50) 3

    On the 8th April 1998 at 9.26 p.m. Radio Metro played a rap/hip-hop version of I Wonder, performed by Generation EXT. This was the very first time this re-make had ever been played on air. Vocals by Philippa Berrington-Blew and rap by Tazz. Produced by Barry Dean and co-produced by Craig Bartholomew.

    "Sounds good to me" was the response from DJ Wilson B Nkosi.

    This track was released on the South African compilation CD Dance Connexion 17 in September 1998.

    Listen to a 24 second snippet here.

  • Sugar Man -Just Jinger (4.37) 5

    Just Jinger had often covered this song on stage, and performed it to a great crowd response at the U2 concert in Cape Town on the 16th March 1998. Their EP CD Something For Now released 23rd March 1998 included their superb studio recording of this classic song. On the 22nd April Just Jinger released their new video Live, Unplugged & Backstage which included a live and unplugged versionof Sugar Man recorded at the Little Theatre, Pretoria on the 17th October 1997.

    Read some newspaper reports about Just Jinger here.

    Listen to a 17 second snippet here.

  • Hate Street Dialogue - Black Eyed Susan (3.26) 4

    South African Indie melodic grunge-rockers Black Eyed Susan recorded the album"Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers" in January 1998 and released it in May 1998. Included on their album is an uptempo remake of this classic Cold Fact song.Not actually written by Rodriguez, this song of urban decay and loneliness fitsperfectly on Black Eyed Susan's album of otherwise original material.A great version on an even greater album. If you like your rockmodern-but-retro, grungy-yet-tuneful, this album is for you.

    Listen to a 30 second snippet here.

    Read the amazing story of Hate Street Dialogue here.

  • Only Good For Conversation - Stella One Eleven (2.40) 4

    Triple Jay: Anyway just thought I would let you know that I heard a cover of "only good for conversation" (one of his best songs I think) on Triple J. I think the band was Spetre 8 or something, its on a JJJ compilation just released. Its a lady on vocals and its quite good, but nothing on the original.
    -- Stephen Bettess, Australia, December 1998
    Stella One Eleven: Just a quick note to solve the mystery of the aussie cover of "only good for conversation". Stella One Eleven is the band. They have just released an EP titled "only good for conversation".Released by Candle Records Cat # WOW411. Includes the title track and 4 originals. It is a very "alternative" sound w/female vocals. It sounds good to me.
    -- Gavin Kelly, Australia, August 1999
    Review: Grungy guitar and haunting female vocals from this Australianband. The other 4 original songs on the CD are also very good, but lessheavy... recommended.
    -- Brian Currin, September 1999
  • Sugar Man - Stella One Eleven 0

    In 2001 Stella One Eleven also covered the classic 'Sugar Man'. Visit Stella One Eleven's website at: Buy Stella One Eleven CDs from HMV Australia.

All songs written by Rodriguez except "Hate Street Dialogue" by G. Harvey/M. Theodore/D. Coffey.

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