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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Inspiration Information

Shuggie Otis

1974

Buy At Rough Trade
Inspiration Information
Album Summary

Inspiration Information is the third album by Shuggie Otis, who produced it and performed most of its instrumental parts. Released in 1974 on Epic Records, it reached number 181 on Billboard's Top 200 Pop Albums list, and its title track also reached number 56 on the U.S. R&B singles chart. The album was reissued in 2001 on the label Luaka Bop, receiving widespread acclaim.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.28

Votes

10838
Genres
Soul
Funk
Jazz

Reviews

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Wed Jan 06 2021
5

Wow. This album is so tasty. Every groove is in the pocket, every note sung is perfect, the mixing and production are smooth as hell and yet retain enough energy to stay super interesting. There some really dated, Casio-level synth drums on here that would usually lose an album a star but this was 1974, so this was cutting-edge stuff at the time. No penalty. Full marks.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
2

Album generally is a tease. Makes you think it's going somewhere and it's got something or it's developing something, but ultimately just waddles about like a lost penguin. The highlight of the album is the latter 1/3 of "Sparkle City", the rest is sleepy, boring, slop of someone too stoned to have put in the effort to be as good as they could be.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
2

I feel like it overpromises and then underdelivers on the grooves.

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Fri Aug 27 2021
2

A little soul, and R&B, with a nice '70s vibe. But there wasn't really anything about the song writing, or the singing that put this over the edge for me.

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Thu Sep 03 2020
5

A curiously funky album. Easy to listen to.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

underrated gem. I don't know anyone who even knows who Shuggie is. The file clerk at Flagstar used to hook me up with albums all the time. This was one of his best recommendations.

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Mon Oct 11 2021
5

Shuggie is a recent discovery for me. A music podcast that came out during the early days of the COVID pandemic was discussing albums of 1974 and Inspiration Information was one of the albums that was talked about. I immediately fell in love with it and also discovered that I knew the title track as well as Shuggie's famous Strawberry Letter 23. What I didn't know was that he played bass on Zappa's "Peaches en Regalia" and that he was only 16 when he did. In fact this album came out when he was only 21. Everything written by him. The album is a soulful and psychedelic musical journey that deserves to be better known than it is. This is an easy 5 stars!

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Enjoyed this. Sorry for the lack of reviews - I’m trying to catch up!

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Tue Feb 16 2021
2

Started well, but then became a bit too much elevator music for me. A couple of decent tracks towards the end but I don’t reckon I’ll ever think about this album again.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
2

Once upon a time, a man used a drum machine for his soul album and pretty much everyone was hyped about it

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Thu Feb 04 2021
1

Urgh... This is my first 1 star album. It's soooo boring and long and I just didn't like it. Not one song is memorable.

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Tue May 11 2021
1

Most definitely NOT my thing!!

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Fri Oct 16 2020
5

album is pretty good too. not much to say about it. its warm and it grooves. would probly be more fitting on a sunny day and not a cloudy afternoon-almost-night but hey whatre u gona do ? 9/10

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

I love it! It's like Pink Floyd but with less drugs.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Crazy album with soul, funk and jazz mixed into one with an epic outro. This album will grow on me. And how can I forget about Strawberry Letter 23.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

LOVE the title song, so it was nice to be exposed to the rest of Shuggie's songs. Very chill and funky. I'll definitely be diving deeper into his music! Highlights: -Inspiration Information -Island Letter -Sparkle City -Strawberry Letter 23 -Not Available -Ice Cold Daydream -Sweet Thang

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Anonadado. Conocía una canción de este disco. Qué chido que este juego me dio la oportunidad de escucharlo. Increíble. Lo voy a conseguir en vinil.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
5

A veces funky, a veces jazzero, a veces rockero pero siempre psicodélico. Hay wawa y hay Hendrix con bañador de palmeras. Largos desarrollos y piezas vocales muy bonitas. Grande.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

This album rules. Love a modern sounding soul funk sound. Synths plus soul is such a good combo.

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Mon May 03 2021
5

Até as viajadas mais lounge no órgão valem a pena nesse álbum. Espetacular (a versão com 13 faixas, que vai até Freedom Flight).

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

5/5 - has that Stevie Wonder feel to it; analog synths and a Jamiroquai flavour

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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

Funky, chilled, Shuggie must have listened to a lot of Jackie Mittoo

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

23rd July 2021 Listened on my phone in the morning and sent a recommendation in to the Blues Kitchen podcast. Absolutely loved this, saved it on Spotify. Summer, heat, waves, juice, all of it in one record. Stunning.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

New sound for me, a new genre of music.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

One of my all time favourite soul albums.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Unexpected….chill while demanding attention.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

This is the first artist I hadn't heard of, and it is a fantastic album!* *Disclaimer: I'm white, so any RnB/Funk/Soul boggles my mind with its greatness!

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Am I old? Because this was awesome. Jazzy noodle-y 70s guitar vibes. Gentle. Ground zero for the 70s revivalists bands. And as soon as I heard Freedom Flight I knew it was sampled or covered somewhere.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

Excellent. Finally an album I’ve not heard before that I really enjoyed listening to. Sounds like Shuggie could have been one of the greats but shied away from success after this release. Very impressive to write and perform that album at 21.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

Smooth grooves, funk, and psychedelic love. So good.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Wow - this is the era and style I love - but why don't I know Shuggie Otis - it's hardly a forgettable name. But then pop on Strawberry Letter 23 and it's 'ohhhhh'. Lovely, warm, cuddly.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Perfect album. Soulful, jazzy, funky, and everything good.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

😔🙏 merci pour les travaux

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

Very good funk type of music! No bad songs

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Oh man i love this weird lo fi r & b funky record so much. Where has this been my whole life? He used to roll with zappa. Of course.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

This album is a hidden gem, and one of the greatest I have ever heard. Filled with smooth beats, analog drum machines, Shuggie's voice, this is all I could ever ask for from a '70s album. 100% relistening, it's a shame Shuggie Otis never got the recognition deserved for this genius album that was far ahead of its time. Favorite Tracks: Rainy Day and Pling!

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

What a revelation. Mostly instrumental pieces that are smooth and funky. Didn't want it to end. And that cover? Sheesh.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

Vraiment une decouverte, bonne guitare, bonne production, du grouve du fumk il y a tout ce qu.il faut pour que j’aime. 4.95

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

So awesome. Great mix of funk and soul with some early rock thrown on. I can see got this has been so influential for R&B

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Sun May 29 2022
5

A nice surprise. I like this one!

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Superb album. Totally dig this vibe, definitely something that I'll spend more time listening to. Just really enjoy how loose and mellow this is all the way through. Also, if I have another kid, I'm naming it Shuggie.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Petit bijou que cet album hétéroclite et très personnel. La soul, le funk qui en constituent les assises principales sont des musiques qui ont l'habitude de prendre de la place, mais ici Otis les propose à partir d'un endroit intime, comme si c'était du R&B de chambre. La voix y est pour quelque chose. La guitare, idiosyncratique, est savoureuse. Un Hendrix qui se serait calmé. J'y reviens souvent, cet album est magnétique.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

This is excellent. Like Jarimoquai twenty years before Jarimoquai, with the added bonus of not having Jay Kay anywhere near it.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

Two of my favorite musical flavors: psychedelia and soul, perfectly balanced here, with early drum machines to boot! I remember when this was reissued on CD in 2001 and me and my friends devoured this album. Hearing these irresistible tunes and finding out it wasn't particularly well received in its time blew my mind and sent me on a neverending quest to find similar "lost" albums - but I'm not sure I'll ever find one that is both as amazingly ahead of its time and downright enjoyable as this one. Dude was 21!

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

this was great, glad im doing this 1000 albums thing.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Wow! This is the most wildly varied funk/soul album. I am so blown away by it. And is this the original of the mighty Strawberry Letter no. 23? One of the best tunes ever. It's surprisingly experimental. Can't believe it flopped at the time too, it's got tunes!

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

Hear influences of/from Grateful Dead, Beastie Boys, Tod Rundgren , Tommy Bolin, and Al Greene. Even the Casio synth beats are great.

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Masterpiece of instrumental music. Really good and groundbreaking loved it and nothing to add. 5/5

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Tue Dec 06 2022
5

liked it. music to play if you own a studio apartment in ny and want to impress your date.

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

it felt so good listening to this

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

Now THIS is some easy listening funk and soul! Perfect album to just chill out to.

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

I really really enjoyed this, it was very chill and groovy

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Wed Feb 08 2023
5

This album is ultra-smooth. I especially love ‘Strawberry Letter 23’, and, while a very unique thought, ‘Rainy Day’ would maybe be a good basis for a mellow electronic song.

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Tue Feb 28 2023
5

What a gorgeous album and what a find?!? So pleased to be introduced to Shuggie Otis too, I will certainly be listening to his other albums now! Really enjoying the jazz r&b blues and other great sounds of this. Also love the ideas behind the lyrics. Highlights included inspiration information with its squelchy bouncy beats and lush guitar parts. Such a top fee good track. And also Strawberry Letter 23, really cool idea for a song.

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

Wasn't expecting to like this but instantly did and head nodded all the way through - in a word 'funky' 4.6

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Thu Apr 13 2023
5

Great soul / funk album. I always thought the production could be a bit less lo-fi, but it does not matter.

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Tue Apr 25 2023
5

Otis was a good guitar player before and after the sessions documented here but this recording captures a very special moment, one where everything clicked. A true classic.

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Sat May 13 2023
5

Exactly my kind of music. Chill, funky and dreamlike.

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Mon May 29 2023
5

Funky as hell, i love this one!

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

Lekker een beetje pielen op een orgeltje, een funky baslijntje, drums omdat het moet, her en der een subtiel koperen blazertje en af en toe een keer een stukje zingen. De nummers met zang zijn voor mij niet de favorieten, maar het breekt het album wel lekker een beetje. Een prima album om de dag mee te beginnen. Omdat ik positief verrast deel ik een 5 sterren wildcard uit. Geen legendarisch album vol iconische nummers, maar wel een top album-ervaring.

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Mon Jun 26 2023
5

Really enjoyed this. Funky and relaxing.

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Thu Jul 13 2023
5

this is so sick! funky but also weirdly shoegazey? for an album from the early 70s it sounds shockingly modern but also extremely old. really really great

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Thu Jul 13 2023
5

I’m not sure if I believe in divine inspiration, but this album is making me believe in extraterrestrial inspiration. This album stands out with no clear predecessors or successors. Funky!

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Fri Jul 14 2023
5

A very very strong five stars for this one. Never heard of him but obviously incredibly influential on a lot of people. Listened to it five or six times now and loved it more every time.

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Tue Aug 29 2023
5

A warm hug of an album, with hints & echoes of a bunch of artists from Clapton to Prince, Funkadelic to Donovan. An artist I had never heard of, but really enjoyed and look forward to listening to again

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Tue Sep 19 2023
5

Fantastic Soul album, really one you can sit down and enjoy on a Sunday evening

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Mon Sep 25 2023
5

Toimii.. voi jopa harkita uudelleenkuuntelua..

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Thu Sep 28 2023
5

Faaaark yes, really enjoyed this album. Going to try and find it on vinyl.

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Fri Sep 29 2023
5

Absolute gem from someone I've never heard of, nice one 1001.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

It's been a long time since this app has turned me, head over heels, into a fan of an artist I had barely heard of before. And it had to happen with Shuggie Otis. I only knew that Shuggie was the son of impresario, songwriter and musician Johnny Otis, of "Hound Dog" fame, but I didn't expect to immediately fall in love with this very, very special album. "Inspiration Information" is indeed a one-of-a-kind mix between progressive soul, enticing jazz dirges, psychedelic flourishes and proto-acid jazz instrumentals with cheap electronic rhythm patterns, all of this in 1974! "Aht Uh Mi Hed" is a ballad for the ages, which sees Shuggie using the hypnotic early drum machines once used in *There's A Riot Going On* so as to here create something smoother and far more delicate than what Sly Stone had created on his side. Those strings in the bridge section sent shudders down my spine right away. It's a shame this gem is not as well-known as it should be. The second side mostly comprising instrumental cuts is quite hypnotic as well. I would even dare to say that through this second side, Otis crafted the sort of timeless experimental split album that Bowie released not so long after. Under that light, *Inspiration Information* would be like a soul/funk version of *Low* or *"Heroes"* somehow--it's just that here the template is African American music instead of Glam Rock/Krautrock. At 30 minutes, this album is very short, but if you buy the 2001 reissue, you have four extra tracks from Otis' previous LP *Freedom Flight*, and they are gems as well--especially the 12-minute jazz odyssey that its title track was. But even without those four extra tracks, chances are that *Inspiration Information* is well worth your time if you're at least a little interested in progressive soul. Adding this great, great album to my list of essential keepers. And buying it right away. Number of albums left to review: 393 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 272 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 144 Albums from the list I won't include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 193

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Mon Dec 04 2023
5

Thought I had never heard of him before, then along comes Strawberry Letter 23, and whoa, mind blown. Oh! Album is awesome. Another buried treasure unearthed.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

Love this record! This was one of my faves in high school/college but haven’t listened in a while. Its grant and cohesive all the way through. All the grooves and sounds are so cool, love the guitar playing. All the songs are really great and the instrumentals are really cool too. Sharon Jones does a great cover of inspiration information

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

Shuggie Otis I never really heard this record but I love it. I could hear its influence on some of my favorite music. Such a cool voice and vibe. Also really great guitar playing. Also cool how he plays all the parts except for horns and strings. Old drum machine sounds are cool too especially on the instrumental tunes xl-30 and pling Groove on “not available” is so cool. I didn’t remember hearing the original strawberry 23- so different . I love the outro Ice cold daydream feels so good Freedom flight reminds me of “in a silent way” George Duke is so great I realized after that the last few songs were from other albums that they tagged on to the rerelease. Great album and will definitely need to listen more. 5

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

This is everything you want from a soul album and more! Amazing!

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

it's so beautiful, 70s aesthetic, didn't get bored with it. heck if this is "elevator music" for most people then it's great "elevator music". i had so much fun and will probably listen to it again.

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Mon Jan 22 2024
5

What a great find!! So much talent

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

Nice walking jams, need to think about properly sitting down to listen to these as I’m sure it became background gumpf to just mulling over the day’s plans

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Sun Feb 25 2024
5

Das gefällt mir: langsam, schnell, Funk, Rock, Jazz

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

A very chill, feel-good synth funk record that I could absolutely see myself putting on while working or chilling out. The warm, early 70s analog synth and drum machine sounds are so cozy and well-done. Nothing earth-shattering, but very good music. 4.5 leaning 5.

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

Beautiful album. The type of album to chill out after a long day of work.

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