Freedom Fight (2023 Repress)
Those willing to dig a little deeper however, would discover hidden gold in his earlier releases, especially in the album directly before Inspiration/Information, his sophomore 1971 release Freedom Flight.
As with his debut, Freedom Flight was produced by Shuggie's father Johnny Otis, and built upon the distinct sounds of his debut album: lush, baroque, string section arrangements, paired with hard funk rhythms, and funky blues melodies, with the majority of the instruments once again performed by Shuggie himself. The album also features backing from premium session greats like George Duke and Aynsley Dunbar, and the track "Strawberry Letter 23" which became a monster hit for The Brothers Johnson 3 years later. Freedom Flight is a treasure of deft, technical skill, and virtuosic composition.
Released: September 2023
Label: Get On Down