Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Bruce Cloud - California Soul (1969)
This fantastic album by West-coaster Bruce Cloud is not for everyone, but, it's a smooth-gem for those who enjoy his distinctive voice. Cloud originally reached stardom as second tenor with the group "Billy Ward and the Dominoes". After leaving the group in 1962, Cloud tried to make it on his own and in 1969 released California Soul. Cloud is an interesting character as much for his music as he is for his tragic personal life story. After failing to realize commercial success with his solo career, Cloud was forced to take a job at a drug store. Things were not going well for Cloud and his family and after nearly divorcing his wife, Cloud killed her and their two year old child before committing suicide.
Personal issues aside, this album resonates with the archetypal laid-backness common to Californian soul. It's surprising to hear such an easy going album come from a man who clearly had a lot on his mind. I remember reading somewhere a rebuttal from his sister, who claims that his death was actually a staged murder. She claims that the killer left a message by ransacking the house and only leaving the shoes - evocative of the tune "Walk In My Shoes". If I can track down the link to her comments, I'll be sure to post them. They have eluded me thus far but they provide an interesting counter-point to the amazing story of the life of Bruce Cloud.
"Your Papa may have, and your Momma may have, But God's gonna bless the child that's got his own"
Vinyl ripped @ 320
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