terry callier: what do you think of him?

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delicate? soulful? visionary? obvious? dull as dust? preachy?

by another name (amateurist), Thursday, 13 May 2010 03:59 (ten years ago) link

One of the all time great songs:


President Keyes, Thursday, 13 May 2010 10:04 (ten years ago) link

This one is my fav

mmmm, Thursday, 13 May 2010 10:25 (ten years ago) link

President Keyes OTM about Ordinary Joe
Why isn't that song on a pedestal with the likes of Sir Duke, Let's Stay Together, etc...?

Dr X O'Skeleton, Saturday, 15 May 2010 09:19 (ten years ago) link

A very comforting voice...I always turn to TC when I'm down...

henry s, Saturday, 15 May 2010 18:29 (ten years ago) link

best album cover ever

Gifted Unlimited Display Names Universal (deej), Saturday, 15 May 2010 18:38 (ten years ago) link

good record too, i have a repress which is ok-sound qual wise :-/

Gifted Unlimited Display Names Universal (deej), Saturday, 15 May 2010 18:38 (ten years ago) link

the first light thing is my fave.

by another name (amateurist), Sunday, 16 May 2010 00:06 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

Reports going around from Gilles Peterson among others that Callier has passed away at the age of 67.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 28 October 2012 21:33 (eight years ago) link

Very sad. Two classics currently making me moist-eyed:



Deafening silence (DL), Sunday, 28 October 2012 21:47 (eight years ago) link

sad indeed.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Sunday, 28 October 2012 22:55 (eight years ago) link

Sad sad news. Falls into the Curtis camp for me as someone who deserved to have been heard and appreciated by a much wider audience.

RIP Terry


groovypanda, Monday, 29 October 2012 08:31 (eight years ago) link

R.I.P. His first album is one of my all time favorites.

O-Jah Da Lionmane (longneck), Monday, 29 October 2012 08:57 (eight years ago) link

The brown sleeve compi cd is very good. Some otherworldly material on there.

I think Les Intouchables had a song by him on the s/trk, certainly sounded like him. Took me a moment to place who it was.

Just saw a duet with Beth Orton advertised somewhere yesterday. Wondering if it was in relation to his death that it was being advertised or if it was already coming out when he died.

Kicking myself for not getting along to see him at the Jazz cafe in Camden a few years back. Meant to but somehow didn't make it.

Stevolende, Monday, 29 October 2012 10:36 (eight years ago) link


henry s, Monday, 29 October 2012 10:39 (eight years ago) link

A friend saw him in his second comeback gig in Camden Jazz Cafe in 1994.

He cried because so many people had come to see him and he'd no idea so many people still listened to him.

groovypanda, Monday, 29 October 2012 11:25 (eight years ago) link

The Beth Orton duet was issued some time ago..

Mark G, Monday, 29 October 2012 12:24 (eight years ago) link


There you go..

Mark G, Monday, 29 October 2012 12:26 (eight years ago) link

I hadn't heard of him until the RIPs, but wow, "Dancing Girl" is amazing. Produced by Charles Stepney of Rotary Connection!


thraeds of life (The Reverend), Monday, 29 October 2012 23:54 (eight years ago) link

From the Guardian obit:

He had abandoned music for a job as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago until a new generation rediscovered his work in the early 90s. It was only when that record won a United Nations award that his employers at the university discovered his new double life and dismissed him from his post.

fucking hell

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:52 (eight years ago) link

yeah that made steam come out of my ears.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:25 (eight years ago) link

i don't get it, they actually fired him because they found out he was a musician?

tylerw, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:27 (eight years ago) link

there's probably more to the story.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:36 (eight years ago) link

Gave "What Color is Love" a spin tonight, first in a long time. It's the only one of his I've heard, but it's a really nice record. He's kinda somewhere in-between Gil Scott-Heron and John Martyn..

Mule, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:50 (eight years ago) link

As I've been saying, his first album is a real gem. Mostly covers/traditional songs, but such great interpretations.

O-Jah Da Lionmane (longneck), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:53 (eight years ago) link

Thanks. Will listen. (though I hate how I always end up checking stuff out after the artist dies. I'm probably not the only one).

Mule, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 22:57 (eight years ago) link

rest in peace you beautiful man.

jed_, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 02:49 (eight years ago) link

love that folk album, so hypnotic

buzza, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 03:04 (eight years ago) link


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 04:30 (eight years ago) link

Gave "What Color is Love" a spin tonight, first in a long time. It's the only one of his I've heard, but it's a really nice record. He's kinda somewhere in-between Gil Scott-Heron and John Martyn..

― Mule, Tuesday, October 30, 2012 5:50 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah. what a weird, unmarketable niche to occupy when you think about it.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 31 October 2012 07:15 (eight years ago) link


buzza, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 07:37 (eight years ago) link

listening to what color is love this morning -- such a cool record. Stepney could've gone nuts but it seems like he was into the subtlety of callier's thing. all of the production/arrangement touches are pretty perfect.

tylerw, Friday, 2 November 2012 16:10 (eight years ago) link

Very enjoyable - thanks! Like sunday morning coffee.

Hinklepicker, Friday, 2 November 2012 20:13 (eight years ago) link

Gilles Peterson played a whole lot of TC on his 6Music show on Saturday afternoon - rare tracks etc

bham, Wednesday, 7 November 2012 16:37 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

next album to get after What Color Is Love?

jamiesummerz, Friday, 13 April 2018 15:08 (two years ago) link

Occasional Rain or New Folk Sound for me.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 13 April 2018 15:19 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

"Lazarus Man" from TimePeace rules, have to give the whole album a listen

niels, Monday, 1 October 2018 10:48 (two years ago) link

Such a coincidence: I fell asleep to What Color Is Love last night. It was lovely.

ArchCarrier, Monday, 1 October 2018 11:47 (two years ago) link

deej otm:

best album cover ever

― Gifted Unlimited Display Names Universal (deej), Saturday, May 15, 2010 8:38 PM (eight years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

ArchCarrier, Monday, 1 October 2018 11:47 (two years ago) link

I've had it on Sunday morning. 'What Color Is Love' is an album for this time of year, for sure.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 1 October 2018 11:48 (two years ago) link

xp otm

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 1 October 2018 11:48 (two years ago) link

I've got that cover on my wall. (In one of those 'ooh, look at my vinyl' picture frames. Don't judge me.)

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 1 October 2018 16:03 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

If anyone wants more peak Terry, I highly recommend this album. Picked it up on a whim this past weekend and it's just been dominating my iPod listening. I can't believe it's not more well-known, especially considering how highly regarded the Chess albums are.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:25 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

oh hello, myself from a year ago after listening to that album about five times in a row. i agree, it is absolutely peak tc! however, i noticed that you didn't say anything about the live tracks at the end of the disc. besides an incredible reading of 'occasional rain', there are at least references two references to "willie wright" between tc and the host who introduces him. you don't know this yet, because you haven't checked out the excellent willie wright nantucket island reissue, but willie wright is dope as hell. wild that he taught tc traditional songs. but awesome. enjoy life before the car accident and the pandemic!

okay, back to the topic at hand:

in the abundance of downtime recently, i've been checking out tc's later career resurgence catalogue and have really been enjoying all of it. i'm not going to sit here and claim it's as good as his 70s work — it's not. but he just has such a good vibe all the time — and very articulate; truly up there curtis, roddy frame, and gsh as one of my favorite lyricists. i've mainly stuck with the studio album so far.

timepeace and lifetime are are very slick, 90s urban adult contempo albums. some really good originals, but i feel like they would have maybe been better served by something a little less produced. i'm enough of fan to be able to look past the sometimes cheesy arrangements, so i can dig it. his lyrics are more overtly political than ever, and he does sing the songs as he is truly believes in them, so yeah: mixed bag maybe, but i like it.

the other one i've checked out so far is hidden conversations, which (if i understand correctly) features members of massive attack working the musical backings. it's decent. very much reminiscent of the tc version of gil scott-heron's various "comeback" projects. the music is massive attack-esque and tc almost feels like he's purposely rapping his words at some points, so it's a comfortable fit i'd say. only one listen on this one so far, but i can dig it.

have speak your peace and lookin` out in the mail. will check back in.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Sunday, 26 April 2020 03:38 (ten months ago) link

also, i'd just like to big up first light one more time. on some days, i'd say it's on par with the cadet stuff. kind of a foregone conclusion, as it shares some of the same songs as those albums, essentially in stripped down demo form. just brilliant stuff. among the songs that were never pursued past the sessions that make up the album, all of them are good, but holy shit is 'trick all your time away' good. it almost feels like simultaneously the single most representative and best song tc ever did. like if you've never heard tc and just want one song to get an idea of what he does, give that a listen. brilliant stuff.

anyway. as you were.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Sunday, 26 April 2020 04:03 (ten months ago) link

i have tried many times to get into terry callier, and nothing ever really stuck, but that is one of the best songs i've ever heard and it might very well be the way in. thank you.

budo jeru, Sunday, 26 April 2020 11:10 (ten months ago) link

holy shit had no idea that Ordinary Joe on Nujabe's Modal Soul album is a cover of the original from original Occasional Rain, but features Terry himself on vocals! What an amazing surprise when listening to the Callier album for the first time.

octobeard, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 17:24 (ten months ago) link

i wish i could listen to occasional rain for the first time again.

and yeah, "ordinary joe" is a life changing tune.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 28 April 2020 18:09 (ten months ago) link

Certainly was my favorite track on Modal Soul. Love finding these musical connections.

octobeard, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 19:39 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...
five months pass...

I'm really feeling his New Folk Sound of Terry Callier album today, one of the alltime best.

calzino, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:57 (one week ago) link

Tell me who y'all etc.--New Folk Sound... has often been my no-brainer stays-in-the-bag pick when DJing, something that almost always sounds perfect at the start or end of a bar night

Kangol In The Light (Craig D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 16:11 (one week ago) link

what a truly great singer he was.. a colossus!

calzino, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:16 (one week ago) link

his "cotton eyed joe" is one of my most listened to tracks probably ever

stimmy stimmy yah (Simon H.), Friday, 19 February 2021 16:21 (one week ago) link

What Color Is Love was my soundtrack to the fall and early winter for some reason. It's a very comforting sounding album, and that riff from Dancing Girl is some earworm shit that kind of took over my brain for months.

The story about him losing his job at a university when they found out he went on tour and was a musician: I've only seen passing reference to this, but isn't that incredibly fucked up?

akm, Friday, 19 February 2021 18:24 (one week ago) link

nothing to add, it's just in my contract that i have to post on this thread anytime it gets revived.

anyway, here's tc doing steely dan because that's exactly what the world needs more of.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 19 February 2021 22:04 (one week ago) link


stimmy stimmy yah (Simon H.), Friday, 19 February 2021 22:58 (one week ago) link

Yeah, tracks like 'Dancing Girl' and 'Trick all your time away' are about as good as music gets and Terry Callier is a collossus.

Adoration of the Mogwai (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 20 February 2021 21:57 (one week ago) link

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