Bill Withers
Still Bill


4.0
excellent

Review

by thegroove6 USER (8 Reviews)
December 26th, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: He was a few parts soul, some blues, even some country; but he was funky in all the right places, and he wrote songs that spoke to the most human of all parts, the heart.


It was my freshman year in college, and I, like most of cohorts, was just another cog in the army of budding know-it-alls. I was going through a substantial stack of burned CD’s that a friend had. I stumbled across one that said, ‘Bill Withers, Still Bill,’ on it. I thought to myself, ‘who the hell is Bill Withers?’ He sounded like an old cowboy, playing country and western in the 1950’s; perhaps he was a blues man, plucking and bending those guitar strings into something that resemble a facet of people’s lives. But Bill Withers was neither, and he was all of them. Bill Withers was then, and still is today, an enigma. He was a few parts soul, some blues, even some country; but he was funky in all the right places, and he wrote songs that spoke to the most human of all parts, the heart.

In 1971, Bill Withers emerged on the scene with his debut record, Just As I Am. It was a smash hit, featuring timeless classics, like ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ and ‘Harlem.’ Then came 1972, time for another record, time for the old sophomore slump, right? Think again, Withers released, Still Bill, and avoided the blues of a bad second LP. It seemed Withers was in the ‘rare air’ of more than just a few good songs or only one hit record. Still Bill remains a classic to this day; it saw Bill hitting his stride. Where the first record was more Earthy, more stripped down, the second record record was funkier, with just as much soul.

The tracks seemed to tell stories like any good country song; but they groove hard; the kind of groove reserved for guys like Isaac Hayes and James Brown. There was something simple about them, but it was simplicity that was elegant, accomplishing a beautiful gracefulness that runs seamlessly throughout the record. All of this is great; all of this will no doubt make one a star, and it certainly made Bill Withers just that. What made Withers special, what catapulted him into the realm of a Legend was his ability to be genuine; his ability speak to be people; his ability to identify with the listeners, and have them believe that each song was written for them, and them alone. It is an intangible in the arsenal of every great song writer; it allowed Bill Withers to be more personal than others in the Soul sect of popular music. It is the same reason that everyone can listen to, and enjoy, Bill Withers, and records like Still Bill.

Bill Withers remains an enigma; how can History be so unkind to a true genius. Withers is one of those acts that goes largely unnoticed, even in the Music world. Although everyone has knowingly, or unknowingly heard, and probably recognizes a number of his songs. Perhaps the answer lies in Withers ability to cross so many genres; his talent for speaking to so many different kinds of listeners. Maybe that’s why Bill has faded into seeming obscurity.

But Still Bill is a record for everyone; your Soul-Seeker, your Funk-Master, the stanchest of song writing critics, or your average, every-day avid and novice listeners. And tell your friends about it; lets all make a concerted effort to put Bill Withers on the map (once again). Let’s help reignite the fire that undoubtedly burns brightly in Bill own heart, in the hearts and minds of music lovers world wide. Let’s all introduce the world to one of America’s best kept secrets, Bill Withers, the legend that no one has ever heard of.



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user ratings (63)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
PappyMason
December 26th 2014


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Such a great album, 'Use Me' is a fantastic song!!



Your review could do with mentioning some of the tracks though, given that they're great...

PappyMason
December 26th 2014


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love your third paragraph though, that's the truth.



'I'm Her Daddy' from his Bill's first album 'Just As I Am' still gives me chills.

TheSonomaDude
December 26th 2014


7390 Comments


I saw this as Carl Weathers at first.

PappyMason
January 30th 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm convinced that 'Let Me in Your Life' is one of the most beautiful songs ever written...

NorthernSkylark
February 6th 2015


11267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'll give this a go tomorrow!

Digging: Klangstof - Close Eyes To Exit

NorthernSkylark
February 6th 2015


11267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow

NorthernSkylark
May 10th 2015


11267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

might as well be a lonely walker (he rha rhe rhaarh)





Hovse
February 14th 2017


2728 Comments


This is amazing ..love it alot

NorthernSkylark
February 14th 2017


11267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pappy@ agreed, Let me in your life is a stunner

BigHans
June 13th 2019


30957 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Lean on Me best song ever probably

Sinternet
April 3rd 2020


24107 Comments


Can't believe I'm saying this but RIP Bill, thanks for getting me into soul in the first place. For however many other artists I loved I'm not sure many if any had such a beautiful soul as him.

Archelirion
April 3rd 2020


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NO



WHAT



I had a review for Just As I Am literally in the works as of this morning. Aw man. RIP so so hard. Dude lived soul.

parksungjoon
April 3rd 2020


30897 Comments


R.I.P. :[

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

fuck



gonna jam this legend's music this weekend

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


1243 Comments


Are you fucking kidding?! I've only just been sinking into his music in the past few months. Absolute unit of an artist. Use Me is my fucking jam. I'm gutted. RIP

Minushuman24
April 3rd 2020


4730 Comments


RIP

BigHans
April 3rd 2020


30957 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the hardest RIPs I've ever given

NorthernSkylark
April 3rd 2020


11267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn man. RIP.

OmairSh
Contributing Reviewer
December 7th 2020


17563 Comments


Such a great timbre in his voice

Digging: Asad Ahmed - Ascension



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