Inspiration Information

Inspiration Information is the third album by Shuggie Otis. Released in 1974 on Epic Records, it reached #181 on Billboard's Top 200 Pop Albums list, and its featured single (with the title of the same name) also reached #56 on the U.S. R&B charts. It was reissued in 2001 on the label Luaka Bop, receiving widespread acclaim.[3]

Inspiration Information
Inspiration Information cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1974
Recorded1971 to 1974 at Hawk Sound and Columbia Studios, Los Angeles, CA
ProducerShuggie Otis
Shuggie Otis chronology
Freedom Flight
Inspiration Information

Pitchfork describes the sound of the album as a combination of "smooth, organ-driven California funk, quasi-new age psychedelia, loungey jazz instrumentals, [and] string interludes".[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [5]
Pitchfork Media(8.8/10)[6]
The Village VoiceC+[7]

Widely considered a cult classic, Inspiration Information was Otis' debut project as both an adult and a producer, having been a teenager backed on his two previous solo efforts by his father, R&B pioneer Johnny Otis. The change of overseeing the production himself would result in a less traditional approach to songwriting in regards to Otis' deep upbringing in the blues. In addition, the utilization of analog drum machines gave 'Inspiration' a newer electric sound that at the time were being used by only a handful of Otis' contemporaries, notably by Sly Stone on Sly and the Family Stone's 1971 hit album, There's A Riot Goin' On.

Otis' relationship with Epic came under heavy scrutiny as he would take three years to finish Inspiration and fulfill his three-album contract, as this would also be the final release for Otis on the Epic label.

Inspiration was re-issued on CD by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's independent label Luaka Bop Records. This version, released on April 3, 2001, included the original album in its entirety as well as four songs taken from Otis' 1971 album Freedom Flight, including "Strawberry Letter 23".

The album was re-released again in 2013 with four previously unreleased tracks from 1971: "Miss Pretty", "Magic", "Things We Like To Do" and "Castle Top Jam". The re-release also features a second CD entitled Wings Of Love featuring 14 previously unreleased live and studio tracks recorded by Shuggie between 1975 and 2000.


Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings covered "Inspiration Information" on the 2009 Red Hot Organization compilation, Dark Was The Night.


Pitchfork rated the title track as its 149th best song of the 1970s.[8]


All tracks are written by Shuggie Otis.

1."Inspiration Information"4:07
2."Island Letter"4:40
3."Sparkle City"5:55
4."Aht Uh Mi Hed"4:14
5."Happy House"1:08
6."Rainy Day"2:39
9."Not Available"2:26
Total length:31:38



  • Shuggie Otis - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Organ, Piano, Vibraphone, Percussion, Analog Drum Machines
  • Jack Kelso - Saxophones, Flute
  • Jeff Martinez - French Horn
  • Carol Robbins - Harp
  • Doug Wintz, Jim Prindle - Trombone
  • Curt Sletten, Ron Robbins - Trumpet
  • Barbara Porter, Brian Asher, D. Jones, J. Parker, Louis Rosen, Marcia Zeavin, N. Roth, Steve Boone, T. Ziegler - Strings


Chart (1975) Peak
Billboard Pop Albums[9] 181


Year Single Chart positions[10]
1975 "Inspiration Information" 56


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  2. ^ Mirkin, Steven. "Reviews: Shuggie Otis". Variety. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  3. ^ Mirkin, Steven. "Reviews: Shuggie Otis". Variety. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information / Wings of Love Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 27, 2001). "Turkey Shoot 2001". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "The 200 Best Songs of the 1970s - Page 3 | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  9. ^ "Shuggie Otis US albums chart history". Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  10. ^ "Shuggie Otis US singles chart history". Retrieved 2011-08-26.

External linksEdit