Truth and Soul

Truth and Soul is the second album by American funk-rock and ska band Fishbone. It was released on September 13, 1988. As is typical of the band's history of music the album features a wide array of genres including punk, ska, reggae, soul, funk, and blues. Additionally, Truth and Soul includes the band's earliest foray into hard rock and heavy metal music. The album begins with a cover version of Curtis Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead", originally from the soundtrack to the film Super Fly.

Truth and Soul
Fishbone Truth and Soul.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 13, 1988
StudioSunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, California
49:28 (European CD version)
ProducerDavid Kahne
Fishbone chronology
It's a Wonderful Life
Truth and Soul
Set the Booty Up Right
Music video
"Ma and Pa" on YouTube
Singles from Truth and Soul
  1. "Freddie's Dead"
    Released: 1988
  2. "Ma and Pa"
    Released: 1988
  3. "Change"
    Released: 1988
  4. "One Day"
    Released: 1989


Following the release of the Fishbone EP and In Your Face, the band had completed their original record contract with Columbia Records and renegotiated a new deal that would allow them another full-length album. It was later acknowledged as a sign of how much faith Columbia had in Fishbone at the time to continue to support their records.[4][5]

Guitarist Kendall Jones was becoming concerned that the band's image was "cartoonish,"[5] and reviews of their previous album had, in fact, criticized the attempt at socially conscious subject matter alongside other absurd frat-rock songs.[6][7] Meanwhile, Jones was beginning to experiment with heavy rock guitar work, which was influencing Fishbone's new material. These elements together influenced the band to make a more serious album with a consistently socially conscious theme.[5]


Domestically, two tracks were released as singles in promotion of the album. The first, "Freddie's Dead", had a music video directed by Douglas Gayeton, and the second, "Ma and Pa", had a video directed by Mike Lipscombe. Additional singles were released in Europe for the songs "Change" and "One Day."[8] Additionally, a promotional EP titled Interchords was released with live versions of six songs from the record followed by excerpts from an interview at KUSF explaining each song's meaning.[9][10]


Contemporary reviews of Truth and Soul were generally mixed to positive. David Silverman for the Chicago Tribune gave the album a mixed review saying that the blend of musical styles hurts the album "despite the band's talent."[11] In a separate review for the same newspaper, Chris Heim positively reviewed the record, especially in light of it being only the band's sophomore effort, calling the record "fresh, assured and bursting with ideas and energy [that] seem like it should come from more experienced musicians."[12] Netherlands music magazine OOR awarded the album as the twenty-second best rock album of the year out of 154 entries.[13]

Retrospective reviews were generally positive. Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Greg Prato awarded the album four-and-a-half stars out of five and noted that, as Fishbone's first significant use of hard rock, guitarist Kendall Jones' guitar-playing yielded "often-spectacular results."[3] Robert Christgau gave the album a B rating and said that he didn't think the album flowed well when taken as a whole, but that each song on its own could "change any radio station's pace quite satisfactorily."[14] Additionally, the album was awarded four-out-of-five stars in 2004's The New Rolling Stone Album Guide.[15] Music critic Tom Moon called the album one of his "1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die"[16] and Robert Dimery listed it as one of his 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[17]

Track listingEdit

1."Freddie's Dead"Curtis Mayfield4:31
2."Ma and Pa"Angelo Moore, Kendall Jones3:19
3."Question of Life"Moore, Jones, John Norwood Fisher3:02
4."Pouring Rain"Chris Dowd5:13
5."Deep Inside"Moore, Fisher1:22
6."Mighty Long Way"Fisher3:26
7."I Like to Hide Behind My Glasses" (only included on European CD release)Dowd, Moore4:43
8."Bonin' in the Boneyard"Moore, Fisher, David Kahne4:44
9."One Day"Walter Kibby, Jones, Kahne4:34
10."Subliminal Fascism"Moore1:28
11."Slow Bus Movin' (Howard Beach Party)"Jones, Moore, Kibby, Philip "Fish" Fisher2:38
12."In the Name of Swing" (only included on European CD release)Moore, Fisher, Kahne2:46
13."Ghetto Soundwave"Jones4:24
14."Change"Jones, Dowd2:58

Outside of Europe, the album contained only twelve tracks, with "I Like to Hide Behind My Glasses" and "In the Name of Swing" not included. These two tracks from the European CD version would later be released in the US on the EP Set the Booty Up Right.


Additional musicians and production


Chart (1988) Peak
US Billboard 200 153


  1. ^ Elliott, Paul (May 30, 2016). "The Top 20 Greatest Funk Rock Songs". TeamRock. Team Rock Limited. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  2. ^ Everley, Dave (June 29, 2021). "10 funk metal bands that time forgot". Metal Hammer. Future plc. Archived from the original on June 29, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Prato, Greg. "allmusic ((( Truth and Soul > Review )))". AllMusic. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  4. ^ "New Album could be the Big One for Fishbone". Billboard. Vol. 103, no. 17. 1991. p. 26 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ a b c Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Dir. Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler. Perf. Fishbone. Grindstone Media, 2010. DVD.
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (Oct 3, 1986). "Pop and Jazz Guide". The New York Times. p. C.22.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Fishbone.", Retrieved on March 31, 2010.
  8. ^ "Fishbone Discography - Singles - Pette Discographies: A Record Collector's Guide".
  9. ^ "Fishbone discography details -".
  10. ^ "Fishbone Discography - Interchords - Pette Discographies: A Record Collector's Guide".
  11. ^ Silverman, David (October 16, 1988). "Talented Sextet Fishbone in Need of Right Angling". Chicago Tribune – via ProQuest.
  12. ^ Heim, Chris (October 7, 1988). "Ambitious Artists Put New Life in some Old Musical Styles". Chicago Tribune – via ProQuest.
  13. ^ "OOR – Albums of the Year". OOR. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Fishbone"., Retrieved on March 31, 2010.
  15. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Fishbone." The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 298, cited March 31, 2010
  16. ^ "Tom Moon – 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die" (PDF). Tom Moon. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  17. ^ Dimery, Robert – 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die; page 856

External linksEdit