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Sharon Robinson - Terea - rare early work

Posted: Thu May 13, 2021 12:16 am
by themucaro
Hi all,

Maybe this is well known so apologies if someone has posted about it already but I did a search and nothing came up so I said I'd throw up a post. I'm a big record collector (like many on here I'm sure) and occasional DJ (shameless plug, here's what I'm listening to! - https://www.mixcloud.com/WobbieCostelloe/) and I bought a funk/soul 45 called 'Pretty Bird' about 6 years ago by an artist called Terea - https://www.discogs.com/Lemuria-Terea-H ... ase/417546

Fast forward to earlier today and I heard it again for the first time in ages on a radio show I listen to religiously - Gilles Peterson - and I checked out the listing on Discogs again just to see what it's selling for these days.

And then I spy with my little eye... "written by S. Robinson" which got my spider senses going. Turns out Terea is Sharon's middle name! It's an early soul project of hers from 1977 done under an assumed name. I've no idea how this fact escaped me for so long as I've looked up the listing the odd time and never copped it.

"Terea is an alternative name used by Sharon Robinson. Because of the tax shelter issues with the label, Sharon was reluctant to use her own name, hence Terea (a name she had used in the past and her middle name it is believed)."

Here's the track - Pretty Bird - https://youtu.be/-xXtRqaZlLE

And the full album it came from got repressed a couple of years ago, there's even a cover of Manic Depression by Jimi on it. You can listen to all of the tracks here - https://www.discogs.com/Terea-Terea/release/15445138

Interestingly on the album listing it says Little Bird is written by Joni Mitchell but I can't find a version of it by her anywhere so not sure on that one.

Here's some more info I found on it from Jazzman's site:

In the olden days the music business was a torrid set of affairs run by hustlers, sharks and gangsters. Broken promises, deceit and corruption was the order of the day, and to be thrown out of a window was seen as a rite of passage into the business.

Amongst all this hustle and bustle was the murky world of the ‘tax scam’ label. Set up for wealthy individuals to invest in as a means to take advantage of a tax loophole, labels such as Tiger Lilly, Guinness and Baby Grand (upon which Terea was released) released many hundreds of obscure titles. The records themselves never saw a proper release and were often dumped in cut-out bins – or taken straight to the dump itself. As such, many of these LPs, including this album by Californian soul outfit Terea, remain extremely scarce and are now highly-prized collectors items.

In his liner notes to our reissue of the Terea album. producer Dennis Dreith lifts the lid on the shady business of the tax scam labels. Not only that but he tells us the story of Terea and the dedicated musicians who freely recorded the music they wanted to record without obligation to the record companies and A&R men. It was in these circumstances that the Terea LP was recorded, a work of art if only for the utterly joyous ‘Pretty Bird'.

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So there ya have it, thought some on here might find this interesting - thanks!