As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Bill Withers’ Still Bill still stands as the greatest male-fronted soul album not made by a singer named Marvin, Al, Sam, James, or Ray.Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi), a company delivering the foremost audio technology and specializing in high-quality reissues, in partnership with Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is proud to announce the release of this understated soul masterwork on its industry-leading 180-gram single LP format. Named “One of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone, listed in “1,000 Albums to Hear Before You Die” by The Guardian, and included in Tom Moon’s 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die book, the 1972 landmark album includes the timeless hits “Lean on Me” and “Use Me.”
180-gram numbered-edition single LPs are available for preorder now at mofi.com &musicdirect.com.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity’s renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, MoFi’s numbered-edition LP of Still Bill gives this lush classic the luxe treatment it has always deserved. Replete with intoxicating detail and depth, the collectible analog reissue zeroes in on the music’s crux — Withers’ unique, rich, West Virginia-accented voice — while clearing a true-to-the-source path to the extraordinary backing he receives from members of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. The diverse spectrum of colors, textures, and tones Withers captured at the Record Plant can now be experienced for the first time outside the L.A. studio. The lifelike presence and directness of his singing, as well as the smooth glide of his phrasing, further elevate the magnificence of the music and underscore why the record continues to escalate in stature.
Every facet of Still Bill radiates honesty, truth, and emotion. These characteristics, along with Withers’ strong singing, hybrid arrangements, and deceptively simple songwriting, have allowed the album to endure to the point where it sounds as fresh today as in 1972. In combining four of the era’s predominant styles — Philly soul, sweaty funk, Southern-reared blues, acoustic-based folk — and melding them with standout production borrowed from both minimalist affairs and sophisticated singer-songwriter albums, Still Bill occupies a distinct universe. Its rhythmic fare is equally laidback and invigorating; relaxing and rollicking; eloquent and muscular; soft and tough. Withers’ calm, self-assured voice hovers about it all, doubling as a warm blanket that adds comfort and grace to lyrics steeped in maturity, perspective, and compassion. Withers’ balanced outlook on human desires, needs, and situations stem from his own existence as a former blue-collar employee who believed his time as a musician would soon end. That grounding forever separates Withers from other contemporary soul greats – and stamps Still Bill with a conversational nature and egoless approachability.
“Everyone at MoFi is proud to release Still Bill for its 50th anniversary,” said John K. Wood, executive vice president of Mobile Fidelity. “This numbered-edition, audiophile-grade 180-gram LP offers listeners the closest experience to being at the Record Plant for the recording of the soul classic back in ‘72.”