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Just as I Am


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Bill Withers (guitar); Booker T. Jones (guitar, keyboards); Stephen Stills (guitar); Jim Keltner, Al Jackson, Jr. (drums); Bobbye Hall Porter (percussion).
  • Audio Remixer: Johnny Colden.
  • Liner Note Author: Rico "Superbizzee" Washington.
  • Recording information: Sunset Sound Recorders; Wally Helder Recording Studio, Hollywood.
  • Photographer: Norbert Jobst.
  • Arranger: Booker T. Jones.
  • One of the sacred texts of 1970s R&B (not to mention '70s pop), JUST AS I AM goes toe to toe with STILL BILL for the lofty position of being Bill Withers's best album. It features Withers's unique blend of pop, gospel, and soul, filtered through an acoustic-guitar-based singer/songwriter sensibility. The two big hits (the lovelorn "Ain't No Sunshine" and the bittersweet, nostalgic "Grandma's Hands") are staggering enough, but between striking reinventions of others' material (folkie Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," the Beatles' "Let it Be") and lesser-known songs that nearly equal the smashes, JUST AS I AM is incredibly consistent, and captivating from beginning to end. Stack this one up alongside any classic Stevie or Marvin album as one of the milestones of the era. The Dualdisc version's second disc features all the tracks in 5.1 Surround Sound.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (p.88) - "JUST AS I AM is still wonderful sun-kissed California soul, highlighted by the heartbreaking 'Ain't No Sunshine' and the thumbnail portrait 'Harlem'."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] set sees the singer-songwriter on his dazzling phase of '70s hits...establishing a lower-key confessional soul style..."
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