http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4c6cf43341aa242988ece765c45b9bab756d536a.jpg These Songs For You, Live!

Donny Hathaway

These Songs For You, Live!

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
June 24, 2004

Voices such as Donny Hathaway's come along maybe once a decade. Before his brief but influential career was cut short by suicide in 1979, Hathaway proved himself a maestro of protest soul who effused equal amounts of political anger and romantic tenderness. Culled from several early-Seventies concerts, These Songs for You, Live! displays the passion and charm that have inspired artists from Alicia Keys to the Neptunes, as well as his knack for finding a great band. The luxurious, previously unreleased rendition of "Someday We'll All Be Free" brims with electrifying piano runs; his take on "A Song for You" is shiver-inducing; and the casual seduction of "You've Got a Friend" turns into a joyous singalong. There are some missteps: The instrumental "Valdez in the Country" is inexplicably placed as the disc's second song, and Hathaway's version of Stevie Wonder's "Superwoman" sounds rootless. But what emerges most is Hathaway's irrepressible charisma and talent; in his hands, even "Yesterday" became a blues lament nonpareil.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Love Is the Answer”

    Utopia | 1977

    The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

    More Song Stories entries »