Goodbye World

The Relatives

Goodbye World

  • Label: Ubiquity
  • Catalogue number: LHLP079
  • Format: LP
  • Genres: Blues, Funk, Gospel, Soul, Soul Funk
  • Origin: United States



Side 1
1.    "Rational Culture/Testimony" (7:46)
2.    "You Gotta Do Right" (3:12)
3.    "No Man Is An Island" (2:49)
4.    "This World Is Moving Too Fast" (3:14)
Side 2
1.    "He Never Sleeps" (2:19)
2.    "Can't Feel Nothin'" (4:09)
3.    "What You Say" (2:59)
4.    "Forgive Me Now (Songbird Goes Home)" (2:35)

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"I got a little more work for you to do." That's what the late Reverend Gean West sings-or rather testifies-on the opening track of Goodbye World, the new and deeply emotional album from the triumphantly unlikely gospel funk band the Relatives. The group started working on the record in the summer of 2014, but Gean was able to lay down his signature gravelly vocals on only two songs before he became ill and fell into a coma. He remained unconscious for twelve days, and it was during that time he heard God's voice telling him to get back to work. "Don't let me down, son," the voice commanded. Gean took that admonition to heart. He and the band returned to the studio in January 2015, where he incorporated a riveting spoken-word account of his near-death epiphany into the band's reworking of Tim Maia's "Rational Culture." Over the course of two nights, he managed to cut all his remaining vocals on the album, except for its last song, "Forgive Me Now," which he proved too weak to perform. He was rushed to the hospital two days after the second session. A week later, after guitarist and producer Zach Ernst had done some overdubs and mixing, fellow band member Earnest Tarkington brought an early version of "Rational Culture / Testimony" to Gean's bedside. Gean listened to its swirling psychedelic guitars, the impassioned vocals of his brother Tommie singing "He gonna rule the world, don't you know, don't you know." And he heard his own powerful preacher's voice-with no hint of weakness or illness in it-bearing witness to the epiphany he had experienced in his coma. It was a rough mix but all the elements were there, all the righteous energy and joyful passion that had been the Relatives' trademarks since Gean formed the group in 1970.