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Bill Withers' Legacy Is So Much Deeper Than The Hits We All Know
Withers was poised — along with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Carly Simon — to become a generationally transcendent pop star, Withers went with his heart and his desire to write and record great songs, whether they would be pop hits or not. +'Justments, Withers' last album for Sussex, was released in 1974 and spawned three singles, none of which charted higher than 50 on the pop chart. No doubt +'Justments was hampered by the financial struggles at Sussex, but he was also not interested in recording simple pop songs. A key, but underappreciated narrative of Bill Withers' career is not his chart-topping early hits — or his so-called comeback in the late 1970s with "Lovely Day" and few years later with Grover Washington on the Grammy winning "Just the Two of Us" — but the thoughtful, introspective and brilliant albums that he recorded in the interim, with little airplay or fanfare.