Shuggie Otis

Strawberry Letter 23

Composed by Shuggie Otis

Song Review by

A huge late-'70s hit for the Brothers Johnson, "Strawberry Letter 23" started life as a track from the author's (Shuggie Otis) 1971 Freedom Flight album. Although the Brothers' version is excellent, this early, self-produced version is superior. A combination of whimsical, psychedelic, and orchestrated soul music, it paved the way for many artists, namely Prince. In fact, the entire affair sounds like an outtake from the Purple One's Around the World in a Day. A true period piece and masterpiece.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Freedom Flight 1971 Epic 3:57
Inspiration Information 1974 Narada / Luaka Bop 3:58
Jackie Brown [Orginal Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1997
Original Soundtrack
Rhino
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Off Centre: A Riot on Old Street 2001
Various Artists
Bbe 3:58
Clubbed Out, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:47
No Image 2001 Luaka Bop
As We Travel: Folk Funk Flavours & Ambient Soul 2002
Various Artists
Harmless 3:59
The Best Smooth Jazz...Ever! [4 CD Virgin] 2003
Various Artists
Virgin 3:59
Here Comes Shuggie Otis/Freedom Flight 2003 Raven 3:57
Uncovered [EMI] 2003
Various Artists
Family Recordings 3:56
70s Groove 2003
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:58
Funk Soul Classics 2004
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:59
Good Vibes 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:55
Luaka Bop Remix 2005
Various Artists
Luaka Bop 7:34
Pure... Psychedelic Rock 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:59
Original Album Classics 2012 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution
The Box Set Series: '70s Soul 2014
Various Artists
Legacy / Legacy Recordings 3:58
100 Hits: Funk 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:59
Live in Williamsburg 2014 Cleopatra
American Highway
Various Artists
Rhino / WMTV 3:59
Craig Charles: Funk & Soul Classics
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:56
Introducing Shuggie Otis Legacy / Sony Legacy 3:57
Luaka Bop Sampler 2007
Various Artists
Luaka Bop 3:58
Superstar Seventies!
Various Artists
Sony Music
The Best of Shuggie Otis Sony Music
The Legacy of Soul [Sony Music]
Various Artists
Sony Music
The Old Grey Whistle Test: Soul
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
Legacy
blue highlight denotes editor's pick