Talamon saw it all during the golden age of soul, R&B, and funk. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, this young African American photographer from Los Angeles found himself backstage with an all-access pass to the heart of the music scene. He caught his first big break landing a position as a staff photographer at SOUL Newspaper in LA in the early 1970s, just as soul, R&B, and funk were becoming part of the mainstream. He captured the rehearsals and sound checks, recording sessions and costume fittings, the quiet reflective moments and life on the road, and, of course, the wild photo shoots and memorable performances. These photographs define an era famed for its glamour, fabulous fashions, and utter devotion to the groove.
Including close to 300 photographs from 1972 to 1982, the extensive Talamon archives are presented in full detail for the first time. Whether you’re a diehard soul fan or a thrilled newcomer to the aesthetic magic of the 1970s, the collection exudes the infectious spirit of an exuberant age. Featuring icons such as Earth, Wind & Fire; Marvin Gaye; Diana Ross; Parliament-Funkadelic; Al Green; Gil Scott-Heron; James Brown; Barry White; Rick James; Aretha Franklin; the Jackson Five; Donna Summer; and Chaka Khan and many others; there are also several stops at the legendary Soul Train studios. Talamon documented a visual period in black music that lasted way past the midnight hour and will never come again.
This release is an affordable, compact version of our Art Edition, limited to 500 copies and featuring a portfolio of four prints signed by Bruce W. Talamon.
“His photos feel like you could’ve, on any given night, witnessed Sly… Parliament, or Chaka Khan tearing the roof off. Mic on, band tight and LIVE. The wild part is that Bruce was there for all of it and we get to see those beautiful moments because of him. Thank You Bruce.” â€• Bruno Mars
“For ten glorious years, I had the best seat in the house.” â€• Bruce W. Talamon
About the Author
Pearl Cleage is currently a Mellon Playwright in Residence at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of 15 plays, including Flyin’ West and Blues for an Alabama Sky. Her first of eight novels, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, was an Oprah’s Book Club pick and a New York Times best seller.
Reuel Golden is the former editor of the British Journal of Photography and the Photography editor at TASCHEN. His TASCHEN titles include: Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, both London and New York Portrait of a City books, The Rolling Stones, Her Majesty, Football in the 1970s, the National Geographic editions, the David Bailey SUMO and Andy Warhol. Polaroids.
Los Angeles-born Bruce W. Talamon (1949) has been a fixture in the film industry as a stills photographer for 39 years, after a prolific career capturing R&B royalty in the electrifying 1970s. His photographs were used as key poster art in numerous ad campaigns for all the major Hollywood studios. A contract photographer for Time magazine in the 1980s, his work has also appeared in People, Rolling Stone, Ebony, Vanity Fair, and NPR. He is also the author of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer.