Relive the golden era of soul with Bruce W. Talamon’s newly released photobook

Publishing giants Taschen have just released a new book chronicling the works of legendary photographer of the ’70s, Bruce W. Talamon.

Talamon, a Los Angeles native, was a staff photographer for SOUL Magazine in the 1970s and documented everyone from Michael Jackson and Donna Summer to Marvin Gaye and James Brown during the height of the Soul Train era in the United States.

Photo: Bootsy’s Rubber Band at a Burbank portrait session, California, 1977 Bruce W. Talamon via Another Man Mag

Bruce W. Talamon. Soul. R&B. Funk. Photographs 1972–1982 will feature a large collection of mostly unseen images from the golden age of soul, funk and R&B.

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, Taschen’s newest release celebrates the aesthetic magic of Talamon’s iconic photography in the ’70s and ’80s.

Talamon appeared on the scene, quite literally, one day in 1972 when he walked on stage to photograph Isaac Hayes at Wattstax – uncredited. A young Talamon was new to photography, having picked up a camera only a year before, and decided to forgo his studies as a law student for something entirely different – something that nobody in the mainstream media was covering in depth.

Talamon stated:

“I wanted the book to show not only the bright moments but the quiet moments too. It had to have the costume fittings. It had to have Soul Train. Somebody said, ‘Well, you had an agenda.’ Yes, I did. There has never been a photo book done on R&B, soul, or funk music. This is the first one ever. I was one of the few photographers continually shooting these acts. I’m the only guy that’s got an archive like this. I knew who would be out there photographing, and so often I was out there by myself. I looked at it as being the [keep] of Black folks’ history, our music. I love the idea of the visual record.”

Larry Dunn and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire on tour with Bruce Talamon (centre) in Amsterdam, 1979 © 2018 Bruce W. Talamon via Another Man Mag


The Jackson 5 backstage at The Forum, in Inglewood, California, June 1974
© 2018 Bruce W. Talamon via Another Man Mag


Chaka Khan at The Roxy, 1977 © 2018 Bruce W. Talamon via Another Man Mag

Bruce W. Talamon. Soul. R&B. Funk. Photographs 1972-1982, published by Taschen, is out now.

Via Another Man Mag.