Vivian Jones
Cousins Records
February 4, 2008

Track list
  1. King Almighty
  2. Ethiopia Land
  3. Young Girl
  4. Woo Woo Feeling
  5. Smile
  6. What Is Life
  7. Dun Dem
  8. Slave Song
  9. Sweetest Love
  10. Touch My Heart
  11. Let's Do Some Loving
  12. Endlessly
  13. Warning
  14. Wah Dem Ah Seh
  15. Mana Lion
  16. Legalize Ganja
  17. I Wanna Love You
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
Throughout his musical career, which started in 1976 when he joined the band the Spartans, Vivian Jones has continuously demonstrated that he's one of the UK's finest and most sophisticated Reggae/Lovers Rock singers, who hardly ever disappoints, both on record and live on stage. With his brand new album "50th", released by Cousins Records, he celebrates his 50th birthday in real fine style.

The 17 tracks on this album, produced by himself and Donville "Cousin" Davis, are representative of the kinda songs he has brought his many fans since he achieved a number 1 in the reggae charts in 1980 with "Good Morning". Because Vivian Jones has always shown that he's equally at home with love songs and conscious tunes, it's obvious this selection features both.

The first track, "King Almighty", rides the original riddim track of the Bunny Lee produced version of Horace Andy's "Skylarking". A great cultural tune which is followed by the killer roots piece, "Ethiopia Land", again delivered across an original 1970s riddim from the Bunny Lee vaults. Then it's time to revisit Treasure Isle as the wonderful "Young Girl" -- previously released as 7" single and included on the compilation "From Bond Street To Greenwhich Farm" -- rides The Sensations' "Those Guys" riddim, also used for Bitty McLean's "Baby Tonight". It's rocksteady time... and it goes on with infectious "Woo Woo Felling", the well done cover version of The Silvertones' classic Studio One hit "Smile", and the uplifting "What Is Life" over the original "Queen Majesty" riddim (if you listen carefully you'll even hear the voices of The Techniques).

The impressive "Slave Song", underpinned by another classic roots riddim, is a next highlight and surely one that can be ranked amongst Vivian Jones' best rootical efforts. Then it's lovers time again with first the real nice "Sweetest Love", followed by the tender "Touch My Heart", and the great "Let's Do Some Loving". The solid "Wha Dem Ah Seh", the outrageous "Mana Lion", "Legalize Ganja" across Horace Andy's "Money Money" riddim, and the rendition of Delroy Wilson's "I Wanna Love You" round off a great collection of tunes.

If you appreciated Bitty McLean's "Peckings Presents... On Bond Street With The Supersonics", you should definitely check out this Vivian Jones album. Satisfaction guaranteed!