And God Said To Man
Earl Zero
A-Lone Productions
October 24, 2010

Earl Zero Track list
  1. And God Said To Man
  2. Musical Army Dub
  3. You´re Gonna Fall
  4. Wake Up Dub
  5. New Day Has Come
  6. New Dub
  7. None Shall Escape The Judgment
  8. Judgment Dub
  9. In A Thankful Mood
  10. Thankful Dub
  11. Root Of David
  12. Jericho Dub
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 12-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 2-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 23
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
The album "And God Said To Man", the result of the collaboration between Greenwich Farm man Earl Zero and Spanish producer Roberto Sánchez, almost went below our radar mainly due to the fact that this earlier this year released 'showcase style' album was really hard to find.

Earl Johnson, better known as Earl Zero, is a largely underrated and underrecorded roots singer from Greenwich Farm, West Kingston, Jamaica. Although roots anthems like "None Shall Escape The Judgment", "Please Officer" and "Righteous Works" brought him international recognition, he never managed to reach the premier league. Alongside Greenwich Farm giants Prince Allah, Rod Taylor and Phillip Fraser, Zero took the lead in creating some of the most deeply conscious roots music to come out of Kingston in the mid-late 70's. During that period he wrote a string of noteworthy tunes for Bertram Brown's Freedom Sounds label, songs like "Shackles And Chains", "Black Bird", "Home Sweet Home", "Get Happy", "Have Faith In Rastafari" or "Only Jah Can Ease The Pressure".

One of Earl Zero´s earliest singles was "Righteous Works" recorded for Allan "Jah Wally" Campbell at Channel One studio and released in 1975 under Allan´s Addis Ababa imprint. He also worked for the 'Talent Corporation' with two great songs, "City Of The Weak Heart" and "Please Officer" that were released on the Arab label in 1975. In 1979 he recorded a new cut of "Please Officer" for Prince Jammy, this time in a late 70's Channel One 'stepping' style and completely different from the original 'flying cymbal' cut. That year he also did the album "Visions Of Love" for Epiphany Records and took part in the movie-documentary by Jeremiah Stein called "Word, Sound and Power" that had its premiere at the 'San Francisco International Film Festival' in 1980.

Roberto Sánchez is a very talented producer, engineer, singer/songwriter and musician from Cantabria (north of Spain), who has developed his musical works in three different forms: A-Lone Ark Muzik studio (his recording studio), A-Lone Productions (the label) and Lone Ark & Lone Ark Riddim Force (live band/backing band). In 2002 he set up his own studio, where the studio equipment and the productions always were focused on the late 70's roots sounds from Jamaica (analogic recording and mixing). His label, A-Lone Productions, was created in 1997 to release "The Same Wrong Thing", the second album of the first group for Roberto Sánchez called Lone Watti. But it was in 2004 when the label started releasing more often and seriously. Now it's the label that releases all Lone Ark recordings and works coming from A-Lone Ark Muzik studio. The label has released works from artists such as Glen Washington, Alpheus, Earl 16, Rod Taylor, Kenny Knotts, and Afrikan Simba. In 2003 Lone Ark started playing as a live band with the intention to perform the works coming from the studio at that time. As Lone Ark Riddim Force they backed artists such as The Heptones, Big Youth, Alton Ellis, Bitty McLean, U Brown, and Anthony Johnson.

In 2007 Earl Zero recorded "Root Of David", his first tune for Roberto Sánchez, which was released as a single on A-Lone Productions in 2008 and is also featured on this "And God Said To Man" set. Since then the elder rootsman has continued to record vibrant and conscious tunes for Roberto Sánchez, all of them gathered here. Roberto Sánchez has perfectly well captured to mood, vibe and roots sound from the late 70's/early 80's, which obviously befits Earl Zero. The all live instrumentation, supplied by the Lone Ark Riddim Force, creates a Channel One feel and style and is just great to hear, dubwise as well as in combination with Earl Zero's vocal delivery, remarkably reminiscent of the late great Dennis Brown in the wonderful opening track "And God Said To Man". All vocal cuts are strong efforts, while the dubs complement the vocals fully. Included is a remake of "None Shall Escape The Judgment", the song then 20-year old Earl Zero wrote and recorded for Bunny Lee, who in the end thought it had a better chance sung in the more obviously commercial tones of Johnny Clarke.

"And God Said To Man" is a truly great and delightful album for all reggae fans who enjoy listening to the elusive magic sound from the 70s.