Just A Man
Beres Hammond
17 North Parade
May 25, 2010

Beres Hammond Track list
  1. Music Is A Positive Vibration
  2. John Crazy
  3. Do This World A Favour
  4. Keep My World Turning
  5. Just A Man
  6. I'm Lonely
  7. I'm In Love With You
  8. Let Me Love You Tonight
  9. Seasons
  10. Set Me Free
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
From his early days as lead singer of the 70s funk-reggae band Zap Pow, Hugh Beres(ford) Hammond has consistently produced hits and number one singles, he released his first studio album "Soul Reggae" in 1976, spawning the number one hit "One Step Ahead" and in 1985 came the dancehall breakthrough "What One Dance Can Do" off his self entitled album "Beres Hammond. He has collaborated with reggae's elite and has worked with legendary producers Willie Lindo, Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie and Philip 'Fattis' Burrell, to name a few.

In 1990, his album "A Love Affair" from Donovan Germain Penthouse label raised his popularity to new heights. Cuts like "Tempted To Touch" and "Who Say" with Buju Banton are still huge in the dancehall today and have been nicely compiled on "Collectors Series ~ Beres Hammond". During the 90s, Beres blazed a trail of modern classics for a variety of producers, from the strugglers anthem "Putting Up Resistance" (for Tappa Zukie) to lovers' lament like "Come Back Home" (for Star Trail). In 2001 Beres, brought us major hits like "They Gonna Talk" and "Rock Away" from his Grammy nominated album "Music Is Life". VP Records then released "The Ultimate Collection ~ Can't Stop A Man" in 2003 to commemorate Beres Hammond's career and in 2004 his album "Love Has No Boundaries" that featured his trademark lovers tunes and mid-tempo dancehall grooves. In 2008 he surprised the reggae world with "A Moment In Time".

The album 'Just A Man' was recorded in 1979 for producer Joe Gibbs in collaboration with arranger Willie Lindo and engineer Errol Thompson. It's a non-reggae album, filled with ten soul tunes, strongly influenced by the sound of labels like Motown and Philly International. It's beyond doubt that Beres Hammond's vocal delivery is perfectly suited for soul music (or R&B as it is called nowadays), and the album sounds remarkably fresh, still after all these years. The album is in good balance, offering 5 lovers tunes and 5 uptempo dance tunes. The original set contained only 8 songs, but for this reissue they've added a beautiful cover of Harold Butler's soul ballad Seasons, previously released as 7" only. The album closes with another bonus track. It's a tune called Set Me Free done with Zap Pow, when Beres was a lead singer with the band.

If you're only into reggae and dancehall skip this one, but if you're a fan of Beres Hammond and/or a fan of 70s soul music it's a good idea to check out this reissue.