OHM Records Inc
Vinyl LP (Limited Edition)
May 16, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 3/4||Sleeve : 4|
Originally released in 1975 on the Sky High label with only 100 original copies pressed and sans sleeve, Errol Holt's solo debut album has been re-issued by Ohm Records Inc from the U.S.
Errol Carter, who is also known as Errol Holt and Flabba Holt, is probably best known as the founder/leader/bass player of the Roots Radics, the most in-demand session band in the first half of the 1980s, which also were the backing band for artists like Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer and Israel Vibration on stage. But before he and Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont founded the Roots Radics in 1978, he already had started his music career playing sessions for the likes of Bunny “Striker” Lee and Lee "Scratch" Perry in the late '60s/early '70s.
However it turned out that he not only was a very talented musician, but also a good singer, which in the '70s led to recordings for producers such as Rupie Edwards ("Hold Up Your Head", "Girl From Manchester" and "Danger To Danger") and Dudley "Manzie" Swaby ("Shark Out Deh" and "Come Tomorrow"). In 1977 Errol "Flabba" Holt joined The Morwells, a group formed by Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont and Maurice "Blacka" Wellington in 1973, on a permanent basis until they disbanded in 1980. He also began producing records, which included records by Jah Stitch, Dennis Brown ("Blood Brothers" and "Milk & Honey"), Delroy Wilson ("Which Way Is Up"), Beres Hammond, and Gregory Isaacs, co-producing the latter's hugely successful "Night Nurse" album.
"Rastafari Time" features some of the greatest players of instruments from Jamaica. Besides Errol "Flabba" Holt on bass, the line-up furthermore consists of Lincoln "Style" Scott on drums; Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson on keyboards; Gladstone Anderson on piano; Nowell "Sowell Radics" Bailey, Dwight Pinkney, and Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont on guitar; Christopher "Sky Juice" Burth on percussion; Dean Fraser and Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall on sax; Vin Gordon and Ronald "Nambo" Robinson on trombone, and Bobby Ellis on trumpet. The expertly mixing was done by Anthony "Bunny Tom Tom" Graham.
Although the album's title indicates that this set solely consists of roots songs, it's actually a mix of roots originals and cover versions of Studio One classics like Delroy Wilson's "I Am Not A King" and The Heptones' "Pure Sorrow" and "We Are In The Mood". However it's obvious that this album's reputation rests upon the roots tracks. Side A starts with a horns-driven tune, the Dennis Thompson produced "My Heart Is In Danger", first released as 7" single on the Distant Drum label and re-recorded in 1982 for Sly & Robbie as "Danger Zone". A great mid-'70s tune worth hearing over and over again!! (Also check Leroy Smart's "Jah Almighty" on the same riddim!!) And the deadly goods keep on coming with first the sound system hit "A You Lick Me First", which is underpinned by a wicked riddim (also used for Jah Woosh's "Lick Him With The Dustbin" and Leroy Smart's "Children Of The Ghetto"), and then the awesome "Red Eye". "I Am Not A King" and "Pure Sorrow", the last two tracks on Side A of the vinyl LP, are Studio One originals. Although he was called Errol Holt, because in the beginning his singing voice was very much similar to John Holt's, he sounds more like Errol Dunkley on these tracks.
Side B kicks off with a true roots killer. The bass-driven song "Sufferation" features the late Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson, whose superb keyboard play on this brilliant tune is the icing on the cake. (Note: the riddim of this song was later also used for Horace Andy's version of Keith & Tex's "Tonight", released as 12" single and also included on Horace Andy & Errol Scorcher's "Unity Showcase" album from 1980) And also here the following tunes, "Innocent Man" and "Congo Dread" offer the listener mid-'70s roots at its very best. In particular the extended "Congo Dread" is a brilliant tune, voiced on the same riddim as "My Heart Is In Danger". More Rasta vibes drop with the solid "Jah Will Provide", delivered over a relick of Studio One's classic "Pretty Looks" riddim. Errol Holt's rendition of The Heptones' rocksteady lovers piece "We Are In The Mood" rounds off this set in a real nice way.
Due to master tapes being not available, this re-issue is lifted straight from the original vinyl LP and as no cleaning up has been done it has the vinyl's surface noise, clicks, etc. Anyway, it's a fantastic album that fans of vintage reggae simply can't ignore. Get it while you can!!!