Revelation Rockers
Jah Praises
Bristol Archive Records
LP vinyl
February 29, 2012

Jah Praises (British Reggae Unreleased Classics) - EP - Revelation Rockers Track list
Side One.
  1. Jah Praises
  2. Culture
  3. He Who Feels It
Side Two.
  1. Wicked Dem
  2. When You Are Aware
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Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
Most of the UK reggae bands were formed after the initial impact of Island's signing of Bob Marley & The Wailers in 1972. It were bands like Aswad, Steel Pulse, Misty In Roots, Capital Letters, and Black Roots that dominated the mid-to-late '70s, not only in the UK but also abroad. All these outfits forged styles that were rooted in what was heard from 'yard', but informed by the musicians' own immediate environment. It was Bob Marley's crossover success that gave reggae bands an opportunity to make a living from music.

One of the bands that emerged on the scene was Bristol's Revelation Rockers, consisting of Desmond Taylor (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Dave (drums), Dennison Joseph (bass), Mikey Taylor (keyboards) and Brendan Whitmore (sax). Although founded in 1976, they failed to find real success during the years of their existance. It actually took slight line-up changes and a change of name to Talisman, before they managed to establish themselves as one of the UK's finest live acts. No one was aware that Revelation Rockers had made recordings back in the days, until Bristol Archive Records recently were handed a master tape featuring five tracks for an album that never saw the light of day until now. The reason why these tracks weren't released in 1979 is long forgotten -- perhaps it was the change of name or personnel, possibly the lack of funds or interest from record labels or maybe it was just that the music and Talisman took a slightly different direction.

While listening to the five tracks included on this "Jah Praises" album, it's obvious that these aren't just some kind of demo versions, but quality recordings ready for release. This collection is archetypal UK roots rocking that still sounds good, even if it was recorded more than three decades ago. The album's solid title track, "Jah Praises", gets things started. This song of praise to Jah, with its awesome bass line backed up by horns, is a prime example of the sort of songs that appeared on roots albums from the '70s. Next comes the great "Culture", which tackles the loss of cultural identity caused by the legacy of slavery. It's followed by the matching "He Who Feels It", which tells us that you can't truly relate to how others live their lives until you've actually experienced a similar situation yourself. With the hard hitting "Wicked Dem", Revelation Rockers deliver an outstanding effort. It's actually the earliest recorded incarnation of one of Talisman's signature tunes. The album is rounded off in real fine style with the love song "When You're Away", which features a heavy contemporary backing with the added benefit of horns.

Thanks to Bristol Archive Records, anyone with an interest in well played UK roots reggae from way back is able to hear the wonderful sounds of Revelation Rockers on a vinyl only LP, just as it would have been in '79. Well done!!