Live It To Know It
Jimmy Riley
Pressure Sounds
CD / Dbl vinyl LP / Digital Release
April 18, 2015

Track list
  1. Gunman Of JA
  2. Gunman Of JA - King Tubby's Dub Plate Mix (Previously Un-Released)
  3. Jackit
  4. Westcoat
  5. Nyah-Bingi (Extended Mix)
  6. From The Ghetto
  7. From The Ghetto Version
  8. Feeling Is Believing
  9. Feeling Is Believing Version
  10. Give Thanks And Praise (Extended Mix)
  11. Tell The Youths The Truth (Extended Mix)
  12. Majority Rule
  13. Majority Rule Version
  14. Bridge The Gap (Extended Mix)
  15. Everyone Needs Money
  16. Everyone Needs Money Version
  17. Poor Immigrant
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Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
Number 87 in Pressure Sounds' ongoing series of album releases that brings us classic Reggae material, is the 17-track Jimmy Riley compilation "Live It To Know It", which collects rare sides that were produced by Jimmy Riley himself between 1975-1985.

Martin Norman Riley aka Jimmy Riley is probably lesser-known than his son Tarrus Riley, who has reached superstar status in the last years, but that doesn't imply that he hasn't played an notable role in the history of Reggae music. When still in school, he started singing with the vocal group The Sensations (along with Cornell Cambpbeel), with whom he scored a few big hits for producer Duke Reid during the Rocksteady era. After a while, he and Slim Smith decided to form a next group called The Uniques. They started recording for Bunny "Striker" Lee and became the number one group in Jamaica.

When the Uniques split up, Riley initially recorded as a solo artist for Bunny "Striker" Lee before moving away to record independently. He began producing his own recordings and others by artists such as Slim Smith and Delroy Wilson. He had several hits in the 1970s, including "Tell The Youths The Truth", "Nyah Bingi", and "Clean Up The Streets", and continued to be successful in the 1980s, working with Sly & Robbie's Taxi productions and scoring hits such "Love And Devotion" (1982) and "Sexual Healing" (1983), a rendition of the Marvin Gaye song.

Some of the tunes included here previously appeared on the 1978 released LP's "Majority", "Showcase" and "Tell The Youths The Truth", while others were released as 7" singles only. The crucial "Gunman Of JA", coming across a wicked relicked version of Studio One's "Mr Bassie" riddim, and then King Tubby's Dub Plate Mix of that tune, instantly make clear that this long overdue Jimmy Riley compilation is something to savour many times. Next comes the 1975 released single "Jackit" (a next cut of Joy White's "Dread Out Deh"), which had "Westcoat" on the flipside. Backed by Skin, Flesh & Bones and co-produced by Lloyd Campbell, this mega rare killer Roots song and its Dub version are a real joy to hear. Originally released on Yes Records as B-side of The Melodians' 12" single "What Am I To Do", the extended version of Jimmy Riley's hit song "Nyah-Bingi" is an outstanding effort; vocally, lyrically as well as musically.

Jimmy Riley's vocal prowess also comes to full expression on the searing "From The Ghetto" (previously issued as 7" single by Clocktower Records), for which The Aggrovators laid the riddim. The sufferers anthem "Feeling Is Believing", from which the title of this compilation was derived, is a solid piece throughout. It's followed by a well-known Jimmy Riley tune, the amazing "Give Thanks And Praise", recorded at Channel One and released as 12" single by T5 Records (US) and Attack (UK) in 1979. A true scorcher, which also goes for the next deadly goods; "Tell The Youths The Truth" and the awesome "Majority Rule"!!! The wonderful "Bridge The Gap" comes from a great 2-sider with the Sly & Robbie produced hit "Love & Devotion" on the other side. Also from the first half of the 80's comes the nice "Everyone Needs Money", a sparse moody observation on social inequality which came out on the Full Moon label. The album is rounded off in truly great style with "Poor Immigrant", a standout tune that was featured on Jimmy Riley's 1982 LP "Put The People First" (Shanachie).

"Live It To Know It" can be ranked among Pressure Sounds' best album releases! Essential purchase!