Album review
Long Road
Junior Reid
JR Records
19 - 08 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Long Road
  2. You keep Telling Me
  3. World Cry
  4. Shanty Town
  5. Stop This Crazy Thing
  6. Banana Boatman
  7. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
  8. The Strong Survive
  9. Babylon Release The Chains
  10. Rumours
  11. Badman
  12. Who Loves You
  13. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Shock & Cut Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

To date Jamaican born singer Delroy 'Junior' Reid is perhaps best known as the man who replaced Michael Rose in Black Uhuru. But the story begins earlier than that, with Junior getting his initial inspiration from a tough upbringing in West Kingston's notorious Waterhouse district. It was there in the politically turbulent mid-'70's that he recorded his first-ever single, 'Know Myself' at the age of 14 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in the U.K by Greensleeves. He then went on to form his own band, the Voice Of Progress, and after a local hit with 'Mini-Bus Driver' the group scored local success with an album of the same name. On the demise of the band he recorded a number of tunes for Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion label, enjoying considerable popularity with tracks such as 'Human Nature', 'A1 Lover' and the evergreen 'See How Me Black See How Me Shine', an uplifting and proud statement which became an anthem to the ghetto youth whom Junior increasingly championed.
By the time Sugar released the resultant album, Junior himself had moved on; transferring his talents to Prince Jammys studio on St Lucia Road where his fast-growing success rose yet another notch. 'Boom Shack A Lack' was his first UK hit and led to another exceptional album which Greensleeves put out to critical acclaim. It was at this early peak of popularity when he was asked to sing lead for Black Uhuru (1985). Around 1991, Junior Reid set up the JR Recording Studio and record distribution plant in Kingston, Jamaica. A number of top Jamaican artist have recorded there, and Junior Reid has produced a good number of critically respected albums. From his humble beginnings in the ghetto of Waterhouse to the CEO of a major recording studio and record label, Junior Reid has accomplished a great deal on this short time on earth. With his incisive, almost prophetic lyrics and unstinting support for the ghettoman cause, Junior Reid remains a roots artist of great power.
The album 'Long Road' comes from 1991, the time when the singer was on the cusp of worldwide breakthrough poised to sign to Madonna's label and nuff tings a gwaan. 'Long Road' contains a number of dance style collaborations with the UK based Coldcut : Stop This Crazy Thing, Actions Speak Louder Than Words and a remake of the hitsingle he recorded for Joe Gibbs, Babylon Release The Chains. The album is more a dance album rather than a reggae/dancehall set. On 'Long Road' Junior incorporates several dance/house/hip hop influences, and we have to say it's not to our liking, but there is no accounting for tastes, so you'll have to judge yourself.

Teacher & Mr. T.

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