Album review
Love Is All
The Viceroys
Sankofa Blackstar Musik
July 30, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Love What It Takes
  2. I'm Satisfied
  3. Dream Come Through
  4. Smooth Sailing
  5. Love Is All
  6. Join The Club
  7. Poor People
  8. Wrong Things Aside
  9. No One Man
  10. Leader And Hero
  11. In My Father's House
  12. Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Even though their career stretches back to the heydays of rocksteady in the 1960s, the Viceroys established their reputation in the dread 1970s. The original Viceroys (then called Voiceroys) included lead vocalist and songwriter Wesley Tinglin and harmony singers Linval Williams and Daniel Bernard. The last two were eventually replaced by Neville Ingram and Norris Reid. The latter had already had a handful of singles released under his own name when he joined the group. This line up had a big hit with the Sly & Robbie produced "Heart Made Of Stone" (1980), and followed it with the self-produced "Shaddai Children" (1981). Their most consistent body of work, however, was facilitated by Linval Thompson and the Roots Radics Band with whom they recorded two superior albums namely "We Must Unite" (1982) and "Brethren & Sistren" (1983). Shortly after this Norris Reid left the Viceroys to concentrate on his solo career with Augustus Pablo. He was replaced by Chris Wayne, who had made a name for himself singing on Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion Sound System. The group then teamed up with Winston Riley and recorded "Chancery Lane", which didn't match the Linval Thompson produced albums. With Michael Gabbidon, who replaced Chris Wayne, Wesley Tingling and Neville Ingram started to record a new album at Channel One, employing the Roots Radics as backing band.
That self-produced album was never released, until now. This "Love Is All" cd contains these "lost" recordings, which all in all prove to be a worthy follow up to the tunes they recorded with Linval Thompson. The distinctive lead vocals of Wesly Tingling, the harmony singing by Neville Ingram - also lead vocals on track 9 - and Michael Gabbidon, and the wicked riddims played by then foremost backing band Roots Radics, make this collection of vintage tunes a real treat for the ear. Great tracks like e.g. "Love What It Takes", "I'm Satisfied", "Smooth Sailing", "No One Man" and the title track "Love Is All" exemplify the powerful melodies that the Viceroys can produce. Not only do you get sweet melodies, but also powerful lyrics as can be experienced while listening to tunes such as "Poor People", "Wrong Things Aside" and "Leader And Hero". Except for the rather mediocre "Join The Club" this set only features solid to excellent material. Highly recommended vintage music from the 1980s!!

Teacher & Mr. T.