Album review
Leroy Sibbles
Eppic Music
February 6 - 2005

Tracking list

  1. Blood In The Streets
  2. Singerman
  3. The System
  4. Be A Man
  5. Situation
  6. Ain't No Love
  7. Rock Me Baby
  8. Baby I Need Your Love
  9. Praise Fari
  10. Pure Sorrow
  11. Ain't No Love Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Leroy Sibbles, an accomplished bassist, wonderful vocalist and songwriter, fronted the original Heptones from the mid-60's up to mid-70's. During that time he recorded many albums with The Heptones including the Studio One albums "The Heptones" (1967), "Black Is Black" (1967), "On Top" (1968) and "Freedom Line" (1971), the Danny Holloway produced "Nightfood" (1976), and "Party Time" (1977) produced by Lee Perry, to name just a few. During the period at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, where Sibbles also worked as a bass player, background vocalist, arranger and talent scout, he created many classic riddims together with ace musicians like keyboard virtuoso, arranger and bandleader Jackie Mittoo and guitarist Ernest Ranglin. These riddims, incorporating Sibbles' creative, hypnotic bass lines, have been done over and over again during the last 4 decades in the new recordings created by others. In the mid-70's Sibbles left the Heptones and also Jamaica as he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he lived for for 20 years, before returning to Jamaica. As a solo artist, he worked with Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes, Lloyd Parks, Sly & Robbie, Augustus Pablo, and Lee Perry, but primarily produced himself.
The album 'Now' was released in 1980 on Pete Weston's Micron label. It has always been a popular Leroy Sibbles set because of the nice combination of cultural tunes and lovers tracks. The album opens with the thoughtful Blood In The Streets and is followed by the equally excellent Singerman. He delivers strong social commentary on the tunes Situation, The System and Be A Man, the latter being a great reworking of the Heptones' Studio One hit from the 1960s. Then he continues with a smooth lovers selection performing Ain't No Love, Rock Me Baby and Baby I Need Your Love a reworking of the Motown classic. We would have preferred a self penned Leroy Sibbles classic here! Praise Fari is Leroy's praising tune to Rastafari and the song Pure Sorrow is an uptempo remake of the original Heptones song. The album closes with a alternative extended version of Ain't No Love, the 1980 lick of 'Fatty Fatty'. Musicians on board are : Leroy on bass, Horsemouth on drums, Bopee en Bingy Bunny lick the guitar and Winston Wright, Earl Lindo and Gladdy Anderson take care of the keyboards. Scully is on percussion and Tommy McCook, Nambo and Vivian Hall are responsible for the horns section.
The album still sounds fresh and timeless after all these years. Excellent stuff... get a copy quick!

Teacher & Mr. T.

For more info check the Leroy Sibbles website.

Click on the headphone and have a listen:

Leroy Sibbles : Situation
Leroy Sibbles : Pure Sorrow