Missing You
Janet Lee Davis
Reggae Archive Records
CD / Digital Release
June 17, 2013

Janet Lee Davis Track list
  1. Baby, I've Been Missing You
  2. Girl On The Side
  3. Your Sweet Love
  4. She's Got Papers
  5. Do You Remember
  6. We Can Work It Out feat. Peter Hunnigale
  7. Ooh Baby Baby
  8. Big Mistake
  9. Who's That Girl
  10. Love Me Boy
  11. Baby, I've Been Missing You (Groove Remix) feat. Tippa Irie
  12. Walk On By
  13. Ready To Learn (Yes I'm Ready)
  14. Two Timing Lover
  15. Love
  16. I Don't Want To Say Goodbye
  17. This World
  18. Take Time
  19. Show Me Some Love
  20. I'll Come Running
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Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
UK Lovers Rock emerged in the mid-70s, when 14-year-old Louise Marks' rendition of Robert Parker's soul hit "Caught You In A Lie" kickstarted the genre, which later on was established by early exponents like Ginger Williams, Brown Sugar, Cassandra, Donna Rhoden, and 15-16-17, to name just five. And although critics reviled most of them for their sickly, barely trained harmonies and schoolgirl voices, their music sold extremely well to teenage girls in pleated skirts, clumpy shoes and dark barets. Whatever you might think of the UK Lovers Rock genre, fact is that its popularity caused that many producers, musicians and artists had very little interest in further development of UK's roots reggae movement. Eventually it led to a decreasing interest in doing roots projects and reggae bands splitting up.

Without any doubt, Janet Lee Davis is one of the best artists in the UK Lovers Rock genre. At the age of three she moved from London to Jamaica, where she was raised in the Old Harbour Bay area of St. Catherine. Like so many other Jamaican singers, her vocals were nurtured singing in the church choir. In 1981 she progressed in the local sound system circuit, performing both as a vocalist and in the deejay style. She then relocated to the UK and her initial recording session came when she met up with deejay Jah Walton aka Joseph Cotton. She was asked to chat on the latter's massive number 1 hit for Fashion Records, "No Touch The Style". Although she wasn't credited for her performance on the hit song, she quickly gained recognition with her solo hit for Flash Music entitled "Never Gonna Let You Go".

In 1987 she returned to Fashion Records for "Two Timing Lover". After having done recordings with High Power, Barry Boom and "Gussie" Clarke, she started to work for Fashion Records again. By 1992 she dominated the UK Lovers Rock scene with a continuous profile on the reggae chart, including hits such as "Ooh Baby Baby", "Big Mistake", "Ready To Learn (Yes I'm Ready)" and the collaboration with Tippa Irie, "Baby, I've Been Missing You". In 1994 her series of Fashion hits surfaced on the "Missing You" album, alongside an array of self-composed new tracks.

Now Bristol's Reggae Archive Records, in conjuction with Fashion Records, reissues Janet Lee Davis' 1994 album "Missing You". It's actually a deluxe version of the full original 15 track cd that appeared in 1998 as it features 5 tracks previously only to be found on a limited and very rare Japanese only cd issue. From beginning to end this beautifully crafted set showcases Janet Lee Davis' marvellous vocal technique and versatility. The riddims - some familiar, some not so - and Fashion's production work are first class.

The sublime "Baby, I've Been Missing You", kicked off by a 10 seconds lasting sample of Dawn Penn's classic Studio One tune "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)", is a really good remake of the reggae classic that Bunny Maloney made during the late 1970s. A second version, the more dancey "Groove Mix" with a guest appearance of deejay Tippa Irie, is also included here. "Girl On My Side" revisits Studio One as the riddim that underpins Janet Lee Davis' wonderful voice is a remake of the Silvertones' "Smile". Also "She's Got Papers" comes across a relick of a classic riddim, the much versioned "Far East" aka "Jah Shakey" riddim. Next drops "Do You Remember", a nice medley of classic reggae tunes, that benefits from Fashion's great sounding "Too Late Too Turn Back Now" riddim. All in all a very satisfying opening part of this cd, which furthermore features worthwhile lovers tunes such as the slow-paced 'doo wop' flavoured "Ooh Baby Baby", "We Can Work It Out", a collaboration with Peter Hunnigale across a do-over of Louisa Marks' "6 Sixth Street" riddim, "Who's That Girl", "Love Me Boy", and "Ready To Learn (Yes I'm Ready)" - a rendition of the popular Barbara Mason song from 1965.

This collection not only shows why the "Missing You" album was rightly acclaimed as one of the best lovers rock projects of the 1990s, but also why Janet Lee Davis deservedly won numerous awards including best female singer.