Album review
Cornell Campbell
Rasslin/Live & Learn

Tracking list

  1. You're my lady
  2. Mister DJ
  3. Your love
  4. Stranger in love
  5. Oh rastaman
  6. You need sympathy
  7. Don't try to break
  8. Money
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Born in 1948 falsetto-voiced Cornell Campbell started his career in the early sixties when he made records in the ska vein for Clement Dodd. His sweet voice (reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield), however, was even more suited to the romantic rocksteady era when he was a member of the vocal harmony groups the Uniques and the Eternals. At the beginning of the seventies the Eternals split up and he got involved with the unstoppable producer Bunny "Striker" Lee, for whom he recorded numerous lovers and roots slices. By any standards his output of albums in this decade is impressive to say the least. In the early eighties he linked up with Joe Gibbs and recorded one of his most loved albums, entitled "Boxing". From that same period comes this album which Campbell recorded for Henry "Junjo" Lawes, the most successful and dominant producer in the first half of the eighties and the one who more or less launched "dancehall" as a fully developed musical style.
The Roots Radics Band was the most in-demand session band of the period, but it was Earl "Chinna" Smith's High Times Band who provided the riddims for Cornell Campbell's "Money" set. Not a bad choice after all as their sound happens to fit the singer's style very well. On this varied album - which includes lovers as well as conscious tunes - the distinctive singer sounds just as much at home on the driving dancehall riddims as those of Bunny Lee's "flying cymbals" style, who brought him his mid-seventies hits. It is truly delightful to have this great, although short album available on compact disc.

Teacher & Mr. T.