Album review
Never Give Up
Fred Locks
Xterminator/JetStar/VP Records

Tracking list

  1. Come now
  2. Dreadlocks princess
  3. Don't wait for me
  4. Never give up (my faith)
  5. Throw down your arms
  6. My lord and saviour
  7. Black star liner
  8. All is vanity
  9. Mama don't know love
  10. I feel like Job
  11. Don't sell your soul
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Stafford Elliot started his career as a member of the vocal group the Lyrics, recording for Studio One, Randy's and their own "Lyric" label. By the time he tried his luck as a solo artist in the seventies he took on the name Fred Locks, building a reputation as a distinctive rasta singer, who rarely recorded songs not in a strictly conscious vein. The somewhat older reggae fan will undoubtedly remember the year 1975 when Fred Locks released a prophetic Garveyite vision of repatriation entitled "Black Star Liner", an enduring roots anthem that - together with the concomitant album - put him on the reggae map and propelled him to cult figure status in the process. About 1982 Fred Locks moved to the U.S.A., where he continued his recording career, however without achieving any notable success in the Jamaican or U.K. reggae charts. The only exception was his 1996 hitsingle "Go with the flow", a tune which can be found on his album "Culturally".
Thanks to ace producer Phillip "Fatis" Burrell a broad audience of contemporary roots reggae fans is able to get acquainted with one of the singers who had a serious impact on the roots music of the seventies. Some two decades after his "Black Star Liner" release this album proves Fred Locks has lost nothing of his unique bleating voice which seems to be made for expressive cries of the sufferah's pain or affirmations of faith in Rastafari. Backed by Sly Dunbar, Donald Dennis, Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn and Steven Stanley - some of the best musicians the island has to offer - Fred Locks delivers his still very strong, uncompromising and rasta oriented lyrics across the modern sound of the Xterminator camp, a sound that obviously fits him extremely well. No weak track to be found on this solid album, with songs such as "Come now", "Throw down your arms", "All is vanity", "I feel like Job", "Don't sell your soul" and "Never Give Up" being among his best. This release is an essential addition, not only to the Fred Lock's catalogue but also to contemporary roots music !

Teacher & Mr. T.