Album review
On Top
Leroy Sibbles
Eppic Music
January 30, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Leroy's Gonna Fight
  2. Party Time
  3. Let Jah Music Ride
  4. Want You To Know
  5. Only With You
  6. Gimmie
  7. Rock And Come On
  8. Rock Steady Party
  9. Ting A Ling
  10. Stay
  11. Love In The Morning
  12. A New Song
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 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 the 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.
In Canada, Sibbles won many awards, recorded an album for A&M and cut several albums for Pete Weston's Micron label including the 1984 released "On Top" album. Now this album has been reissued on cd by Leroy Sibbles himself, with the hard to find single, "A New Song", added as a special bonus. "On Top" offers an entertaining collection of tunes, some of which are reworkings of classic Heptones material like for example "Heptones Gonna Fight", "Party Time", and "Ting A Ling". Expertly backed by such great Jamaican musicians like the Roots Radics Band, Sly & Robbie and hornsmen Dean Fraser, David Madden and Chico Chin, the gorgeous laid back vocal delivery of Leroy Sibbles shines on every single track included here. Besides the three party songs "Party Time", "Rock & Come On" and "Rocksteady Party" this set mainly features songs that deal with affairs of the heart. Among them you'll find excellent efforts such as "Want You To Know", the soulful "Ting A Ling" and "Only With You", which comes across an update of Don Drummond's "Heavenless" riddim. Also worth of hearing are the two roots & culture tunes "Let Jah Music Ride" and the nyabinghi flavoured "A New Song".
"On Top" is a solid album from a very talented artist, who has brought us many musical treasures during the last 4 decades.

Teacher & Mr. T.

For more info check the Leroy Sibbles website.

Click on the headphone and have a listen:

Leroy Sibbles : Leroy's Gonna Fight
Leroy Sibbles : Only With You