Album review
Strictly Roots
Leroy Sibbles
Eppic Music
February 5, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Lying Girl
  2. What Is Mine
  3. What Is Mine Version
  4. Love And Happiness
  5. Life Īn The Ghetto
  6. Life In The Ghetto Version
  7. Warden
  8. What Is Mine Version 2
  9. Jah Soon Come
  10. Jah Soon Come Version
  11. Love And Happiness (Extended Version)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Many remember Leroy Sibbles as original front man for the trio The Heptones, that also included Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn. Without doubt The Heptones were one of the most popular groups of the Ska and Rock Steady era and dominated the charts of Jamaican Ska and Rock Steady music in the 1960's. Sibbles is a prolific songwriter and the originator of many classic bass lines which can be heard in the many timeless riddims he created at Studio One together with ace musicians like keyboard virtuoso, arranger and bandleader Jackie Mittoo and guitarist Ernest Ranglin. These riddims 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 one of his best solo albums, the early 1980's released "Strictly Roots". The latter, a heavy drum & bass workout backed by the Roots Radics, is a showcase album - i.e. vocal cut accompanied by its dub version. All tracks were recorded at Channel One in Kingston, Jamaica, and contain that authentic early 80's roots sound. The tracks featured on this cd are reality tunes, except for the wonderful album opener "Lying Girl", which is a real lovers tune. From beginning to end Leroy Sibbles is in very good shape, both lyrically and vocally. His delivery is heartfelt and the riddims are truly wicked. No weak track around, only great efforts to be found here. Personal favourites are "What Is Mine", "Life In The Ghetto", "Warden" and "Jah Soon Come".
"Strictly Roots" is one of Leroy Sibbles' remarkable solo albums from the early 1980's.

Teacher & Mr. T.

For more info check the Leroy Sibbles website.

Click on the headphone and have a listen:

Leroy Sibbles : What Is Mine
Leroy Sibbles : Warden