Truths and Rights ~ Deluxe Edition
Johnny Osbourne
July 2, 2008

Track list
  1. Truths and Rights
  2. Children Are Crying
  3. Can't Buy Love
  4. Jah Promise
  5. Nah Skin Up
  6. We Need Love
  7. Eternal Peace
  8. Sing Jah Stylee
  9. Love Jah So
  10. Let Me In
  11. Jealousy, Heartache & Pain
  12. Luanda - Dub Specialist
  13. West Gone Black - Jah Jesco & Jucey Bravo
  14. Truths And Rights (Extended Mix)
  15. Sing Jay Stylee (Extended Mix)
  16. Can't Buy Love/Swing Easy
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
In the second half of the 1970s the riddims that were laid in the recording studios of Kingston were mainly revived versions of rocksteady/early reggae hits. Because most of these riddims were based on original cuts from the legendary Studio One, producer and label owner Coxsone Dodd decided to respond to this trend by releasing remixes of the originals along with new cuts recorded in his own studio. In 1978 he released Sugar Minott's "Live Loving" album, which not only showed how new lyrics could be seamlessly grafted onto old riddims, but also proved to be very successful. Two similar Studio One LPs, Johnny Osbourne's "Truths And Rights" and Freddie McGregor's "Bobby Bobylon", followed in the next year with comparable success. In retrospect it's obvious that these three albums helped usher in the 1980s dancehall sound.

Johnny Osbourne had already recorded for Coxsone Dodd in 1969 ("All I Have Is Love"), before he returned to Studio One in 1979 after an extended stay in Canada. Before he actually started working on a full length album, he recorded three very strong singles, "Forgive Them", "Love Is Here To Stay" and "Jealousy, Heartache & Pain". The latter is one of the bonus tracks on this deluxe edition of the original "Truths And Rights" set, which furthermore includes extended mixes, a deejay version featuring Jah Jesco & Jucey Bravo, and a dub version by Dub Specialist.

Despite these nice additions, the best part of this 16 track album are the original ten songs from the "Truths And Rights" set. Remastered from the original tapes, these tracks haven't lost their strength and are still worth of hearing almost thirty years after their initial release. 'The album opens with title track "Truths And Right", a true killer, and from there it goes from strength to strength with impressive pieces such as "Can't Buy Love" on the "Swing Easy" riddim, "Jah Promise", We Need Love", and "Sing Jah Stylee" being our favourite tunes. But, to be honest, we could have also mention the other tracks because we enjoy to hear these songs as much.

"Truths And Rights" is a quintessential classic reggae album, which should be in any serious reggae collectors' vault!