Album review
Big Leaders
Vivian Jones
Imperial House

Tracking list

  1. New Trade
  2. Money Is Our God
  3. Big Leaders
  4. Schooling
  5. Shakey Ground
  6. Africa
  7. Aids In Africa
  8. The Gun
  9. Gimme More
  10. Crucial
  11. Tearup Dress
  12. Serve Thee
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

"Big Leaders" is the serious return of the very talented Vivian Jones inna roots & culture style. The singer/songwriter/producer - now regarded as one of the best UK vocalists - made his first records (including the recently re-issued monumental 12" single "Who's Gonna Get Caught") in those far off days and since then has established a long and fruitful career as a reggae vocalist. He's an expressive singer with a warm and soulful voice, who's been charting big in England with tunes such as "Good Morning", "Strong Love", "Sugar Love", "Let's Go Again", "Very Thought Of You" and "Love Is For Lovers". Due to the fact that he always scored big with tunes that dealt with matters of the heart he became one of the UK's top lovers rock performers. When he started to record roots material for the likes of Jah Shaka he also made his reputation as a fine roots singer. This all proved that he was equally at home on love songs as on heavyweight roots pieces. Some years ago he teamed up with Wooligan and they recorded the beautiful cultural tune "Jah See Dem A Come", which became a top 10 hit in the reggae charts worldwide. Now they've joined forces once again and the first result is the album "Big Leaders Dub", issued on Vivian Jones' own Imperial House label a month or three ago.
Now we're treated to the vocal companion to that vinyl only dub album, which is available on cd and vinyl. "Big Leaders Dub" is a great album and also the vocal set doesn't disappoint as it is stamped with quality all over. All tracks are expertly recorded and mixed at Wooligan's Mindsearchers Studio in Birmingham, UK, and incorporate lots of nice little touches with Vivian Jones vocally and lyrically being in real good shape. Seven songs of this album - including "New Trade", Money Is Your God", "Big Leaders", "Schooling" and "Shakey Ground" - were taken from rehearsel cassettes kept by Vivian Jones since 1977 when he was playing with local bands in Northwest Harlesden and Alperton Youth centre, Wembley, London. These bands included The Spartans, The Mighty Vhybes and Pieces Band. All these tunes are re-recorded with talented musicians and singers from the Birmingham area. Co-producers and musicians Wooligan and Spears laid the basic foundation on these tracks and the five new tunes, with other players of instruments brought in when needed.
"Big Leaders" is a musical masterpiece containing great music from beginning to end. Each track is truly worth of hearing, including songs such as "Money Is Your God", "Africa", "Tear Up Dress" and the new single "Aids in Africa". In addition to these excellent tunes we're particularly fond of "Big Leaders", "Schooling", "Gimme More", "Crucial" and the former 10" single "The Gun". Highly recommended, so check it out y'all!!

Teacher & Mr. T.