Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

It's Not Too Late
Willie Lindo
HeavyBeat Records
Digital Release
June 7, 2016

Track list
  1. MPLA
  2. Don't Get Hooked On Me
  3. Do It To Me One More Time
  4. Cissy Strut
  5. Here Comes The Reggae Band
  6. It's Not Too Late
  7. Bawling For Love
  8. Reggae Machine
  9. Please Don't Change (The Chords Of This Song)
  10. African Style
  11. She's My Lady
  12. If We Had Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4,5 Sleeve : 4/5
Willie Lindo is best known for his work as a producer, but he started out as sideman for Sonny Bradshaw and later as a session player for producers such as Lloyd Charmers and Derrick Harriott. His most prolific period was during the '70s into the '80s when he played on albums from The Meditations, Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, Dennis Brown, and Sugar Minott just to name a few. In the mid-'70s he teamed with Beres Hammond. Together they produced a large body of high-quality work including Beres Hammond's 1977 album "Soul Reggae".

His Miami based production company HeavyBeat Records is known for its crisp yet smooth sound and is specialised in producing soulful and melodic tunes, with lots of crossover potential. He has released outstanding productions with several artists such as Tinga Stewart, Tyrone Taylor, Wayne Wade and Maxi Priest. The label's two-riddim series "Nice & Ruff" is highly popular throughout the reggae community. The Lindo dynasty has featured heavily in the reggae industry: Earl Lindo played keyboards in the Wailers, the singer Hopeton Lindo has enjoyed many hits, the producer Jack Ruby was born Lawrence Lindo and Willie Lindo's sibblings Kashief and Nikesha are successful vocalists.

Recently we reviewed his 1974 instrumental reggae album "Far And Distant", a set that features high quality "easy listening" instrumental versions (no strings overdubs!) of reggae and pop/soul classics, with a slight jazzy feel. In 1977 he and producer Trevor Chung came together for the instrumental album "It's Not Too Late", a ten track set with the usual mix of pop covers, reggae covers and Willie Lindo originals. Now Willie Lindo re-issues the set on his own HeavyBeat Records label, but with a different track list. Three songs from the original album are not included: "Have Mercy", "Straight To Zion" and "Music Is Love". Especially the first two tunes are solid instrumentals and it's a shame they have been omitted. Some tracks have been added: a mediocre poppy version of the soul hit "Do It To Me One More Time" and "Cissy Strut", originally a 1969 funk instrumental by The Meters, here inna a kind of funk/pop version, totally misplaced. The third one is an weak cut called "Here Comes The Reggae Band". "She's My Lady" and the album closer, "If We Had Love", an unnecessary ballad, are the other 'new' tunes. What is left from the original LP is "MPLA", the famous Channel One rendition of "Freedom Blues" by The Revolutionaries in an excellent version by Willie. "Don't Get Hooked On Me", with background vocals, was a 1972 hit song by country and pop singer-songwriter Mac Davis. The title track is a genuine laid-back, jazzy summer melody, very enjoyable, with backing vocals by a young Beres Hammond! "Bawling For Love" and "Reggae Machine" are two Willie Lindo originals. "Please Don't Change (The Chords Of This Song)" is an instrumental version of a tune by Silver Convention, a German Euro disco group. The best tune here has to be "African Style", with Willie Lindo's guitar swirling over a nice rockers riddim!

The original album was recorded at Joe Gibbs Studio with these musicians:
Bongos Scully, horns Bobby Ellis, Herman Marquise, Jerome Franscique, Vin Gordon, piano Ansel Collins, synths Harold Butler amd backing vocals by Beres Hammond, Errol Lee, Carren Marr and Pam Savana.

Could have been a winner if they had re-released the original LP only!