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Deliver Me from My Enemies / The Yabba You Vibration

Yabby You

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Album Review

Yabby You's overwhelming debut album, Conquering Lion, was a masterpiece of dread roots that set the standard for the genre, and one that certainly could never be equalled — or so it was thought until You's second full-length offering, Walls of Jerusalem (aka King Tubby Meets Vivian Jackson). His third, 1977's Deliver Me from My Enemies, would, in any other hands, be considered a classic. Not quite up to the extreme scintillating heights of its predecessors, however, this album is considered less crucial. That is a shame, because it's really a stellar set. Once again consisting of bundled-up recent singles, the album includes a spectacular title track. With lyrics inspired by the 143rd Psalm, it boasts one of You's most forceful performances set to a suitably simmering rhythm. The rhythm of "Judgment Time" is devastating; in it, the singer warns of the approaching apocalypse and prays fervently for sinners' souls. "Blood Ago Run Down King Street" is also apocalyptic, and here You delivers a powerful sermon on the subject. The equally stunning "Zion Gate" (aka "Judgment on the Land"), is a heart-felt repatriation song, boasting a militant roots rockers rhythm cut, although with a pastoral aura. "Pick the Beam Out of My Eye" is virtually a hymn, a sweet lesson in righteous living. The Bleechers' "Pound Gets a Blow" deals with more worldly concerns, but You adds new lyrics to give his version a decided religious spin. "One Love" is not the Wailers classic, but has a similar unity message, which You twins with Biblical references. Entirely outside of the cultural realm is the twangy "Lonely Me," boasting another splendid You performance, and the gorgeous doo wop-ish "I Love You," both stellar numbers featuring intriguing musical arrangements. There's not a subpar track within the album, so why doesn't this set get more respect? The reason is You had set his own bar so high that he was destined to eventually not quite clear it. But that doesn't make this album any less enjoyable for all but the fussiest of fans.


Born: 1946 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s

Yabby You was born Vivian Jackson in a Kingston ghetto. By the time he was 17, Jackson was so malnourished that he had to be hospitalized. He was eventually left with severe arthritis and crippled legs. While he could not work, he had musical talent and — taking his cues from divine inspiration that he felt came from the sounds of nature around him (and the help of friends) — founded a harmony trio, the Prophets, in 1972. They made their single debut with "Conquering Lion," a classically...
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Deliver Me from My Enemies / The Yabba You Vibration, Yabby You
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