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Rocking Vibration

Linval Thompson

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Album Review

Over the past several years, the French Makasound label has been unearthing an impressive amount of obscure but top-quality roots reggae from the 1970s. This particular collection draws on the work of singer, songwriter, and producer Linval Thompson between 1977 and 1979; the songs compiled here were all recorded at Channel One and mixed at King Tubby's studio — with the exception of the album's real find, a previously unreleased song titled "Natty Pressure Them," which Thompson recorded at the Black Ark studio with Lee "Scratch" Perry. Frankly, that song is of more historical than musical interest; it's not bad, but not terribly exciting either, with unusually restrained and almost lackluster production from Perry. But several other tracks shine quite brightly: "Black Woman" is a fine piece of vintage lovers rock, and "Rasta Children" finds Thompson working in a solid rockers vein. He does a creditable job on the Ken Boothe classic "Just Another Girl," and his one-drop sufferer's anthem, "More Power," is also impressive. A couple of tracks (notably "Jah Jah a Do It") suffer from poor sound quality, but overall this is a welcome contribution to a solid catalog of lovingly prepared compilations from reggae's golden period. Recommended.

Biography

Born: 1959 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

With the release of Blood and Fire's Ride on Dreadlocks and the reissues of his catalog of classic roots material, Linval Thompson's reputation as one of the finest reggae singers from the roots-renaissance was rightfully assured. A prolific producer whose credits include Dennis Brown, the Wailing Souls, Eek-A-Mouse, Freddie McGregor, and the Viceroys, among others, Thompson has also released a number of his own vocal (and dub) albums through independent labels and his own imprints. Linval Thompson's...
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Rocking Vibration, Linval Thompson
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