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I Admire You

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Album Review

Although he's almost completely unknown outside of reggae circles, singer/songwriter Larry Marshall had a huge influence on reggae music during its formative years. His warm, romantic delivery and rich baritone voice made his singles favorites at the Kingston sound system dances in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He cut the majority of his most important sides with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One (the best of them compiled on another Heartbeat release, Presenting Larry Marshall), but he maintained a very high standard of quality after leaving Dodd to produce his own material at Harry J's, Randy's, and Joe Gibbs' studios. Originally released in 1975, I Admire You is remarkably consistent — although "Captivity" drags a bit, there are virtually no clunkers on this album. A few tracks stand out, including the epochal sufferer's anthem "Heavy Heavy Load" and the aching love ballad "Oh Girl" in particular. (Perhaps recognizing the superb quality of these two tracks, the producers of the CD reissue have provided them in extended mixes.) Yet "My Foreparent" and "Thelma" are equally fine, and the title track comes very close. Highly recommended.


Born: 17 December 1941 in St. Ann, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s

Despite being an energetic, convincing, and very soulful vocalist, Larry Marshall is not well known except among the reggae faithful. He's both a superb romantic balladeer and excellent message and roots vocalist. Marshall's single "Nanny Goat" was among the early transitional tunes signaling the music's evolution from rocksteady to reggae. He cut his first single at Studio One in the mid-'60s; it was later remade by Clancy Eccles. Later came sessions for the Prince Buster and Top Deck labels, then...
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I Admire You, Larry Marshall
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