Fally Lover and Never Stop Fighting
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1992.
These two Johnny Osbourne records, originally released
in the early 80's, have recently been combined on one CD,
making this release a real bargain with 20 tracks and over
70 minutes of outstanding reggae.
Both albums were recorded at the infamous Channel One
studio using the incomparable Roots Radics as the backing
band. At that point in time, the Radics were creating some
of the most crucial reggae rhythms ever. Each l.p. was
produced and co-written by Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and each was
exceptionally mixed - with Barnabas doing "Fally Lover" and
Scientist taking care of "Never Stop Fighting."
Osbourne was (and still is) one of the smoothest
vocalists around. His only shortcoming involves the lyrics.
He deals primarily with silly love songs and although many
of the tunes work, some are just a bit too sophomoric.
Things really click, however, when he deals with conscious
themes, such as in the classic, "Words Of The Ghetto."
Regardless of the lyrical weak spots, the music of the
Radics remains fresh and timeless on each and every track.
If you happen to run across any material featuring
this band (especially sessions captured at Channel One
during this time frame) make sure you pick it up. The Roots
Radics lay down some of reggae's most wicked rhythms and
this Johnny Osbourne release is just one example of what you
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