Bim Sherman – Tribulation: Down In Jamdown 1974 to 1979
Bim Sherman – Tribulation: Down In Jamdown 1974 To 1979
Label: Pressure Sounds | Format: CD-DBL LP-DR | Street date: October 23, 2007 | Website label
- Ital West aka Dispensation aka Revolution
- Ital West (Dub)
- Love Forever (Vocal)
- Love In The Ghetto feat. Jah Woosh
- Love Forever (Dub)
- Tribulation aka Fit To Survive (Original 1975 Mix)
- Golden Stool
- Golden Stool (Dub)
- Just Can’t Stand It
- Weak Heart Men
- Weak Heart Men (Dub)
- World Go Round
- Every Where You Go
- Golden Locks
- Golden Locks (Dub)
- Natty Cale feat. Big Joe
- Lego Natty Cale
- My Woman
- My Woman (Part 2)
- Lovers Leap
- Lovers Leap (Part 2)
12th February is the earthday of the late great Bim Sherman, a reggae singer gifted with a haunting, ethereal voice, which made him a longtime favourite among serious reggae collectors. Here’s a review of a great Bim Sherman compilation album.
“Punk, dub, avant garde jazz — Don’t forget, so many music forms were brought together out of that punk period. Reggae music just exploded in the late 70s. Big Youth, The Spear — it was incredible, all came forward at the time of punk… People could really feel something special was going on here, something fresh. As for Bim Sherman, I used to listen to him again and again and again. Tracks like “My Whole World”, “Love Forever” and “Revolution/World Of Dispensation”: I listened to the purity of that music all the time — the purity which was so evident in Bim Sherman’s voice.” (Tessa Pollitt, The Slits bass player describes the musical landscape at the end of the 70’s)
Bim Sherman — with a voice so pure, mournful and uplifting — touched something very deep in the psyche and imagination of listeners in late 70’s UK as the quote from Tessa Pollit shows.
Core Of The Album
The new Pressure Sounds re release collection album offers a good insight into Bim’s best work. Much of the core of the album has been available elsewhere for many years, notably on Bim’s own Century label (“Crucial Cuts One and Two” and “Lover’s Leap Showcase” albums) and more recently on the EFA releases, so there will be few surprises here for long term followers of the man. It is somewhat puzzling why Pressure Sounds decided to re release so much material which has been so easy to find on other labels, and included such a large amount of material which has only fairly recently been reissued on the market by other sources.
Powerful, Magical Cuts
Having said that, there are indeed, some powerful, magical cuts here which have never seen CD release — anywhere else — until now. In particular, the intensely meditative, reflective “Ital West aka Dispensation aka Revolution.” Long term listeners will know the tune very well from the overpowering version on the Singers and Players album. There was also a 10″ disco mix, and numerous dubs on the ONU Sound label — so Sherman fanatics will not, under any circumstances want to miss the versions Pressure Sounds have made available now.
Peak Musical Moment
Other fresh and first rate tracks here are “Natty Cale” and “Leggo Natty Cale”, both of which version one of Bim’s peak musical moments, “Ever Firm”. These versions showcase Big Joe, a totally different vocal take from Bim (only partial here, not complete), and a Tubby’s dub — all of which are essential, offering fresh insight into, and fresh interpretations of one of Bim’s most heartfelt, hymn like tunes. The album profiles another rarity largely unheard outside of serious collectors circles, which will be of great interest to the Sherman fanatics — the version of the poetically eerie and elegiac “Tribulation aka Fit To Survive”. Included here is the 1975 mix which has never before seen CD release.
There is another gem here — “Weak Heart Men” is a completely fresh vocal/lyrical take on “My Whole World”, a tune also versioned by Ari’s New Age Steppers. Elsewhere on the album, Jah Woosh also chants on “Love Forever”, another cut which hasn’t seen CD issue before now.