Various – Revue Presents Symphonies Of Love – 1980-1985

by Jan 13, 2023Reviews, Various

Various - Revue Presents Symphonies Of Love – 1980-1985

Release Info

Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Street date
January 13, 2022
Website Record Label


1 Midnight Blue – Barbara Jones
2 The Woman In Me – Barbara Jones
3 The First Cut Is The Deepest – Barbara Jones
4 Angel Of The Morning – Barbara Jones
5 It’s Gonna Take A Miracle – Barbara Jones
6 Top Of The World – Barbara Jones
7 Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Barbara Jones
8 Symphony Of Love – Barbara Jones
9 Single Girl – Barbara Jones
10 In My Arms – The In Crowd
11 Taxi – Leroy Brown
12 Together – Jennifer Day
13 Weep Little Girl – Fil Callender
14 Just Enough – Carol Brown
15 Suspicion – Delroy Wilson
16 Honey Bee – The In Crowd
17 Rain From The Sky – Ruddy Thomas
18 All My Love To Give – Errol Walker
19 Sweet Man – The In Crowd
20 It’s Alright – Leroy Brown

1 Golden Love – Doreen Shaffer
2 That’s Life – Doreen Shaffer
3 That Wonderful Sound – Doreen Shaffer
4 Memories – Doreen Shaffer
5 I Cried A Tear – Doreen Shaffer
6 I Remember – Doreen Shaffer
7 Could I Have This Dance – Doreen Shaffer
8 Baby Lay Down – Doreen Shaffer
9 Eternal Love – Doreen Shaffer
10 Getting Cozy – The In Crowd
11 Feel So Good – Carol Brown
12 I Don’t Wanna Live My Life Without Love – Rula Brown
13 People Are Doing It Every Day – Delroy Wilson
14 Oh Carol – Freddie McKay
15 Something Special – Carol Brown
16 I’ll Have To Get You – Tony Tuff
17 Would You Like To Be Loved – The In Crowd
18 Hold Me – Bobbie Floyd & Marie Baines
19 Eighteen Yellow Roses – Boris Gardiner
20 Whenever – Carol Brown
21 Reggae Down On It – Rula Brown

Lovers Rock was very popular on Britain’s Reggae scene in the late 1970’s and it took off in style at the start of the 80’s. During the remainder of the decade, some of the finest romantically-themed Reggae music was created in Jamaican studios, with Phil Mathias at the controls. To show off his dedication to Lovers Rock sound this two CD collection has been released by Cherry Red Records and contains the original albums from Barbara Jones & Doreen Shaffer along with a selection of bonus tracks and feature artists such as Boris Gardiner, Delroy Wilson, Freddie McKay, Fil Callender and The In Crowd along with Ruddy Thomas. The recordings on this collection shows why Revue Records has long since been widely regarded as the home of the Jamaican Lovers Rock sound. Going back to the bonus tracks, we will take a look at a selection of these.


1: MIDNIGHT BLUE. This was first recorded by Melissa Manchester in January 1975, and here we have a version from one of Jamaica’s top female artists. It is a mid-tempo slice of smooth Lovers Rock. The vocal is fabulous and Barbara is helped-out by a female chorus from time-to-time. The rhythm track glides along and is uncomplicated. A real fine way to start the recordings from the original album. 2: THE WOMAN IN ME. This was first recorded by Donna Summer and then Shania Twain, this version came out in 1983 in the UK and comes with a vocal of high quality over a mid-tempo rhythm track. One hears some fine piano playing that appears occasionally. This ends up as 3min 5secs of top-rated Lovers Rock. 3: THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST. Originally written by Cat Stevens and recorded by P.P Arnold, this version comes on a par to the original, many listeners have thought it to be the better version. Mid-tempo again and has a floating rhythm track that comes straight with more piano. 4: ANGEL OF THE MORNING. This soulful Lovers Reggae version of the original by Evie Sands from 1967 is a smooth soulful sound. It comes with a mid-tempo rhythm and some fine organ playing, probably Winston Wright. This was also recorded by Joya Landis in a Rocksteady vein. 5: IT’S GONNA TAKE A MIRACLE. This is Lovers Rock at its best with Barbara covering a song recorded by Denice Williams and Manhattan Transfer. Floating vocal over a female backing chorus. The rhythm track also floats along. Does this genre come better than this, probably not. Also recorded by Alton Ellis in 1979 as an album track. 6: TOP OF THE WORLD. First recorded by The Carpenters this is a top song given a classic Lovers Rock rendition by the ever-superb Miss Jones. Another female chorus and uncomplicated rhythm track. A classic track in every way. 7: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and released by The Shirelles in 1960, Barbara gives another classic version on a version that lends itself to the song. The rhythm and vocal floats along helped by another female chorus. Nothing more to say than, WOW! 8: SYMPHONY OF LOVE. Patti Austin first recorded this in 1981. This version was only an album track and lends itself well to the song. With a la-la-la intro it moves into a faster Lovers Rock sound with more than a slice of cool vocal and lilting chorus. The rhythm track comes uncomplicated with piano coming in mid-way through. 9: SINGLE GIRL. This version of the Sandy Posey UK hit comes laid-back, two 7″ versions were released, one on the Sydna label in the US and one on Top Rank in Jamaica, the first having a heavier rhythm track. This track is the final one on the original album and is the Top Rank release. With more of the same from Barbara and a chorus helping out. Really fine way to finish an album of classic Lovers Reggae.


10: IN MY ARMS – In Crowd. This is a rootsy sound with drums prominent on the rhythm track. Mid-tempo with, on vocals Filberto ‘Fil’ Callender, this is a classy way to start these tracks. 12: TOGETHER – Jennifer Day. Nothing known about this artist but nonetheless we have a polished performance on a mid-tempo sound. Straight rhythm track, appeared on the ‘Club Reggae’ album and ‘Trojan Lovers Rock Box Set’. 15: SUSPICION – Delroy Wilson. No introduction needed for Delroy who never sang a song badly and this comes as a version of the Terry Stafford/Elvis recordings. This has a lilting rhythm track and a chorus. Out on The Jamaican Top Rank label in 1983. 18: ALL MY LOVE TO GIVE – Errol Walker. Written by Errol who may be new to many listeners. This comes slower than previous tracks and has an uncomplicated rhythm track. Good clear vocal, this as a 7″ came out on Solid Gold distributed by Jet Star in the UK. 20: IT’S ALRIGHT – Leroy Brown. This is a faster sound with a chug-along rhythm. Leroy’s vocal is not heard throughout and a chorus takes centre stage. Nothing much to add to this but it’s catchy. Came out on Creole Records in the UK, 1980.


1: GOLDEN LOVE. This comes as a mid-tempo slice of high-class Lovers Reggae. Doreen shows off her smooth vocal and the rhythm track is uncomplicated and catchy. 2: THAT’S LIFE. This was recorded by Owen Grey and it is a faster sound and again coming with an uncomplicated rhythm track. Written by Delano Stewart it glides along and is easy on the ear. 3: THAT WONDERFUL SOUND. Also recorded by Dobby Dobson and Tom Jones in a pop vein it is a mid-tempo smooth Lovers Reggae and another classic vocal from Miss Shaffer. It gives its title to the original album and can be found on the ‘Trojan Lovers Box Set’. 4: MEMORIES. Co-written by Doreen Shaffer and Dwight Pinkney and nothing to do with the stage song, it is mid-tempo and classic Lovers Reggae. Nothing uncomplicated about the recording and we end up listening to another catchy sound. 5: I CRIED A TEAR. This fast sound is not unlike a Rocksteady sound and comes with a pulsating rhythm track. 6: I REMEMBER. Written by Laurel Aitken, this is a fast slice of cool Lovers Reggae with a straight rhythm track. 7: COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE. Apart from this version it has also been recorded by Anne Murray in a pop vein. Pleasant mid-tempo recording, this one comes with a catchy feel. Very smooth rhythm track and it ends up as a top track on this disc. 8: BABY LAY DOWN. Wow! This is another classic Lovers Reggae sound on which Doreen is joined from time-to-time by a backing chorus. Lovely lilting rhythm track and could be classed as the top track from the original album. This was written by Jamaican artist Jackie Opel. 9: ETERNAL LOVE. This comes slower than many of the previous tracks. Fabulous Doreen Shaffer vocal and some cool percussion on the rhythm track. This was a fine way to conclude the original album.


10: GETTING CRAZY – The In Crowd. Fil Callender was a member of this outfit and here we have a laid-back mid-tempo number that was written by Fil. A good way to start the bonus tracks and easy on the ear. 12: I DON’T WANT TO SPEND MY LOVE WITHOUT LOVE (7″ mix) – Rula Brown. Not familiar with this artist but this does not detract from Rula giving a full-on vocal over a punchy rhythm track. This 3min 25sec recording is worthy of its inclusion on this collection. 15: SOMETHING SPECIAL – Carol Brown. On this we hear Carol Brown who may not be familiar with many listeners. The artist gives a classy soulful vocal over a mid-tempo rhythm track. Carol is helped out vocally from time-to-time by a chorus. 18: HOLD ME – Bobbie Floyd & Marie Baines. Released in 1985 on 7″ format we have two artists that may be new to the listener. As a duo they vocalise well together over a mid-tempo rhythm track. It came out on the Upsetter label and had a version on the flip side. 19: EIGHTEEN YELLOW ROSES – Boris Gardiner. This was produced by the vocalist and is a version of a song recorded by several pop artists, Bobby Darrin to name but one. On this mid-tempo version we have a cool vocal from Boris who wrote the flip side of the 7″ single, ‘Take Care Of My Heart’. This comes with a punchy backing and is a good listen. One remembers Boris with his instrumental version of ‘Elizabethan Reggae’. 21: REGGAE DOWN ON IT – Rula Brown. As with Rula’s other contribution to the collection it has a punchy overall sound with another full-on vocal. The rhythm track comes straight and the song was written by Rula and co-produced with Lew Chung in 1984. This is the final track on the collection.

In summing up, two classic vinyl albums by two classic Jamaican female artists are to be found on this collection along with a selection of high-class bonus tracks from artists that will be known to the lister and others from artists that may be new to the listener. All in all, we have another top release from the team at Cherry Red Records and at £12 99p it makes for a value for money collection to start the new year and many more will be following.

Barbara Jones – The First Cut Is The Deepest

Doreen Shaffer – Baby Lay Down

Delroy Wilson – Suspicion


Where to get it


More Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Music