Lloyd Charmers – Moody & Blue: The Best Of Lloyd Charmers 1973-1979

by Apr 21, 2023Artist, Reviews

Lloyd Charmers - Moody And Blue – The Best Of Lloyd Charmers 1973-1979

Release Info

Label
Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Format
DBL CD
Street date
April 21, 2023
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

DISC ONE: MOODY & BLUE
1 Sweet Harmony
2 Loving Her Was Easier
3 Life Is Just For Living
4 Play Me *
5 Mr Bojangles
6 Love Is The Song
7 To Be With You *
8 Bring Back The Love *
9 I Stand Accused *
10 Stoned Out Of My Mind *
11 Save The People
12 Sweet Organ
BONUS TRACKS:
13 For The Good Times
14 White Rum And Salvation *
15 Father Mary
16 Let’s Get It On *
17 Dreadful Piano *
18 I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little Bit More, Baby
19 A Lover’s Question
20 My Own Version

DISC TWO: RHYTHM IN RHAPSODY, 1974 – 1979
1 Darker Than Blue
2 Pure Fire
3 Run Joe *
4 Skin Tight *
5 Slavery *
6 Hello Africa *
7 Love Connection *
8 R.O.C.K.
9 Rhythm In Rhapsody *
10 Stay *
11 Rock On *
12 Love Charm *
13 Easy *
14 I’m Not In Love *
15 Let’s Straighten It Out *
16 Dreaming As One *
17 Joanna *
18 Thank You Lord *
* previously unissued on CD

Lloyd Charmers made his name as a singer/songwriter and led The Charmers and The Uniques before becoming one of Jamaica’s most respected record producers. The mid-’70s came and Lloyd had scored numerous best-sellers and was acclaimed as a top music maker. Trojan Records took this on board and scheduled the Moody Blue album with a dozen of the best of Charmers recent works as both a performer and producer. For some reason the album was never released and 50 years later Cherry Red Records have issued this 2xCD collection. We take a look at the original scheduled album and a selection of the bonus tracks.

DISC ONE: MOODY & BLUE

1. SWEET HARMONY. Starting off the original album we have a mid-tempo number on which Lloyd is double-tracked on the vocal. The backing track is straight and as a 7″ single it came out on Trojan’s Horse label in 1974. 2. LOVING HER WAS EASIER. This mid-tempo number comes as country Reggae with Lloyd along with a chorus suppling the vocals. Nice to hear country music given the Reggae treatment. 3. LIFE IS JUST FOR LIVING. This was written by Jamaican singer Ernie Smith and is a slower number, the vocal is classy and floats over a cool rhythm track with some chorus work going on. 4. PLAY ME. Another mid-tempo number on which Lloyd shows the listener what a good vocalist he was. The original song was recorded by Neil Diamond and her we have a version that stand up well to his. 5. MR BOJANGLES. This song has been recorded numerous times, both Pop/Reggae and a Reggae version one may know is by John Holt. On this mid-tempo track Charmers gives a soulful vocal over a chug-along rhythm track. The 7″ single was on the Horse label in the UK. 7. TO BE WITH YOU. Written by Jamaican singer Ernie Smith this is not a Reggae number but a cool laid-back recording with a soulful vocal. Charmers is joined at various times by a backing chorus. 8. BRING BACK THE LOVE. Written by the vocalist it was the B side to track 2 when on 7″. Another non-Reggae track with a soulful vocal and a punchy rhythm track. 9. I STAND ACCUSED. We return to the Reggae genre on this mid-tempo sound, originally recorded by American Jerry Butler. A female chorus appears from time-to-time and Charmers speaks some of the vocal. 11. SAVE THE PEOPLE. This slower number starts with a spoken intro, then Lloyd comes in with a cool vocal that at times is spoken. There are vocals on the rhythm track and some fine piano. It was out on Trojan’s Green Door label as a 7″. 12. SWEET ORGAN. Coming as the B side to Sweet Harmony when on 7″, it is a version of the aforementioned tune. As instrumentals go it is a catchy sound.

BONUS TRACKS:

13. FOR THE GOOD TIMES. A sugar-sweet cover of the Al Green classic, also covered by Perry Como. This track was credited to the Chosen Few on its release in 1972 on the Trojan label, later on the Duke label. It is certainly Lloyd Charmers and comes with a long intro before Charmers comes in with a classic vocal over a straight rhythm track. The song lends itself well to this Reggae treatment. 16. LET’S GET IT ON. Originally a big hit for Marvin Gay and this version was released on the Federal label in Jamaica and Harry J label in UK. This version has Charmers at his vocal best over a punchy rhythm track. The vocalist is joined by a chorus and this is a good recording of a classic song. 18. I’M GONNA LOVE YOU JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE. If you liked the Barry White original then you will most likely like this mid-tempo version. Charmers does a good job sounding like Mr White. The rhythm track is punchy and uncluttered, another song that lends itself well to this Reggae treatment. 19. A LOVER’S QUESTION. First released in 1958 by Clyde McPhatter and written by Brook Benton, this version comes with a fine vocal from Charmers over another punchy rhythm track. Apart from being Reggae, it is not dissimilar to the various other versions over the years. 20. MY OWN VERSION. On this track we actually have Charmers Big Band doing an instrumental version of the Ken Boothe UK hit. It is dominated by piano and it was the B side to the aforementioned 7″.

DISC TWO: RHYTHM IN RHAPSODY 1974 – 1979

1. DARKER THAN BLUE. This song was originally written by Curtis Mayfield and is a slow Reggae number. Charmers sounds young and his high-pitched vocal is compelling. He is joined by a chorus from time-to-time. Catchy number on which Charmers plays the melodica. 3. RUN JOE. This is mid-tempo and has Charmers at his best on the vocal. Nice punchy rhythm track and a backing chorus is in attendance. Out in the UK on the Horse label in 1977 as a 7″. 5. SLAVERY. This starts with a cool intro before moving into a fast number. Again Charmers is at his best vocally and another catchy track. 7. LOVE CONNECTION. This is an instrumental with a chorus from time-to-time along with some heavy bass guitar. The rhythm track is semi-orchestrated at times and who is actually performing on this track is anyone’s guess. Originally released on the Mercury label as a 7″ in 1976. 9. RHYTHM IN RHAPSODY. This is different from previous tracks as Charmers performs a spoken vocal. The rhythm track uses the tune known as Swedish Rhapsody and makes this a catchy track. Another release out on Mercury as a 7″ in 1976. 12. LOVE CHARM. This comes with a heavy rhythm track and is another instrumental catchy number and released as a 7″ on the Mercury label in 1976. 14. I’M NOT IN LOVE. This was originally written by Gouldman/Stewart from 10CC who had a hit with it in the ’70s. This version stands up well to the original version and once again Charmers is at his best vocally. The vocalist is joined by a backing chorus and the rhythm track is punchy. Released in the UK on the Surge label as a 7″ in 1978. 17. JOANNA. The original of this was by Scott Walker from the Walker Brothers in the UK and Charmers gives his all on a very good, fast-moving version. He is joined by a chorus and together they perform a very credible Reggae recording. 18. THANK YOU LORD (A PRAYER FOR ISRAEL). This mid-tempo sound has Charmers at his best and once again he is joined by a chorus. This again comes with a backing chorus and ends up as a Funk/Soul sound with a pulsating rhythm track, Reggae at its best. This final track on this disc was released in the UK on the Plant label 1979.

During his time as an artist/producer Lloyd Charmers otherwise known as Lloyd Tyrell became top-rated on the Jamaican music scene. This 2xCD collection shows the listener why this was the case. Charmers not only sang and produced for releases in the UK out of Trojan Records but also the Palmer Brothers at Pama Records. This collection covers tracks we remember and various that listener may be hearing for the first time, either way this Cherry Red Records collection at £12 99p is very worthwhile getting hold of.

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