Jimmy London – Welcome To My World
Burning Sounds/Secret Records
September 29, 2023
1. Ride On
2. Welcome To My World
3. In My Heart
4. A Little Love
1. Thank The Lord
2. Can’t Let You Go
3. Hold On
4. Back Row At A Movie
Jimmy collaborated with producer Clive Chin in 1971 and achieved success with their rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. This led to the release of a pop covers album the following year, which marked the beginning of his flourishing career. In 1978, Jimmy partnered with producer Phil Pratt and recorded the album Welcome To My World, followed by It Ain’t Easy Living In The Ghetto in 1980, also produced by Pratt. Read the review of that album. Despite continuing to record and tour to this day, Jimmy has never been fully embraced by the steadfast roots reggae community due to his choice of repertoire, although there is no denying his undeniable vocal talents.
This LP from 1978 presents us with a collection of eight songs, most of which explore the various aspects of love. However, there are a few exceptions, such as the opening track Ride On. Jimmy’s vocal delivery is much more powerful than what we are accustomed to hearing from him, and is accompanied by a beautifully melancholic backing track. His intention with this song is to let the music take control and steer you away from negative influences. Another noteworthy track is Hold On, which is a heartfelt roots tune that encourages listeners to persevere despite the hardships they may face. Thank The Lord is a song of praise, where the female backing vocals and horns create the perfect atmosphere. It is highly appreciable that, to the best of our knowledge, all the riddims on this album are original, and they sound fresh and captivating. This is not surprising considering the backing artists involved, which include The Revolutionaries and a trio of talented horn players.
The title track of the album is a well-executed reggae rendition of Jim Reeves’ 1964 country hit. While Reeves sang it as a slow ballad, Jimmy’s version here is more upbeat and enjoyable, albeit with a remarkable touch of sweetness. Jimmy’s vocal tone suits the song perfectly as he invites a potential lover to enter his world. To understand the origins of the song A Little Love, we have to go back to 1954 when Jaye P. Morgan scored her first hit for RCA with That’s All I Want From You. Jimmy adapts the title to A Little Love, pleading for just a bit of affection from the woman he desires. Although his performance borders on being excessively sugary, the strong musical support compensates for it. The closing track of the album is a cover version of The Drifters’ summer 1974 hit, Kissin’ in the Back Row Of The Movies, a poppy teenagers love song. Although thematically different from the other songs, which may seem out of place, it is definitely not a burden to the ears and not to be perceived as a negative addition.
This album features songs that are beautifully crafted in a musical style we later coined as “Big People Music.” If you resonate with this particular style, then I highly recommend giving this album a listen.