Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys – The Soul At Large Sessions

by Feb 26, 2024Artist, Reviews

Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys - The Soul At Large Sessions

Release Info

Aggrobeat Records
Street date
December 15, 2023
Website Record Label


Side A
1 Soul At Large
2 Soul Of England
3 African Zulu
4 Confidential
5 House In Session
6 Cooyah

Side B
1 Shang I
2 Everybody Needs Love
3 Stronger
4 Sweet Sweet
5 Ling Tong Ting
6 Yes Sah

Aggrobeat Records, the reggae vinyl specialist from the Dutch/German border has unearthed the hard-to-find House In Session LP by Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys, originally released on the Economy label and distributed in the UK by Pama Records in 1969. Due to copyright restrictions, the 12-track LP has been reissued under a different title, The Soul At Large Sessions, and with updated artwork.

Lloyd Charmers

This LP marked the first full-length album that featured the late Jamaican singer, keyboard player and record producer Lloyd Tyrell aka Lloyd Charmers himself, following his extensive work as a vocalist, arranger and organ player in the years prior to the release of this LP. As a vocalist he was a member of the duo The Charmers (with Roy Willis) and The Uniques (with Slim Smith and Jimmy Riley). Additionally, he was a member of the Messengers, a short-lived group that furthermore featured Ken Boothe, B.B. Seaton and Busty Brown. He also recorded risqué tracks under the name as Lloydie & The Lowbites. In 1968, he shifted his focus to record production, quickly achieving success with several hit songs in Jamaica.

Hippy Boys

Lloyd Charmers took on the role of producer and began collaborating with the Hippy Boys, which included the Barrett Brothers Aston ‘Familyman’ on bass and Carlton on drums, along with Glen Adams on keyboard and Reggie Lewis on guitar. During this time, The Hippy Boys also worked with Bunny Lee, Sonia Pottinger, Harry J., and Lee Perry (as The Upsetters), with the band producing some incredible tracks for Charmers. The bulk of the Hippy Boys’ recordings with Charmers from 1969-1970 were featured on albums such as House In Session, Reggae Charm, and Reggae Is Tight. Recently, the latter two albums were reissued by Doctor Bird/Cherry Red on a double CD with bonus tracks, while the former has been re-released under the new title The Soul At Large Sessions.

Boss reggae instrumentals

As the new title of the reissued LP more or less indicates, the listener can expect Boss reggae instrumentals with sophisticated, Philly soul-inspired arrangements with Lloyd Charmers demonstrating his unlimited keyboard-playing talents. Besides ten instrumentals, the LP includes one vocal cut by Lloyd Charmers, the lovers piece Sweet Sweet, and one track, House In Session, with spoken word across an interpretation of Booker T. & The MG’s 1969 hit Time Is Tight. Things get started in fine up-tempo style with Soul At Large, a catchy organ-dominated instrumental worth hearing. Next comes the mid-tempo Soul Of England aka Brixton with some talkover from beginning to end, which is followed by the piano sound dominated African Zulu with its weird human noises. Side B of the album starts with the slow instrumental track Shang I, which unfortunately does not leave a lasting impression. However, it is followed by the energetic Everybody Needs Love, a catchy instrumental version of the Slim Smith song where Charmers showcases his skills on both organ and piano. The lively Stronger kicks off with some horn-playing and is an enjoyable track overall. Ling Tong Ting lives up to its weird title with its unique instrumental that seems to incorporate an Asian influence. The closing track, Yes Sah, is an entertaining finish to the album and is also known to Boss reggae collectors as Higher Heights.

Although some of its tracks previously appeared on CD releases from Trojan and Doctor Bird/Cherry Red, it’s good to have the original album on black vinyl again.

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