Lambert Douglas – Living Man

by Apr 8, 2024Artist, Reviews

Lambert Douglas - Living Man

Release Info

Label
Rosso/King Rocky Records
Format
LP
Street date
March 20, 2024
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

Side A
1. Jah Jah No New
2. Living Man
3. Cleaning Up Time
4. Injustice
5. European Man

Side B
1. A So Jah Say
2. Inspired
3. Natty Dread Stand
4. Africa
5. Babylon Bawling

Similar to numerous other Jamaican artists seeking widespread recognition, Lambert Douglas was unable to establish himself as a well-known name among reggae fans during the latter half of the 1970s. Subsequently, he more or less disappeared from the music scene and became one of the forgotten figures in reggae history. Thanks to people such as Grégory Hautbois aka Jahgreg from King Rocky Records in France, artists like Lambert Douglas are being brought out of obscurity.

Early Beginnings

Lambert Douglas, born in 1948 in Mahonet in St Andrew parish, a short hour’s walk north of Kingston, kickstarted his music career in 1969 with the recording of Baby Baby for Lee Perry. Re-titled Anyway, the song was later released in the UK on the Punch label under the name Lloyd Douglas. After that, Lambert Douglas decided to take matters into his own hands. He self-produced three songs, but only one of them, Almighty Dollars, was actually pressed on vinyl and released in 1975 on his own label, I-SO-LOG-I-IHS. He then went on to record a few tracks for George McLean/Bob Mac, finding success with Woman I Love You, backed by the Mighty Cloud Band. The single was released in Jamaica on the Mid-Night imprint and on the Lucky label in the UK in 1976. That same year, Clive Francis, a shoe manufacturer from Kingston with a strong love for music, set up his own production label called Rosso. He was supported in his venture by keyboardist and close friend Ansel Colins, who gave him easy access to the studios. Knowing Lambert Douglas for several years, he asked him to record for his label. At the Treasure Isle studio, Douglas then recorded his first singles, Jah Jah No New and Babylon Bawling. The former was initially released on Rosso and later on Trojan in the UK, where it found some success. This marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Douglas and the producer, which lasted until Francis passed away in 1992.

The Revolutionaries

Lambert Douglas was then taken to the Hookim Brothers’ Channel One Recording Studio at Maxfield Avenue, where The Revolutionaries, with Ansel Colins as a member, served as the in house band. Inspired by his Rastafari faith, Douglas tirelessly produced a series of recordings, enough to compile an entire album. That album, called Living Man, saw the light of day in 1977 and was released on Francis’ Rosso imprint. The album release was confined to the Jamaican market because negotiations with Trojan to release it in the UK were aborted. Thus, in the end only 130 copies of Douglas’ debut LP were pressed. Due to the lack of a major record label and promotional support, Living Man did not reach a wide audience.

The Album

The rural roots of Lambert Douglas are evident in his singing style. With added backing vocals by the man himself, the tracks featured on this LP evoke comparisons to the music of The Maytones. Douglas’ profound Rasta message shines through the various songs, which are underpinned by well-played original riddims by musicians like Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Bertram “Ranchie” McLean, Radcliffe “Dougie” Bryan, Winston “Bo-Pee” Bowen, Ansel Collins, and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson. Included on Living Man are Lambert Douglas’ first two singles, the Jah Jah No New and Babylon Bawling, as well as eight other original compositions written and sung by the vocalist. Those who appreciate the ‘country reggae’ sound of the 1970s will thoroughly enjoy the music the little-known singer offers on this vinyl platter. Especially the aforementioned Jah Jah No New, the socially conscious Injustice, Africa, which addresses the desire to return to the motherland, and the album closer Babylon Bawling instantly attract attention. However, this doesn’t disqualify the other tracks as they are also worth a listen.

This reissued, limited edition LP comes with a wonderful repo of original LP cover and is accompanied by an insert with a transcription of the lyrics, a complete Lambert Douglas discography with label photos compiled by Olivier Albot, and free stickers.

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Lambert Douglas – Living Man LP

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