Roman Stewart – Give Thanks

by May 8, 2024Mini-Review, Reviews

Roman Stewart - Give Thanks

Release Info

Thompson Sound
Street date
May 1, 2024


Side A
1. Give Thanks
2. Give Thanks Dub
3. Baby Come Back
4. Baby Come Back Dub
5. Mr. Officer
6. Mr. Officer Dub
7. I’m In A Bad Mood

Side B
1. What You Wanna Do
2. What You Wanna Do Dub
3. Why Are You Acting So?
4. Why Are You Acting So Dub?
5. Hello Baby
6. Hello Baby Dub
7. I’m In A Bad Mood Dub

After the release of a 12″vinyl single featuring an extended dubplate mix of What You Wanna Do in March 2023, the Linval Thompson produced track now reappears on Roman Stewart’s showcase LP Give Thanks.

Roman Stewart

Roman Stewart, a Jamaican reggae singer, passed away in January 2004 due to heart failure. He was the younger sibling of Tinga Stewart, a well-known reggae vocalist and songwriter. Stewart began his music career in 1968 with his debut single, Walking Down The Street. During the early 1970s, he collaborated with producers such as Derrick Harriott on songs like Changing Times and Glen Brown on tracks like Never Too Young. In 1975, Stewart won the Festival Song Contest with Hooray Festival, a composition by his brother Tinga Stewart and Willie Lindo. The following year, he achieved success in Jamaica with Hit Song (also known as Natty Sings Hit Songs), which expressed the desire to break free from poverty through music. Despite relocating to New York in the same year, Stewart continued to visit Jamaica regularly to work with different producers. In 1979, he had another big hit with Rice And Peas and worked with singer, record producer, and label owner Linval Thompson, who released some of Stewart’s songs on 7″ or 12″ vinyl records. Some of these tunes, which afterwards have never been repressed, along with six previously unreleased tracks are included on this 14-track LP.

Give Thanks

Roman Stewart’s vocals and the riddims played by the mighty Roots Radics band were recorded at the Hoo Kim brothers’ Channel One Recording Studio, located at Maxfield Avenue, West Kingston, Jamaica. Linval Thompson retrieved the original tapes and entrusted Roberto Sánchez to remix them at his A-Lone Ark Muzik Studio. By expertly preserving the vintage analog sound, listeners are transported to the early dancehall era. Opening with the title track Give Thanks on Side A, the listener is introduced to a powerful roots tune that has never been released before. The track, along with its dub version, features an awesome bass-driven riddim that sets the tone for the singer to give thanks and praise to Jah the Almighty for guiding him. From spiritual roots the singer goes into a lovers lament with Baby Come Back. This song was originally put out in the UK as a 12″ vinyl by Cool Rockers, a brief subsidiary of Greensleeves Records that focused on Lovers Rock. It was released as a joint effort with deejay Trinity, with The Revolutionaires listed as the backing band. In any case, Roman Stewart demonstrates that he’s equally at home with roots and lovers music. Baby Come Back is followed by the second and meanwhile last roots offering, em>Mr. Officer, a track that deals with problems caused by the possession of a little herb. The rest of the vocal tracks featured on this LP focus on matters of the heart, specifically addressing issues that create complications in relationships. Each track has its on merit and is worth hearing more than once. The unreleased I’m In A Bad Mood rounds off Side A, while its dub counterpart does the same on the B-side. Vocally, Roman Stewart shines on every track, while also the heavyweight dub versions are a delight to listen to.

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