Fred Locks Meets The Creators – Love & Harmony

by Jun 5, 2024Artist, Reviews

Fred Locks Meets The Creators - Love & Harmony

Release Info

Label
Burning Sounds
Format
CD / LP / DR
Street date
May 31, 2024
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

Side 1
1. Love And Harmony – Fred Locks
2. Love Enough To Share – Cherry Rock
3. Born In Slavery (Kill Nebudchanezzar) – The Creation Steppers
4. Let’s Get It Right – Albert Malawi
5. Touch Not My Locks – Little Roy

Side 2
1. Harmony Dub – Fred Locks & The Twelve Tribes Band
2. Love Dub – Cherry Rock & The Twelve Tribes Band
3. Killer Dub – The Creation Steppers & The Twelve Tribes Band
4. Get Right Dub – Albert Malawi & The Twelve Tribes Band
5. Dread Morning – Little Roy & The Twelve Tribes Band

Different Titles

Two years after UK record label Vulcan had released Fred Locks’ impactful 1976 debut album Black Star Liners – True Rastaman, a next album, erroneously credited to Fred Locks, reached the specialised record shops. This LP, produced by Barry Joseph, was released under different titles on two separate labels. The first, titled Nebuchadnezzar, King Of Babylon by Fred Locks & The Steppers, was released on Revelations through Ital Records in Stoke Newington, London. The second, titled Love & Harmony and credited solely to Fred Locks (misspelled Fred Lock on the vinyl labels), came out on FORM (Federation Of Reggae Music) from Dublin, Ireland. In addition to the difference in record labels, album titles, and credit, another distinction was the track order. Nebuchadnezzar, King Of Babylon was a true Showcase album with the vocal directly followed by its dub version. The FORM release had all vocal cuts on the A-side and their dub counterparts on the other side.

Twelve Tribes of Israel

After being out of print for a very long time, Burning Sounds has now reissued the 1978 FORM set, which, in fact, is a showcase for Twelve Tribes of Israel musicians like Bagga Walker, Pablove Black, Dalton Browne, and Noel Bailey, and artists Little Roy, Albert Malawi, The Creation Steppers, Cherry Rock, and, of course, Fred Locks. The Rastafarian organisation Twelve Tribes of Israel was formed in 1968 by Vernon Carrington known as ‘Prophet Gad’. Its members are grouped into Twelve Tribes modelled on the biblical Twelve Tribes of Israel. Others associated with the organisation are Bob Marley, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown, Judy Mowatt, Brigadier Jerry, Sister Carol, Judah Eskender Tafari, Mikey Dread, and Luciano.

Vocal Tracks

The A-side highlights five vocal cuts and gets started with the tune for which it is named after, Love & Harmony. Fred Locks, whose distinctive vocal style is much loved amongst reggae enthusiasts, sets a strong and expected tone on this captivating message tune. Not much is known about the next artist, Cherry Rock. However, his performance of Love Enough To Share, a cover of Carlton & His Shoes’ Love To Share from the Studio One album Love Me Forever, proves that he’s a talented vocalist. Although the first two tracks are definitely worth a listen, the following three tracks are the standouts of the album. The vocal trio Creation Steppers, consisting of Fred Locks, Eric Griffiths, and Basil Thompson, deliver a powerful roots anthem titled Born In Slavery (Kill Nebudchanezzar) that leaves a lasting impact. Drummer, vocalist and Jah Love selector Albert Malawi, probably best known for his 1976 released killer roots tune Children Of The Emperor, presents the next highlight, Let’s Get It Right. It’s Malawi’s reinterpretation of Barbara Acklin’s timeless soul tune Am I The Same Girl for a re-reading of Psalm 24. Next, the first side concludes with Little Roy’s fiery track, the superb Touch Not My Locks. After fully enjoying approximately 17 minutes of delightful ’70s roots music, it’s time to switch over to the dub side.

Instrumentals/Dubs

Regrettably, the instrumentals/dubs are separated from the vocal tracks, which is not ideal for a Showcase album. Nevertheless, this minor (personal) issue should not take away from the fact that the instrumentals/dubs highlight the mastery of the musicians involved. It’s not surprising that the members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel band, with their extensive experience in the music industry, know exactly what it takes to deliver top-notch efforts that will thrill listeners. Aside from emphasizing on the diverse instruments, with a focus on the drum and bass, the dub mixes also incorporate snippets of vocals. Overall, the (uncredited) mixing engineer has done a good job, ensuring that the instrumentals/dubs are not overwhelmed by excessive effects.

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