Rod Taylor - Where Is Your Love Mankind
Greensleeves - #GREWCD 17 - September 24, 2007
Reviewed by Hans on October 01, 2007
Some time ago Greensleeves announced this re-issue, giving me a perfect reason to spin my green vinyl sample again. Looking at the LP cover, I remember the smashing colours were pretty unusual at the time. The more common picture on the front was a back-lighted and slightly blue, glowing one. It is probably Rod Taylor himself along with an unknown lady who are posing in front of a Jamaican house, both with almost unrecognizable faces. I was glad that Greensleeves used the original LP cover for this re-issue CD, as it shows Rods' face clearly.
Recently the reggae market treated us with a few compilations of some of Rod's great late-Seventies and early-Eighties recordings. And now Greensleeves is bringing us this long-awaited re-issue of 'Where Is Your Love Mankind'. For those of you who don't know Rod's worthwhile collective works, the following release notes will give you a good impression: "Rod Taylor is a roots reggae legend, having worked with some of the greats throughout the late 1970's and early 1980's, such as Bertram Brown (Freedom Sounds), with whom he scored the big hits – 'Ethiopian Kings' and 'Don't Give Up', with Mikey Dread ('Dread At The Controls') – 'His Imperial Majesty' and he also recorded for the producers Prince Hammer, Ossie Hibbert and Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, which leads us into this release."
Based on previously released Greensleeves albums like Barrington Levy's 'Englishman' followed by 'Robin Hood' and Johnny Osbourne's 'Fally Lover' I was already convinced of the power of Junjo's dancehall sound. On this LP, Junjo used dancehall rhythms which were often strongly influenced by the former roots era. I bought this album in 1981 and while listening I was surprised by the rhythms as well as by Rod's rootsy voice. For example, listen to the drums on the title track 'Where Is Your Love Mankind' or to the organ on 'Arleen'. Both are bursting with roots influences. By using simple melodies Rod is emphasizing a strong roots sound with the Roots Radics rhythms and his voice, thus creating a powerful combination.
Nowadays Rod is still hitting the reggae scene hard with massive recordings in collaboration with many producers like Cousins and Jah Warrior. This CD is a MUST HAVE for everyone who likes roots and dancehall.
BIG UP AGAIN GREENSLEEVES!
Hans - Roots Archives, October 2007
Edited by Ritu Kashyap