* * * /1977 - Island - studio - discs: 1
Earl George Lawrence' debut album was originally called "Super Eight", but initially Island Records refused to released it and Lee "Scratch" Perry decided to act by himself via the Black Art label. It is possible that Chris Blackwell was actually protecting his money-making Bob Marley and avoided to release Faith's album. In any case a bit later the Island owner released the album in the U.K. with title "To Be A Lover". That said, here we are with the original release, including the original blank cover. This set includes eight tracks of American Soul music that Perry personally choosed to be arranged and recorded at his legendary Black Ark studio in Kingston. The material was not much, eight songs only, but the recordings took a lot of time up to the point that Lee thought that George had to be a lot of faith to tolerate such timing. He suggested that the singer changed his name to George Faith. He accepted, and the name remained in history. The rendering of the original Soul songs has been often defined as psychedelic reggae. Since there is nothing more distant than psychedelia to the Jamaican music, maybe it is better to call this set as some sort of new recipe by Perry while cooking Soul inside the Black Ark. All the main features that define the Black Ark sound are present here. And apparently everything sounds very strange, as if Perry had remixed some original material directly from America. But we know that actually everything was created from scratch (literally, and by "Scratch"). So after listening and listening you are going to understand, again, how far Lee was sailing from the contemporary musical shores of Jamaica. The list of the personnel involved includes: The Meditations and The Mighty Diamonds (backing vocals), Mikey Boo Richards and Sly Dunbar (drums), Boris Gardiner (bass), Ernest Ranglin (lead guitar), Earl "Chinna" Smith (rhythm guitar), Keith Sterling (piano), Winston Wright (organ), Headley Benett, Glen Da Costa and David Madden (horns), Lee Perry and Skully (also known as Scully Simms, Mikey Spratt, Zoots Scully Simms, Scollie, Zoot Sims, Skitter) (percussions). I rate this set at 3 and a half stars just because I am a dying hard Roots lover. So this time the rate is induced by very personal meanings. I know that it is a must., but...
1. I've Got The Groove
3. Turn Back The Hands Of Time
4. Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got (aka There's A Train)
5. In Teh Midnight Hour / Ya Ya (Medley)
6. I Forgot To Be Your Lover (aka To Be A Lover)
8. So Fine