JOHNNY OSBOURNE (b. 1948 - )
TRUTH AND RIGHTS
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1979 - Heartbeat - studio - discs: 1
Johnny Osbourne was born in 1948 and he started his career around 1967, when he worked with Winston Riley as a member of the Wild Cats. With the Sensations he recorded some hits as "Come Back Darling" and "Warrior". After these recordings he moved to Canada to lead some vocals. Once back in Jamaica in 1979, he released his first single "Jealously, Hearthace & Pain" for Studio One. Two hits, again for Studio One, followed: "Forgive Them" and "Love Is Here To Stay". This set produced by Coxsone Dodd is Osbourne only album for Studio One. As Sugar Minott showed one year early, old rhythms were still fresh if a singer would add new lyrics to them. This is the case of this set too. Osbourne used some vintage material from Studio One (basecally classic Rocksteady and Early Reggae tunes) and added new lyrics. This gave a new shine to the old tracks. This put him between the best singers of the upcoming sound: Dancehall. Johnny employed this material for some of his new songs: "Truth And Rights" uses Al Campbell's "Take A Ride"; "Can't Buy Love" uses the Soul Vendors "Swing Easy"; "We Need Love" uses Otis Gayle's "I Get Around"; "Jah Promise" uses Chosen Few's "Don't Break Your Promise" and "Sing Jay Stylee" uses Alexander Henry's "Please Be True". The most important thing was that Osbourne avoided the most popular old rhythms and this was part of his success. My preferred songs are: the title track "Truth And Rights", the dark Roots of "Children Are Crying" and the Soul sounding "We Need Love". This is a very interesting set that sees vintage material brought back to life thanks to the talent of this early Dancehall artist.
COME BACK DARLING
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1968-1970 - Trojan - studio - discs:2This super expanded two discs release (sixtyone tracks!) is based on the "Come Back Darling" album from Johnny Osbourne And The Sensations. This set was released by the newly formed Winston Riley Techniques Records in 1969. Riley was born in 1946 in Kingston and in 1962 he formed the Techniques. The original four members were Riley, Keith "Slim" Smith, Frederick Waite and Franklyn White. This group expanded and shrinked over the years. As the label was founded Riley continued to sing and he used many different combinations of singers under different names: The Shades, The Mad Lads, The Coons and The Sensations. The Techniques label grow fast with Osbourne cutting some strong material. As "Come Back Darling" was released Osbourne moved to Canada to stay with his family. Here he worked with the Ishan People group, recording two sets as lead vocalist. In 1979 they disbanded and Johnny returned to Jamaica. Here he moved to Coxsone's Studio One where he cut "Jealousy, Hatred, Heartache & Pain" and a lot of other singles. Their collaboration culminated in 1980 with the seminal "Truth And Rights" album. Along with the five stars Freddie McGregor's "Bobby Bobylon" set (released in 1979), "Truth And Rights" reinforced the power of Studio One where old rhythms were rearranged and recut with huge success. Osbourne did not remain caught off guard by the new Dancehall scene and he proved to me confident as he was in the past. The present release presents the material he cut as Johnny Osbourne And The Sensations in the late 1969 with some interesting instrumental versions from Carl Bryan, Bobby Ellis, Boris Gardner and Tommy McCook among the others. Here you will find an important slice of the history of the Jamaican music when Rocksteady was turning to Early Reggae.