Most reissues that I’ve come across are new issues of already released albums or collections of hard to find singles. It’s a rare occasion when a label presents an album recorded way back, but not released. But Bristol Archive Records has done just that.
Jah Praises contains five previously recordings dating from 1979 by a group called Revelation Rockers, who would soon form the more well-known outfit Talisman.
This album is something of a time capsule and deals with the realities of life in 70’s Britain, a time of racism, mass unemployment, industrial unrest and poverty. A reality not far from today with riots and financial constraints around the world.
The cultural lyrics are accompanied by sparse arrangements with ruthless bass lines, a lonesome saxophone, keys, guitar, drums and fine tuned harmonies. And the relentless grooves hit you hard. Straight in the chest.
Each tune also clocks in over five minutes and evolves into an instrumental or dub exercise.
It’s a rare event to come across an entire lost reggae album, and this album should of course have been released in the late 70’s. And Bristol Archive Records has done the right thing to put it out more than three decades after it was recorded. It was long overdue, but well worth the wait.
Jah Praises drops on March 5 on LP and digital download.