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Louisa Mark’s debut album still sounds fresh

SoulJazz Records has recently reissued the late Louisa “Markswoman” Mark’s debut album Breakout, something of a landmark in the history of British reggae music and the lovers rock genre.

Louisa Mark was only in her teens when she kick-started the lovers rock phenomenon with her debut single Caught You In A Lie – a rendition of Robert Parker’s soul hit – in 1975. It was produced by UK soundsystem operator Lloyd Coxsone and backed by Dennis Bovell and his band Matumbi.

The debut album was originally released in 1981 and produced by Clem Bushay who invited a number of stellar musicians to play on the album, including Rico Rodriguez and Vin Gordon on trombone, Dennis Bovell on bass and no others than Owen Gray, The Heptones and Dave Barker on backing vocals.

With her high voice and youthful expression with lyrics about misplaced trust, heartfelt goodbyes and being in love Louisa Mark became an iconic figure on the UK reggae scene. Her success was however short-lived and Breakout was her sole album release.

More than 30 years have passed since Breakout was released, but it has stood the test of time, and the hit singles 6 Six Street and the Jackson 5 cover Even Though You’re Gone sound as sweet today as they did back then. That actually goes for the majority of the 13 tracks, of which three are bonus tracks – two rare single-only DJ cuts with Louisa Mark, including the legendary Trinity, and a spaced-out rare dub.

Breakout comes with the original cover sleeve and the original sleevenotes and is now available on CD, LP and digital download.

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