“Warrior” by Johnny Osbourne - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

After having spent most of the 70s in Canada, Johnny was making up for lost time upon his return to his home island with a slew of recordings for a variety of producers and labels as the decade turned. “Warrior” was his third album of new music in 1981 alone, representing his recent work with producer Winston Riley (who himself lends backing vocals), recorded all around town at Joe Gibbs Studio, Channel One Recording Studio and Tuff Gong Recording Studio. The set's a joy to listen to music-wise and Johnny's delivery is as smooth, warm and intelligent as ever. Best of the many songs of praise on side one is “Wish I Could Express It” which has me on the verge of changing my belief system. The beat is slow and tough and works brilliantly against Johnny's silken vocals. Even when he's raging, as on “Inflation”, our man keeps his cool. He can afford socks for his children, but not new shoes. Where's the social justice promised in the speeches Mr Politician? Continuing the theme “Mr. Politician” opens side two magnificently, lashing out at the corruption within the parliament which is filtered all the way down to the law enforcement officers who seem as lawless as the gangsters. It's a damning statement and paints a hellish and undoubtedly true picture of the state of the place. The rock solid slow-rhythm section nail the thing determinedly and superbly. The dubby “What A Fire” is another highlight on side two, echoing Peter Tosh's “Downpresser Man”; if you're wicked the fire will burn you, there will no hiding place. A fantastic re-recording of his own “Warrior” from his debut LP of 1970 closes the set, bringing his relationship with Winston Riley (the original producer) full circle. Head high, chest out, the old warrior's in great shape right here.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:13] 6.3.png Johnny Osbourne - Bad Boy (?) Reggae
A2 [03:22] 6.9.png Johnny Osbourne - Love Is For Jah (?) Reggae
A3 [03:03] 6.9.png Johnny Osbourne - Jah Jah Live Forever (?) Reggae
A4 [03:10] 7.3.png Johnny Osbourne - Wish I Could Express It (?) Reggae
A5 [04:01] 7.8.png Johnny Osbourne - Inflation (?) Reggae
B1 [03:26] 8.4.png Johnny Osbourne - Mr. Politician (?) Reggae
B2 [05:23] 6.8.png Johnny Osbourne - Can’t Get Next To You (?) Reggae
B3 [03:50] 6.9.png Johnny Osbourne - Too Wise You Are (?) Reggae
B4 [04:01] 7.6.png Johnny Osbourne - What A Fire (?) Reggae
B5 [03:19] 8.4.png Johnny Osbourne - Warrior [1981 version] (Errol Osbourne) Reggae

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