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Truths and Rights Deluxe Edition by Johnny Osbourne

Truths and Rights Deluxe Edition by Johnny Osbourne

Truths and Rights Deluxe Edition by Johnny Osbourne

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Late '70s Studio One masterpiece re-emerges as good as ever and even better.

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Johnny Osbourne truths and rights 2008

How very nice that Heartbeat Records’ series of Deluxe Edition reissues includes this gem from Johnny Osbourne, a primarily roots-and-culture artist who started out as a lead and harmony singer with The Sensations in the late ‘60s before relocating to Canada. He was back in Jamaica by 1979, right about the time Clement Dodd was upgrading his studio from 4 to 16 tracks and in the process of enhancing some of his past classic riddims with new instrumentation and recruiting fresh voices to sing over them. With his clear, rich mid-range singing, Osbourne was ideal for the resurgent Studio One sound, widely considered to be the roots of dancehall.

The songs that first appeared on Truths and Rights nearly 30 years ago- including such socially and spiritually conscious offerings as the title track, the sublime “Jah Promise” and the plainspoken “We Need Love” along with breezier fare like “Sing Jay Stylee,” -have lost none of their impact. Familiar riddims crackle with new life and lyrical sentiments regarding the futility of war and the like could have been written yesterday. As for the added tracks that make this Deluxe Edition deluxe, there’s a previously-unreleased-on-CD “Jealousy, Heartache and Pain” that shows Osbourne’s lover’s rock side, a trio of extended mixes plus dub and deejay takes on a couple of the originals.

As a release among several that marked a new beginning for one of reggae’s most renowned producers and for Johnny Osbourne himself while reggae was taking a new turn, Truths and Rights is truly and rightly a classic.

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