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Ghost Canyon

Title - Love Of The Common People: Expanded [2CD]
Artist - Nicky Thomas

For those unaware, originally released in 1970, in the wake of Nicky Thomas’s hugely popular seminal version of Love Of The Common People, the singer’s album of the same name remains one of the most popular long players from the Trojan Records catalogue.

Now, over half a century since the LP saw issue, the collection finally receives the deluxe expanded treatment it has long since merited, with its 13 tracks bolstered by the remainder of Thomas’s recordings for Joe Gibbs, as well as a plethora of relevant additional material, including alternate mixes, DJ cuts and instrumental versions.

With 21 tracks new to CD, Love Of The Common People: Deluxe Expanded Edition [2CD] is a collector’s dream and a must for all fans of classic Jamaican sounds from the golden age of reggae.

CD 1:
1. God Bless The Children – Nicky Thomas
2. Rainy Night In Georgia – Nicky Thomas
3. If I Had A Hammer – Nicky Thomas
4. Turn Back The Hands Of Time – Nicky Thomas
5. Doing The Moonwalk – Nicky Thomas
6. Love Of The Common People – Nicky Thomas
7. Mama’s Song – Nicky Thomas
8. Have A Little Faith – Nicky Thomas
9. Don’t Touch Me – Nicky Thomas
10. Lonely Feelin’ – Nicky Thomas
11. I Who Have Nothing – Nicky Thomas
12. Let It Be – Nicky Thomas
13. Red Eye – Nicky Thomas
14. Danzella – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]
15. Caeser – Lloyd Willis & The Destroyers [Bonus Track]*
16. Denver – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]*
17. I Can’t See Nobody – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]*
18. Schoolgirl (alt. take) – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]*
19. Schoolgirl (Version) – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]*
20. Leaving The Ball – Nicky Thomas [Bonus Track]*
21. Sweep The Streets – Neville Hinds [Bonus Track]*
22. Ten Feet Tall – Lizzy [Bonus Track]*
* New to CD

CD 2:
1. Bless The Children (Ja mix) – Nicky Thomas *
2. Round The Clock – The Jogibs All Stars
3. Children Blessing – Lizzy & Nicky Thomas
4. God Bless The Children Version – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals *
5. Musical Excursion – Lizzy *
6. Rainy Night In Georgia Version – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals *
7. The Gift Of God – Lizzy *
8. If I Had A Hammer (Ja mix) – Nicky Thomas *
9. Hammering – Cat Campbell & Nicky Thomas
10. Medicine Man – The Love Generation
11. Turn Back The Hands Of Time (Ja mix) – Nicky Thomas *
12. The Raper – Lloyd Willis & The Destroyers
13. Turn Back The Hands Of Time Version – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals *
14. Love Of The Common People (Ja mix) – Nicky Thomas
15. Common People Reggae – Winston Wright & The Destroyers *
16. Mama’s Song (Ja mix) – Nicky Thomas *
17. Channel 7 – Prince William
18. Faith Version – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals *
19. Don’t Touch Me (long version) – Nicky Thomas *
20. Doctor Feelgood – Sir Lord Comic
21. Let It Be (take 1) – Nicky Thomas *
22. Red Eye – Nicky Thomas And Delores
* New to CD

In the mid-seventies, Jamaican music was considered to be ‘en vogue’ with world music followers, which was probably due to the fleeting major label interest at this time.

Through the punk/reggae connection, the uninitiated discovered already established artists such as Culture, the Mighty Diamonds and the Gladiators. While this new following championed the major label signings they unbelievably dismissed other recognised acts such as Desmond Dekker, Dandy Livingstone and Nicky Thomas as being too commercial!

What the new soul rebels did not realise was that in buying in to the major label signings they were subscribing to the economics of commercialism. They wanted to champion a cause, and songs about the oppressed suited their needs, so if a song did not mention Babylon, Marcus Garvey or Haile Selassie it was deemed ‘pop reggae’.

The grassroots supporters watched with amusement as the new followers began to realize that Jamaica was not a third world backwater and that the African Diaspora were able to speak for themselves without the patronizing support of new liberals.

They were also unaware that the ‘pop reggae’ performer, Nicky Thomas had worked as a laborer on the same building site as the credible Gladiators and played no small part in launching their career in music.

Nicky, like many before him, had come from country and was employed as a labourer where the up-and-coming Gladiators were collectively employed as masons. During his working hours Nicky often sang the song, now recognized as the Gladiators Studio One classic, ‘Hello Carol’, which became their anthem as they re-recorded the song several times throughout their career.

Nicky told Carl Gayle of Black Music that he wrote and taught the lead singer, Albert Griffiths the lyrics to the song which, when he heard the Gladiators perform it on the radio, inspired him to pursue a career in music.

In the summer of 1970, Nicky’s interpretation of the Everly Brothers’ ‘Love Of The Common People’ took him to number nine in the UK pop chart, leading to a European tour.

While the Everly Brothers originally recorded the song in 1967, it was the Winstons‘ version that inspired Nicky, and his rendering in turn influenced Eric Donaldson to record the song and Lloyd Charmers to release a risqué adaptation as ‘Free Grind Ticket’.

Following the success of a subsequent tour, Nicky decided to stay in the UK to promote his album debut, ‘Love Of The Common People’ (TBL 143), that featured tracks previously recorded with Joe Gibbs in Jamaica.

Ergo, this newly expanded and deluxe 2CD from Cherry Red is as good as it gets for this album, and a massively welcoming musical open door to anybody who wants to know more about the man himself.

What you get here is the original Love Of The Common People album that forms the first 13 tracks of CD 1 to this two-disc set and which now features an extra nine cuts that continue to showcase who the man was and why he was so widely regarded within the business.

Containing over the two discs just about everything that Nicky ever recorded with the aforementioned Joe Gibbs all lovingly spread over the rest of the collection, it also comes complete with a beautiful color fold-out booklet chock full of wonderful photographs of Nicky’s Jamaican singles and reproductions of contemporaneous articles from the UK music press and more.

Sadly, he disappeared from the music scene and, reportedly, committed suicide in 1990 which may well be a rather tragic note to end with here, but let me add that over these two discs - and, perhaps, even more so on CD 2 which itself houses a plethora of 22 incredible tracks - getting to know the musical genius has never been any easier than simply buying this fantastic new release from Cherry Red Records, trust me!

Official 2CD Purchase Link