As we did in 2017 we open the reggae year with a re-release on the Pressure Sounds label, and, just like last year, they opted for a Lloyd Parks production. 'Meet The People' is an underexposed album Parks recorded for Joe Gibbs in 1978, but a project he eventually financed himself: "Joe Gibbs' Studio was like the hang out spot, like the chill spot for every artist. Every day you'd find Big Youth, Prince Far I, Culture and Mighty Diamonds and all the musicians come around, and what we do is we play cards and we chat to each other and we have fun. Before each recording we would just tease each other, like find some joke to make off each other, and then we walk into the studio with that same spirit. So that just spin off into magic. Like sometimes when you're recording the engineer call out: "Ready, ready!" and then somebody just draw a card, like we call it a card when we jive each other, and then we just have to stop the tune and start again because everybody just laugh. We would be there maybe Monday and Tuesday for a full recording session, but then also every other day just to hang out, cos it was like our recreation ground. And we become the resident band for Joe Gibbs and he called us the Professionals. Joe Gibbs himself didn't really contribute nothing to the sessions, he would just come in the night time to check what we had done. If there was a major session with a big artist, like the albums we did for A&M with Dennis Brown, then he might drop by, but Joe Gibbs was busy at his record shop downturn most of the day, and just swing by at night to check the works. So really he do nothing! In fact the engineer Errol Thompson was really the man, and he and the musicians produce the session.".
Poor distribution meant 'Meet The People' would soon slide into oblivion again. Totally unwarranted, as just by looking at the list of musicians who contributed on the album - Devon Richardson (drums), Winston 'Bopee' Bowen (guitar), Franklyn 'Bubbler' Waul (keys), Neville Grant, Noel 'Scully' Simms, Ruddy Thomas (percussion), Dean 'Youth' Fraser (saxophone), Lloyd Kerr (trombone), Junior 'Chico' Chin (trumpet), Mighty Diamonds, Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths (backing vocals) - suffices to realize this is pure Jamaican reggae gold. Opener 'Reality' hits the spot right from the very first notes, and the rest of the track list, a mix of reality tunes like 'Life Ain't Easy', 'Ordinary Man' or 'I Want To Go Home', and delicious lovers like 'You Hurt My Pride', 'Trench Town Girl' or 'I Love You Girlie'. For this reissue, the original 8 song track list was extended with 6 additional tracks ('Grandfather Bogle', 'School Days' and the well-known 'Slaving', each time accompanied by a dub version). And to finish things off, there's another set of excellent liner notes by Diggory Kenrick. Pressure Sounds opens 2018 with a Jamaican grand cru from the golden nineteen seventies. Enjoy!