Where Is Your Love Mankind album cover

To judge this album outside of the era it was produced in is foolish. First released in 1980, it has all the elements of a legend in the making.

Mixed by Scientist and produced by Henry Junjo Lawes (famous for his work with on Papa Michigan & General Smiley’s Diseases among other classic recordings), with backing from the legendary Roots Radics: Sly Dunbar (of Sly and Robbie, need I say it), Ansel Collins (of Double Barrel fame), Style Scott (Dub Syndicate), Errol Flabba Holt (Channel One), and others. And it is a legendary album – the hype surrounding it’s re-release from Greensleeves celebrating 30 years in 2007 was massive. Rod Taylor’s classic vocal style is clear and sung from the heart in a true conscious roots fashion. Though not really renowned for his lyrical skills, particularly in this album, I’ll forgive him for rhyming ‘ranking’ with ‘banking’ and ‘spanking’ (Them Top Ranking), considering the underlying messages of his music are ones of unity, hope, love, social equity and praise of Jah.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of bass to get me excited about 80s roots these days. Luckily, listening to this album right now, it’s one of the first really warm days this spring and a perfect time to bust out some classic summer romance skank. Innocent tracks such as Give Me Your Love Forever make me think of childhood sweethearts. And for all you heartbroken ones out there, Lonely Lonely Lonely, with its classic guitar twangs, will compensate for the incessantly optimistic rockers rhythm throughout the album.

Rod Taylor hit the dancehall scene in the late 70s in a big way with his release from Dread at the Controls His Imperial Majesty, followed up in 1979 by his first LP with Hitrun Records, If Jah Should Come Now. He has been consistently releasing for the past 30 years, including Archive Recordings Jamaica re-releasing his most famous track Ethiopean Kings on 7” last year.

Now entering his 50s, Rod is doing an excellent job of remaining honest and true to his conscious origins. Where is Your Love Mankind is a piece of classic dancehall history, and should be on the shelf of every collector or enthusiast (bonus points if you’re lucky enough to own the original green vinyl release).

Acroline / Lady Sattva