Eric Donaldson – Eric Donaldson

Posted on January 15, 2020 by

After kicking around the Jamaican recording studios for seven years, Donaldson enter his song, “Cherry Oh Baby,” into the Jamaican Festival Song competition and not only won it, but won the adoration of his homeland. “Cherry” was a huge hit and his years of laboring came to fruition and laid the bedrock for his career.

Donaldson’s self-titled record has been issued on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1971 (2019 Radiation Roots RR00336). Recorded at Dynamic Studios under the guidance of Bunny Lee and Tommy Cowan, Donaldson lend his falsetto 10 tracks including the hit “Cherry Oh Baby” the second single, “Just Can’t Happen This Way,” a very soulful “Build My World,” and a reconstructed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Donaldson’s backing band included brothers Ian & Roger Lewis who would later be members of Inner Circle as well as Cat Coore & Ibo Cooper who would form Third World in 1973. They provide the link from the Rock Steady to Reggae, loping along at apace of a hot Jamaican afternoon.

Donaldson’s falsetto was unique among his contemporaries, like Bob Marley and Toots Hibbert. It’s similar to the contrast between The Stylistics’ Russell Thompkins, Jr and Teddy Pendergrass. It’s a different type of sweetness.

It’s not mentioned what the master source of the album is. It gets a little muddy at times but it’s not unbearable, I’m just being a little nitpicky.

Grade B+

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