Originally issued as a vinyl LP in 1984, “Takin’ The Strain” was Talisman's first album. The culmination of a long musical journey as the band had existed in various guises since 1976. At the time of the album’s release Talisman were a three piece. This core of Desmond Taylor, (Dehvan Othieno Sengor), Dennison Joseph and Donald de Cordova were supplemented for the recordings by a host of local musicians as well as the engineering and co-production talents of Richard Lewis (UK Scientist), a mainstay of the British reggae scene.
Although they'd been through personnel changes, this line-up were consummate performers and delivered a musical statement for the time. The nine tracks showcasing some variety and even including a soul tune.
Having been launched to great fanfare with a live show at The Bristol Studio, then the city's premier live music venue, the album achieved some success. It also suffered from being released on a small independent label without the muscle to break through to a wider audience.
Having already released Talisman's earlier recorded output on “Dole Age - The 1981 Reggae Collection”, (ARC199), it's only fitting that Bristol Archive Records should turn their attention to the band's first studio album. Not only is this the first digital issue, available on both CD and download, but this release is enhanced by the addition of five live cuts recorded at London's Lyceum in 1985. As well as live performances of “Takin’ The Strain”, “Calamity”, “Ah Wah You Seh” and “Lick & Run” we've also included a live version of “Slow Poison”, a track that didn't make it onto the original issue, but was a key part of the band's live sets for many years.
In addition to the extra tracks Bristol Archive's usual attention to detail is evident and the CD comes with a booklet full of archive images and extensive sleeve notes based on the recollections of Lead Vocalist and Guitarist Dehvan Othieno Sengor.
Coinciding with a renewed appreciation for their work Talisman have reformed and are now playing gigs throughout the UK, rebuilding the loyal following they once had and winning over a whole new generation of new fans, many of whom weren't born when “Takin’ The Strain” was first released.
released 21 July 2012
1. Takin The Strain (Taylor 1984)
2. Crime Of Passion (Taylor 1984)
3. Lick & Run (Taylor 1984)
4. Ah Wah You Seh (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
5. Lord Of The Dance (Taylor 1984)
6. Stride On (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
7. I’m Sorry (Taylor/Joseph/Forbes 1984)
8. Calamity (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
9. Burn The Bread (Joseph 1984)
Bonus tracks recorded live at The Lyceum supporting Eek-A-Mouse in 1985
10. Slow Poison (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
11. Takin The Strain (Taylor 1984)
12. Calamity (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
13. Ah Wah You Seh (Taylor/Talisman 1984)
14. Lick & Run (Taylor 1984)
Tracks 1,2,3,5,7,9,11,12,13,14 published by Hue & Cry/Warner Bros Music
Tracks 4,6,8 published by Adelma Music Ltd
Track 10 Copyright Control
Desmond Taylor, Guitar, Lead Vocals
Dennison Joseph, Bass Guitar, Vocal
Donald de Cordova, Drums
Leroy Forbes (Guitar)
‘Stabba’ Winfield (Keyboards)
Richard Lewis (Keyboard Effects)
Ray Colomb, Mike Crane, Steve Crane (Brass Section)
Jennifer Allison, Sonia Smith, Walatta, Jackie Wilson, Asher (Backing Vocals)
Stuart Gordon (Violin on Ah Wah You Seh)
Recorded at Right Track Studios, Bristol, UK
Produced by Talisman and Richard Lewis aka UK Scientist
Engineered by Richard Lewis aka UK Scientist
Originally released on Embryo Records 1984
Original sleeve design by Steve Leary
2012 sleeve designed by Sam Giles
Tracks 1 to 9 mastered by Shaun Joseph at Optimum, Bristol 2010
Tracks 10 to 14 mastered by Steve Street August 2011
(p)(c) Bristol Archive Records 2012
All Rights Reserved
All recordings owned by Talisman and exclusively licenced to Bristol Archive Records
This album is dedicated to St.Pauls Carnival, Bristol, UK
Photo Credits: Thanks to the original photographers and artwork designers with whom copyright remains on their work
Tel: 01179 855092
Live bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07837 681 905.
Also available on Bristol Archive Records:
Talisman ‘Dole Age The 1981 Reggae Collection’ CD ARC199CD and Vinyl ARC199V
Thanks to: Ken Pustelnik/Embyro, Richard Lewis aka UK Scientist, Steve Street, Martin Langford, Talisman past and present, Alex Cater