Thursday, 07 September 2023 09:27

Richie Spice celebrates birthday with new album, Black Man Time

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Forty years after Lionel Richie released All Night Long, the song which would go on to become one of his best-loved classics, or as the NY Post termed it, “a cultural phenomenon,” Jamaican singer, Richie Spice has done a reggae cover.

It is one of the 14 songs on his album, Black Man Time, which will be released on September 8, his birthday.

All Night Long is one of three covers on Spice’s 10th studio album, and he shared that it has long been one of his favourite songs from a man who just happens to share one of his names – ‘Richie’.

“Me a sing it from me a juvenile ... and me do my research and find out that Lionel was trying to do a reggae song,” Spice explained.

The seventh track on Black Man Time, the song actually has a story. As it goes, Lionel had a challenge finding the right hook for the song, which was already fully written. That in itself was different, since it was usually the hook that came first. One night, after dinner, Lionel was leaving the house of his Jamaican doctor friend Lloyd Greig and he said, in a Jamaican accent, “I’m going back to work all night long.” At that moment, it hit Lionel that he had the hook that he had been searching for and the title of his song, All Night Long.

Richie Spice does justice to All Night Long and makes only one change, by adding in the word ‘reggae’ before ‘party’.

Black Man Time has been five years in the making and as is the norm with a Richie Spice album, it is full of spice. There are a few songs that shout out didactic, while others offer messages of hope while exploring themes of love, happiness and freedom.

“The album carries a lot of positive messages. My hope is that people will accept this album, give it a listening ear, buy it and add to your collection ... and whatever comes, we appreciate it,” Spice said.

His last album for VP Records was Together we Stand, which was released in 2020. Loyal to his record label, Richie Spice has recorded nine albums for VP Records, including Spice in Your Life, his debut. Other key releases include Streets To AfricaGideon Boot, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae chart, in May 2008; and Book of Job in 2011.

Sharing why he has put out an album now, Richie Spice said, “A lot of people have been saying that the type of music they have been hearing now is not their style, so I decided to give them some new music to listen to. I have a responsibility to use the talent God gave me as an instrument to uplift.”

Black Man Time opens with Tea Time, which is a refix of Earth a Run Red, Spice’s signature song, which was released in 1998 but did not hit until 2004, and closes with Happy New Year.

Richell Bonner, better known as Richie Spice, is a member of the Rastafari movement. He hails from a musical family that includes his older brother Pliers, Spanner Banner and Snatcha. Some of his most famous songs include Brown SkinYouth Dem ColdGrooving’ My GirlThe Plane Land and King and Queen. Born on September 8, 1971, he will celebrate his 52nd birthday on Friday. His official album release for Black Man Time will also double as a birthday celebration.