Earl Zero


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  • country:USA
  • style(s):Dub, Reggae
  • label:not signed
  • type:Band
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:instrumental, vocal
  • artist posted by:Jahviva Concerts & Promotion

Line up

  • Earl Anthony Johnson (Lead Vocals)


Singer/songwriter Earl "Zero" Johnson played a crucial role in the roots age, releasing powerful cultural numbers whose dramatic lyrics were often combined with tough militant backings from the Soul Syndicate band. His most beloved song, "None Shall Escape the Judgement" is an acknowledged classic, and the one that launched Johnny Clarke to stardom.

Born in 1953, in the Greenwich Town neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica, Earl Zero was the eldest of ten children of a fisherman father and fishmonger mother. Earl Zero's musical interest was sparked early, as was that of his school friend Earl "Chinna" Smith. Self-taught, together the two were soon penning songs. A shoemaker provided the pair with their first recording experience, but it wasn't until 1975 that Zero came to the notice of a professional. Producer Bunny Lee lived down the road, and his bar and backyard were a local hangout. No surprise, then, that Lee happened into the yard to hear Earl Zero and Earl "Chinna" Smith performing "Judgement." A recording session at Treasure Isle studio followed, but Lee shelved Earl Zero's version and handed the song off to another young singer. That became Jamaica's top-selling single of the year; Johnny Clarke had arrived.

However, the singer did inaugurate Don Mais' new Roots Tradition label with "Home Sweet Home" that year, also cutting "I No Lie" for him. More sessions followed: Al Campbell oversaw the potent "Righteous Work," while Tommy Cowan produced "City of the Weak Heart" and "Please Officer" (the latter was later recut for Prince Jammy and remodeled by Jimmy Cliff as "Peace Officer"). Earl Zero linked with Bertram Brown in 1976 and recorded a steady stream of singles, including "Get Happy," "Blackbird," and "Shackles and Chains." All were included on the singer's 1979 "In the Right Way" album, released in Britain as "Only Jah Can Ease the Pressure".

"Visions of Love", Earl Zero's sole U.S. release, arrived that same year, and featured new numbers as well as recuts of older songs. "Visions of Love" advance allowed Earl Zero to immigrate to the States, where he still resides and has built up a good reputation on the live circuit. The singer's singles, compilations, and CD reissues of both his albums remain collectable and have kept his back catalog active.

His new album "And God said to man" was produced by Roberto Sanchez and released by "A-Lone Productions", a label based in Spain and includes 6 vocals and dubs for all Roots Lovers. We can say Earl Zero, the Reggae Legend is still spreading his "Visions of Love" !