30th Anniversary for Beres Hammond’s ‘Full Attention’

On March 17, 1993, VP Records released Beres Hammond’s 9th studio album, Full Attention. Co-produced by Hammond and Phillip ‘Fatis’ Burrell for Xterminator Productions, the album found Hammond coming into a prime period of his career. Although he began recording in the early 1970s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that his music truly found its stride, and he emerged from the decade as one of reggae’s most beloved artists, in part from the momentum of albums like Full Attention and Sweetness, also released by VP later in 1993.

Full Attention comprised 10 songs on the vinyl LP edition and 13 on CD and contained several popular songs that have become classics over the decades, including “Freedom,” “Full Attention,” “I Want To See You,” and “Love Means Never To Say I’m Sorry.” The latter has rarely left Hammond’s live sets over the past three decades. A bonus track found on the CD (and on 7-inch single), “Emptiness Inside,” became a sought-after collectible.

VP Records’ DVD Music Is Life – Live From New York includes one of the few documented interviews with Fatis Burrell, conducted by journalist Elena Oumano in 2001. Though of few words, Burrell simply called Beres a “genius” and explained, “me and him just have vibes … but him a the more lyrically inclined one.” Of Burrell, Hammond said that the respected producer would do whatever it took to get the sound he wanted on a given production. “Fatis take him time, and him know what him want.”

After 30 years, Full Attention can be seen as an important chapter in the Beres Hammond story and VP Records’ storied catalog.