Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heavy heavy heavy!

Today's offering is a very rare I Roy tune called Babylon Road .
It's a version of Brent Dowe's 'Babylon Policy' - it's damn heavy, it's damn good. I Roy is close to his best, playful and lyrically inventive, and he's right at the front of the mix.

There are a lot of deejay tunes that you enjoy because they have a great mix (that just happens to include some toasting), with this one you don't really notice the mix until you turn the record over. The dub is seriously heavy with a subtle echo on the guitar, piano and vocal that gives it dreamy feel with a firm focus on the drums, percussion and bass.

It took me years to find this one - hope you enjoy.


the_voice_of_reason said...

The lyrics on this are taken from the old Jamaican folksong "Emmanuel Road", first recorded in Jamaica in 1953 or so by Lord Fly with the dan williams Orchestra, but at least fifty years older than that. It was later popularised by Harry Belafonte on one of his early calypso LPs.

I.Roy revisited the lyric, as you know, on his "Mr Harry Skank" on Glen Brown's "Dirty Harry" rhythm on Pantomine.

The band on this sounds like Skin Flesh and Bones - it's on a Sonia Pottim nger label, but is credited to "Sunplum" as a producer - any idea who this was?

lala said...

Jazzbo surely? Anyway, there's an awful lot of mento in reggae, especially in the deejay tunes. Check this out - a really good mento-themed site with a very incomplete list of reggae and ska cover versions - and see how many more versions you can add.

lala said...

I think Sun Plum was one of Sonia Pottinger's record labels. Although the best-known tune that came out on it was U-Roy's 'Merry Go Round', Mrs P seems to have produced pretty much everything else on it.

... says steve

the_voice_of_reason said...

You are of course correct - not having played either for a few years I was confusing "Rasta On a Sunday", which was an I.Roy cut to "Dirty Harry", with Jazzbo's version.

I have posted numerous links to over the years; if I had the time I could add a couple of dozen covers to their list, but no chance of that in the first half of this year