It's been a while since my last post, so I thought I'd try to dig something good out of my virtual crates. I've chosen three of my favourite twelve-inch singles today: 'Kingdom Of Jah' by the Twinkle Brothers, 'Warrior Charge' by Aswad, and 'Glory Glory' by Beshara.
I first heard this one on a cassette that a friend's dad lent me about 20 years ago. He'd already flogged all his records years before and just had a stack of tapes left over. I think it was probably a similar situation to the one I found myself in a while back: records, or clothes for the kids?
Anyway, we have two really great tunes here: you can find the lyrics on 'Words Of Wisdom' in the links section, but it's the music that really makes them. The horns and percussion are great, and the mix is spectacular: dark and spacey with lots of sound effects and plenty of width and echo.
Everyone knows 'Warrior Charge' , one of Aswad's very best recordings. I've put this on for the dub, which really brings out the jazzier side of the song. The drumming is also spectacular. Sometimes it's easy just to take Aswad for granted. Their 'Showcase' LP and 'New Chapter Of Dub' are so familiar that you almost find yourself forgetting just how groundbreaking they were. If you listen to Burning Spear's first live LP, that's Aswad playing the instruments; they had a rich complex sound that you can never get tired of listening to. I think the only reggae band that can match Aswad at their best is the Light Of Saba.
I got my copy of 'Glory Glory' off a guy called DJ Derek who used to play at my local back in Bristol. It cost me the princely sum of £3.50. Beshara were a brummie band best known for lovers rock classics 'Men Cry Too' and 'Shadow Of Love'. This is a seriously heavy record - it has the sort of dub that can make your ears bleed - and seems to be quite sought-after. I recently saw a copy sell for over £100 on ebay.
Anyway, I've got a few more twelves lined up for the next couple of weeks, including 'Gone Down The Drain', 'Ten Thousand Lions' and a selection of essential lovers rock. Until then, I hope you enjoy this.