Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweet Three

Here's an old favourite, the original rhythm  to Mikey Dread's 'Barber Saloon' 'Love The Dread' (thanks VoR). It's 'Not Responsible' by Carlton Patterson & Leroy Brown (I don't know which one). The mix is great, especially on the dub where you get some real impact on the drums.

There are also a couple of versions by Dillinger ('Ah You Me Love' and 'Healing Stream') and Bongo Herman ('Psalms Of Drums'). The next tune is just really sweet, followers of this blog will know that I'm a big fan of Joe White - an artist who never really got the recognition he deserved. 'Pretty Black Girl' was something he cut for Harry Mudie at the start of the seventies, and you can hear that my copy's been played into the ground.

The final tune needs no introduction, one of Horace Andy's very best, and one of the first really big hits to come out of Channel One: 'Girl A Love You'.

Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I can't believe I missed out 'Standing Firm' from the list of 'Take Five' versions, especially since it was on my wants list for years before I got it. There are a couple of other versions connected with Jacob Miller as well - such as this (which also slipped my mind).

Although credited to Jah Devon, this is actually Dean Fraser backed by the Fatman Rhythm Section. It's quite a nice jazzy take on the rhythm, a bit faster than most of the other versions, and it has a really good dub.

I've only ever seen two tunes on the Jaques label, this and David Jah Son's 'Jah Is Coming For His Earth One Day' which is a wicked version of 'Every Day Is A Holiday'. I always liked the look of the label as well, not least because I used to love 'The Wizard Of Id' when I was little.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Move & Groove

Dennis Brown cut a string of classic tunes at the start of the seventies for producer Derrick Harriott. Here are two of the best ones (not counting 'Concentration' of course): 'Silhouettes' and 'Musical Heatwave'.  Both of them were included on his 'Super Hits' LP (available on reissue - seriously, you won't regret it!).

When you listen to 'Silhouettes' it's obviously a cover of someone else's tune, but until just now I had no idea who did the original. Thanks to the wonder of YouTube I've managed to cram yet another piece of useless info into my overloaded brain. Here's a group called the Rays way back in 1957:

Here's a wonderful version by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers:

And here are the Ronettes in 1962:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Take Five

Dave Brubeck's 'Take Five' (actually composed by his saxophonist, Paul Desmond) became one of the  most popular rhythms in reggae, with endless versions by a stream of singers, instrumentalists and deejays. This record is one of the very best of those versions.

The first Jamaican version of 'Take Five' was Val Bennett's 'The Russians Are Coming' for Bunny Lee, which Lee immediately recycled into Derrick Morgan's 'Great Musical Battle', an assertion of his superiority over Coxsone. Randy's got in on the act next, with Lester Sterling's 'Age Of Revolution'.

Bunny Lee put out two more versions, both masterpieces, in 1977: 'Twelve Tribes of Israel' by Linval Thompson and 'Jah Love' by Dillinger which has one of the best dubs King Tubby ever mixed.

Val Bennett returned a year or two later with a recut called 'Blow Mister Hornsman Blow' over a tuff rockers rhythm that was absolutely perfect for the time. It got versioned into:

Two House Department - Barry Brown
In Bondage - Barry Lee
Blow Brother Joe - U Brown
Step It Ina Africa - Lone Ranger
Hands In The Air Girl - Madoo
Captivity - Barrington Levy
Money - Cornell Campbell

There were also wicked cuts by Rico, Ossie Scott, Reggae Clinic 65, the Disco Reggae Band and the Young Lions (aka Aswad) on different versions of the rhythm. 

 The Ossie Scott version is a must because it's the only one that keeps the time signature of the original.

Finally, one of my favourites - a mighty Gussie-produced lovers cut by the Mighty Diamonds.

Dreadlocks Rock

Here's one of my favourite records - deejay on one side and instrumental on the other. It's 'Dreadlock Rock' by Dillinger, a version of 'Don't Touch Me' by Nicky Thomas, and 'Fort Augustus Rock' by Joe Gibbs & the Professionals which is a seriously ruff horns and bongo cut to 'Beat Down Babylon' (the spoken intro is by Prince Glen, aka Trinity).

This is quite a rare one, and well worth picking up if you see it. There's a wicked deejay cut on the same label, 'Virginia Skank' by Prince Glen, which came out on the back of a reggae version of 'In Heaven There Is No Beer' by the Happs. 

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Landmark In Reggae

Here's a real treat, Ras Michael's first self-produced record. This was the first time that he recorded his own music, rather than being a hired hand on someone else's session. It's revolutionary, simple and  beautiful music, with a really optimistic and uplifting vibe.

I hope you enjoy this one - personally I love every record on the Zion Disc label, and hope to share some more soon.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Who Have Eyes To See

Here's a tune from Errol Holt, not quite as good as 'Red Eye' or 'Gimmie Gimmie' but still very nice (especially the dub). 

Prince Far I did a deejay cut called 'Talking Rights', which I do have somewhere but haven't been able to locate. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Memories By The Score

Herre's a deejay cut to 'Memories By The Score' by Ansell Linkers (better known as Ansell Cridland of the Meditations). I've seen a few copies of this over the years, but none of them have ever said who the artist was or what it's called.

It's a really nice mix and the deejay is not bad either. I guess it's probably produced by Fud Christian, like the vocal.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Two from '81

 Here are a couple of tunes from 1981; 'Street Of Gold', the Heptones update of the Gladiators' classic, and 'Blood Stain', a sort of early dancehall thing from Peter Broggs. They're pretty different, but both good in their own way.

Of the two I prefer 'Street Of Gold' - it's the harmonies, the rhythm section, and above all the dub that set it apart for me.

I've sorted out my computer problems now, so I'll be posting a bit more often. As always, hope you enjoy.