Saturday, January 30, 2010

RIP Jean Adebambo

Jean Adebambo had one of the sweetest voices in reggae; it sometimes reminds me of the late Minnie Ripperton. Her song 'Paradise' is simply beautiful, and I've loved it since the very first time I heard it almost 25 years ago.
I just found out that she passed away last week and I'm feeing sad.
Even though I only knew this lady through a handful of her records, some of her songs really touched me and they've been a part of my life for years.
I know that a lot of people don't really go for lovers rock, but bear with me because this tune has great lyrics and production, and Jean Adebambo's voice lifts it far above the ordinary.
If you like this, look out for 'Reaching For A Goal', which is fantastic, and her duet with Dennis Brown. Also look out for other tunes on Santic (yes, it's the same Leonard Chin!), especially 'Suffering' / 'One Fine Day'.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moon Rocks!

Big thank you to that man Jah - until he asked after it in the comments I'd forgotten about 'Unite Jah People' / 'Have No Fear' by Moon Rocks and Prince Jazzbo! When I got home this evening I pulled it up and had a listen, and it is hot! Two really top-quality roots tunes with heavy bass, nice drums and wicked wicked horns.

This seems to have been the only record that Moon Rocks ever made, which is a bit of a shame really, and I've not been able to find any information on them at all. It's definitely one of Clem Bushay's very finest productions, and although Jazzbo's not at the top of his game, he's OK as well. As far as I know, there was never any real dub to these tunes, just what you get here.

Incidentally, Jazzbo cut two other sides for Clem Bushay around this time (1978) , 'Meet Me At The Street', 'Silhouette Gone Clear' (with Janet Kay, Rico and a really great mix!). 

Anyway, I've enjoyed these, hope you do too. I've been listening to some other Bushay productions while writing this; 'Rizla' by Owen Gray and 'Ruby & Diamond' by Dave Robinson - both highly recommended!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Observation Station

Here's a nice tune from the Observer - Big Youth's 'Six Dead Nineteen Gone To Jail'. It's the next cut to 'My Time' by Dennis Brown.  The deejay side's good, and if you like it there's a lot more of the same on the CD 'Microphone Attack' which is still available to buy, and highly recommended (not least because this copy's a bit on the rough side). 

I think the dub might be on one of the more recent Trojan compilations, and it's damn fine. It often happens that a tune's deejay version has a better dub than the original - maybe it's because the deejay's there's that much more to work with. This is one of those tunes (by the way, does anyone out there have the dub of 'Tell It Black'?). It sounds like the bass has been put through a flanger or something, and the echo is laid on with no compromise.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Great LP

Sorry I've not posted anything for a while. I've got caught up in tagging all my LP rips - it's been about a week now and I've just passed the halfway mark. Anyway, since there's not a lot going on with the singles at the moment, I thought I'd put up one of the newly-tagged LPs.

It's my favourite Channel One LP, 'Revolutionary Sounds vol.2': all killer, no filler as they say. Unlike a lot of the Revolutionaries' LP's, this features dubs rather than instrumentals, and the rhythms are all top-draw (there are a few there that I don't recognise, I'd love to know what they are).

By the way, thanks to the few who've been leaving comments, and an extra big shout to the Voice Of Reason.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

More roots

Here's a very obscure roots tune by a group called the Randells,  'Brimstone and Fire'. It's got a ruff bass and really nice plinky guitar. The singing's not the smoothest but that's OK, the lyrics are righteous and it's got a good vibe.

The real star on this record is the dub - play it loud on a system with plenty of bass - it sounds amazing.

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sweet Sugar

One of the great things about doing this blog is that it gets me listening to records that've been gathering dust in my house for donkey's years. Here's a gem from Sugar Minott called 'Leggo The Dread'. It's from 1977 or 1978 and came out on Ripton Hilton's Quality label.

I bought this because I liked the way the bass and the organ went together at the start. When I got home I listened to it all the way through (probably while doing something else like sweeping the floor), decided that it wasn't all that, shelved it and forgot it. I recorded it, again without really listening properly, scanned the label and flogged it about ten years ago.

Looking around last night for something to post that wouldn't take too much effort, I came across the sound file again and decided to give it a listen. Big surprise! It may have taken almost 20 years, but I've finally decided that I like it!

Incidentally, label-owner Ripton Hilton is better-known as Eek-A-Mouse. Before he caught the bongbongdiddlies and hit the big time he put out a handful of awesome roots tunes as a singer which are well worth tracking down.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Diamond socks an ting

Hello again,

Here's another quick post. 'I'm Still In Love With You' was a massive hit for Alton Ellis and set off an avalanche of cover versions. The most famous of these was Althea & Donna's 'Uptown Top Ranking', also a massive hit, was produced by Joe Gibbs and spawned a host of answers, commentaries and cover versions. The biggest of these was Trinity's deejay hit 'Three Piece Suit' which celebrated fat girls and sharp dressing.

Prince Jazzbo made 'Natty Dread' as an answer to Trinity and Joe Gibbs for rival producer Bunny Lee. In case anyone missed the point, the b-side is called 'Straight To Trinity'. It's an absolutely storming version, toasting in a similar style to 'Natty Ting-A-Ling', and the dub is very very good. The message is 'Natty no check for vanity, check for love and inity', (Lighten up Jazzbo!)

I really like this one, and hope you do too.

Unusual Isaacs

Happy 2010! Here's a start for the New Year: 'Do You Ever' by Gregory Isaacs, a cover of an old tune by the Manhattans. It's quite unusual to hear so much passion from the Cool Ruler; he really throws everything at this one. Does it work? Well, sort of.

I keep this one more as a curiosity than anything else: the unusual vocal, the unsettling, jarring guitar, the experimental dub featuring an early attempt at an echo effect (not common in Randys productions of the time). Anyway, there's more on the way so watch this space. In the meantime, hope you enjoy.