Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here's something I picked up years ago off Andrew Neale's mailing list - some of you who were around and buying records in the nineties might remember it. I've always liked the vocal, a you-done-me-wrong-but-I-still-love-you sort of thing with a jaunty organ line and some nice unpolished harmony vocals: I've always wondered who the two vocalists were.

The b-side is far better-known - it's King Tubby's groundbreaking organ-led dub of 'Beardman Ska' - it's credited to the Dynamites (essentially the same band as the Crystalites) and it's called 'Phantom'. Here's the original rhythm, enjoy:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paid-up member of the deejay cult

Some of you may've noticed that I've got a bit of a weakness for old deejay sides, and here's yet another to confirm the impression. It's one that it took me a while to find, but which didn't disappoint once I got it: 'Get In The Groove' by Dennis Alcapone & Dennis Brown. 

It's a self-produced deejay cut to Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells' 1964 hit 'Once Upon A Time' - Alcapone also produced Dennis' vocal version on the Funny Disc label. The arrangements are almost identical to an earlier version by Delroy Wilson (same goes for Roman Stewart's version and Sidney Rogers'), the vocal is quite nice and the toasting works too. Here's the Motown original:

When you talk about Dennis Alcapone it's hard to avoid mentioning Carl Gayle's article, Dennis Alcapone and the Rise and Fall of the Deejay Cult. You'll find quite an interesting interview with Alcapone himself here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this. Sometime soon I'll post the only other Dennis Alcapone production that I know - an instrumental that's probably the best of the lot.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Here's another old favourite - I originally got this for the deejay side, I Roy's first recording, but ended up keeping it for Jo Jo Bennett's magnificent trumpet version on the b-side.

Together with 'Camp David' and 'Leaving Rome', it's one of Bennett's best tunes. It's also worth looking out for 'Toronto Rock', his version of 'Slavery Days' and of course his LP 'Groovy Joe'. 

I'm not sure why I bother posting pictures of all these blank labels - they're pretty much interchangeable after all. Anyway, here's a real gem from Studio 1: Delroy Wilson's version of 'One One', and on the other side 'Addis A Wa Wa' by the New Establishment.

The vocal side is one of the best roots tunes to come out of Studio 1 - it's got an interesting rhythm with nice guitar and organ chopping and bubbling under the vocals. Delroy is at his very best, raw and impassioned but still very cool. The flip is a seriously raw and tuff version of 'Skylarking' featuring Pablove Black's melodica - definitely not to be missed!

As always, I hope you enjoy this gem.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Another Blank

Here's quite a rare Alcapone tune called 'On The Scene'. Apparently it came out on Prince Tony's High School International Label, though I've only ever seen it as a blank. I seem to remember a better version on the same label called 'Six Pack & Seven' or something like that - has anyone ever come across it? Wouldn't mind knowing what the vocal is either.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ooh, Mr Bond!

I'm hoping somebody can put a name to this tune - I've always loved it but never known what it was or who it was by.

I reckon it goes quite well with Lloyd the Matador's tribute to 'The Fugitive'.

Introducing Latty

After yesterday's post (composed in a hurry to welcome the new year), here's something a bit more interesting. Latty Guzang is a little-recorded singer, melodica player and deejay, best known for the Mikey Dread produced 'Stage Show'. He knew Augustus Pablo from a young age, and got his first proper break in the music business when Pablo gave him a couple rhythms to deejay over. 

The result was this record, 'Kentones Rock' / 'Can't Hide' on the Marauders label. It's a double header with deejay versions of 'Rockers Rock' and 'Say So'. It never got much promotion and never shifted many copies, which is a shame because Latty was a natural. Both songs have wicked spoken intros ("I'm single and disengaged, I'll tell you my phone number but I won't tell you my age"), and once the music gets going he rides the rhythm like a veteran - there's even a nice little drop-out halfway through 'Can't Hide' with the music sliding back in just a little too soon.

This is yet another of those records that leave you wondering what might've been, and wishing you could've had just a little bit more. Anyway, you can feast your ears on the original versions while you wait:

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Happy New Year everyone. I'm afraid that I've not got anything particularly strong for the first post of 2011, but I hope you'll like it anyway. 

Here's John Holt's Channel one update of the lovers classic 'Satisfaction'. My copy's a bit rough on the vocal side, but that's OK: it's not the best vocal version of the tune; it's not even Holt's best vocal version (see below). The reason I keep this record is for the dub on the b-side which has sweet echoes and tuff drumming - definitely one to play loud.

This is Holt's first stab at the song:

There are so many versions, but Gregory's (credited to 'William Shakespear' on the original press) really stands out:

By the way, is there anyone out there who can help me out with keystone correction on a couple of label photos?