U-Roy – Version Galore (1971)

Posted in Riddims, U-Roy with tags , on September 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“‘All of a sudden, Jamaica awoke one morning and U-Roy was everywhere…’ – So read the original liner notes to this classic reggae LP, which originally hit in 1971 and washed over the island like a grooving tropical storm. U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called ‘toasting,’ which in addition to bringing Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American vocal style also in its infancy: rapping. This full-length, his first after a string of singles (mostly on the Treasure Isle and other Duke Reid labels, run by the famed producer and studio owner), rolls like a crazy party where a wobbly, but talented, ‘master of ceremonies’ grabs the mic and won’t let go. Speaking over and around songs that already have straight-ahead vocals on them, U-Roy shows the world why he is considered an iconoclast and trailblazer. In all honesty, there are few standouts on the album since they all run a similar course, and all are captivating in their own way. Modern listeners will especially note ‘Tide Is High,’ originally by the Paragons (featuring dulcet-toned vocalist John Holt) and recorded later as a 1980 smash hit by Blondie. Each track here is a new adventure, and while U-Roy’s approach might take some getting used to, it will eventually capture your ears as it did the entire island of Jamaica in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Sit back, drop the needle, and enjoy.”
get on down
YouTube: Version Galore (1971 Full Album)

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Big Joe – American pum pum / Unknown artist (1971)

Posted in Joe Gibbs with tags on September 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Two further tracks from the Errol T/Randy’s camp, on which fun is had on top of the ‘Bum Ball’ riddim. On one side Brother Winston gives Bredda T some advice on how to score American Pum Pum, although she seems ready to get it on from the get go. This track is credited to Big Joe on the dutch pressing of Fab and to the Senators on Impact. On both these versions, the b-side deals with Nixon’s impeachment in a rather raunchy tune called either Impeachment Tape or Tape White Wash. My version, however, has a different tune on the flip, which is best described as another chapter in the White Liver Mabel  story. Man comes home after work, he’s tired but has to perform once more. I haven’t a clue which artist is involved in this musical shenanigan. Errol T released far better cuts on the Bum Ball riddim in 1971, but revisited it 3 years later for the Impeachment Tape, American Pum Pum and the (yet) unknown tune.  This pairing is one of the rarer ones; I have stumbled upon this disc by surprise and so far have come across just one other copy, which went for crazy money. If you listen closely, you can hear Slim Smith singing a tune in the background. Anyone know which tune this might be?”
Pressure Beat (Audio)

Independence Ska and The Far East Sound – Original Ska Sounds From The Skatalites 1963 – 65

Posted in Ska, The Upsetters with tags , on September 9, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Unique new Soul Jazz Records’ Collectors Limited-Edition 7-inch box set special edition release from the greatest ska band of all time! Ten stone-cold classic, killer tracks from Studio One, brought together here on this one-off pressing limited-edition box set containing five mighty seven-inch singles which bring together seminal, rare and classic tunes collected together here for the first time ever. The Skatalites were the definitive Jamaican group, who first came together in Kingston in the late 1950s and featured the acknowledged finest musicians in the country – Tommy McCook Rolando Alphonso Lester Sterling, Lloyd Brevett Lloyd Knibb, Don Drummond, Jah Jerry Haynes, Jackie Mittoo, Johnny Moore and Jackie Opel. In 1963 they became the house band at Clement ‘Sir Cosxone’ Dodd’s newly opened Studio One at 13 Brentford Road. …”
Soul Jazz Records (Audio)
Discogs
amazon, Spotify
YouTube: Don Drummond & The Skatalites – Russian Ska Fever, Independent Anniversary Ska

Don Drummond and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd in the studio

Dry & Heavy – Burning Spear (1977)

Posted in Burning Spear with tags on August 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“… It wasn’t until several years later that I discovered the incredible release known as ‘Dry and Heavy’, and it remains at the top of my desert island list today. From the opening signature Horsemouth Wallace drum lead-in to ‘Any River’ all the way through to the final strains of Mr. Rodney’s voice chanting Freedom at the end of side two… the many layers of guitars, organ, clav, nyabhingi percussion, and horns, all played in what we lovingly refer to as the elusive ‘cultural tuning’, never gets overly dense. And for connoisseurs of the string machine, there is plenty to love here. Looking back on it now I realize what it was that turned me on so much about ‘Marcus Garvey’ when I first heard it. It’s the restraint. You get the sense that the Spear is keeping cool amidst chaos, mostly holding back the full force of his Voice. There are a few moments on side one where you get brief blasts of power – during the outros of ‘The Sun’ and especially ‘Throw Down Your Arms’ emerge the guttural percolations of a man channeling his slave ancestors suffering and wailing. And toward the end of the title track, finally, the triumph of the Spear-it rings out. Loud and Clear. That dynamic plays out in his live set as well. The restraint and the triumph. …”
10ft Ganja Plant
YouTube: Dry & Heavy 32:09

Barry Brown – From Creation / Man There (1979)

Posted in Barry Brown, Bunny Lee with tags , on August 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Barry Brown (c. 1962, Jamaica — 29 May 2004) was a Jamaican reggae singer, initially coming to prominence in the 1970s with his work with Bunny Lee, but remaining popular throughout his career. Barry Brown was one of a number of singers to find success in the 1970s under record producer Bunny Lee. After forming a short-lived group called The Aliens with Rod Taylor and Johnny Lee, Brown went solo. … One of the most successful artists of the early dancehall era, Brown worked with some of Jamaica’s top producers of the time, including Linval Thompson, Winston ‘Niney The Observer’ Holness, Sugar Minott and Coxsone Dodd, as well as releasing self-produced material. …  After releasing eleven albums between 1979 and 1984, Brown’s releases became more sporadic, although his work continued to feature prominently on sound systems such as those of Jah Shaka. …”
Wikipedia
YouTube: From Creation / Man There

I Roy – Trust No Shadow After Dark (1979)

Posted in Bunny Lee, Channel One, I-Roy, Joe Gibbs, Riddims with tags , , , , on August 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The late, great I Roy will forever be remembered for his phenomenal work for producers like Gussie Clarke, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee. Or his association with the Channel One studio. Or his famous feuds with Prince Jazzbo, which were recorded and released in a series of very entertaining records. Or maybe even for the tragic end of his life: when I Roy left this world he was suffering from ill health, was homeless and had just found out his son was killed in prison. Being the legend he was, all material recorded by the man is definitely worth checking out, but in all fairness: his greatest work was captured by other producers and he won’t be remembered for his output for Joe Gibbs. I Roy didn’t record much for Joe to begin with, a few good tunes here and there and an album produced by Bunny Lee in 1979 (which is pretty good, Johnny Clarke sings the melody parts) and that’s it. That said, this recording from 1975 is quite a gem. I Roy sounds upbeat and seems well at home riding the awkward stepping riddim, which updates the Meditations’ ‘Woman is like a shadow.’ Laughing, growling and toasting his way through the track, this makes for one of the finer obscure I Roy records out there. It’s one of those overlooked recordings that turn out a catch when you find it and makes you wonder why it isn’t featured on more compilations out there. In the case of I Roy the answer to that question might be because his back-catalogue of hits is just too large and this isn’t one of them. Don’t let that bother you, though. It makes it all the more worthwhile to track this 7 inch down. …”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: Trust No Shadow After Dark

Prince Alla – Bosrah (1976)

Posted in Black Ark, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Prince Alla with tags , , on August 9, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Those familiar with the biblical story of King Melchizedek may mistakenly believe that Prince Alla is paying tribute to that most esteemed of regal priests. Their confusion is understandable, though, for roots artists often give a Rastafarian twist to a Biblical verse, in Alla‘s case, Hebrews 7:3. The Old Testament held up Melchizedek as the quintessential priest and the most righteous of religious men, but listeners learn more of him from the apostle Paul, who told the Hebrews that Melchizedek was also a ‘king of peace, without father, without mother, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life…abideth a priest continually.’ Although Alla paraphrases this verse, he’s not referring to the King of Salem at all; in fact, he’s actually paying tribute to Prince Edward Emmanuel. This Rastafarian elder was leader of the Bobo sect to which Alla belongs, and had often drawn parallels between himself and Melchizedek. Tapper Zukie was thoroughly impressed with the Prince‘s homage. Just out of his teens, the young DJ was eager to cross into production, and ‘Bosrah’ was to become one of his first recordings. The toaster and singer set to work at the Black Ark studio, with Lee Perry stepping in to help with the arrangement. Alla‘s preaching is suitably bold, while behind him Roy ‘Soft’ Palmer and Melodian Tony Brevett add their own strong, close harmonies. The fabulous riddim is a fiery version of Burning Spear‘s ‘Joe Frazier,’ which Zukie would remix for his own In Dub album. the Prince‘s single, credited to Ras Allah & the Prophets, was originally released in Jamaica by Vivian ‘Yabby You’ Jackson, and then by Zukie‘s own Stars label, before being picked up for U.K. consumption by K&B Records. – Jo-Ann Greene”
allmusic
amazon: Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae
YouTube: Bosrah