The Fantels – Hooligan (1977)

Posted in Jimmy Cliff, Joe Gibbs with tags , on January 16, 2018 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Some gwaan like hooligan, some act like maffia and some follow their path as a musician. In the case of Hal Anthony Lewinson this choice must not have been a hard one to make. Born into a musical family; Jimmy Cliff is his cousin and the Jamaicans’ Norris Weir is his uncle; it seems only logical Hal Lewinson ended up as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Like Ken Boothe once sung, it’s the way nature planned it. And nature plotted it correct allright, because anno 2013 mister Lewinson is still going strong. From the minute he picks up the phone, Hal proofs himself a charismatic, enthusiastic and eager spokesman of reggae. Born in Frankfield, Jamaica (Clarendon) he joined his first group called The Beltones after they scored a major hit with ‘No More Heartaches‘ for Harry J in 1968. Whether or not this was the first ever reggae tune shall forever be open to debate, but the group did create a template for what was to come. The Beltones disbanded in the early 70’s due to financial discontentment. Leadsinger Trevor Shields went solo and Hal Lewinson joined the Fantels, who were also briefly known as The Beltones. …”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
Discogs
YouTube: The Fantells – Hooligan + Version

Freddie McKay & Trinity – In Times of Trouble (1982)

Posted in Ossie Sounds with tags on January 16, 2018 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Killer tune from the always great combination of two late giants of 70s roots music, Ossie Hibbert as producer and Freddie McKay as vocalist. Originally released on a Live & Love 12-inch in the UK (which also features a deejay piece from Trinity), this was probably cut around the same time as the ‘Creation’ LP that Freddie did for Ossie. Great late ’70s roots music.”
DKR-NYC (Audio)
YouTube: In Times Of Trouble (& dub)

Dandy Livingstone

Posted in Dandy Livingstone with tags on December 31, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Dandy Livingstone (born Robert Livingstone Thompson, 14 December 1943, Kingston, Jamaica) is a British-Jamaican reggae musician and producer, best known for his 1972 hit, ‘Suzanne Beware of the Devil’, and for his song, ‘Rudy, A Message to You‘, which was later a hit for The Specials. ‘Suzanne Beware of the Devil’, reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart. At the age of 15, Livingstone moved to the United Kingdom. Livingstone’s first record was released without his knowledge: A tenant in the building where he and a friend jammed recorded some of these sessions released some tracks on the Planetone record label. When London-based Carnival Records was seeking a Jamaican vocal duo, Livingstone filled the requirement by double-tracking his own voice, releasing records in this fashion under the name Sugar & Dandy. …’
Wikipedia
Trojan Records (Audio)
Discogs
YouTube: Rudy, A Message To You, Suzanne Beware Of The Devil, (People Get Ready) Let’s Do Rocksteady, Put On Your Dancing Shoes, THINK ABOUT THAT, Version Girl (Original 1970), Talking About Sally

Micky Simpson – See dem a come (1974)

Posted in Errol Thompson, Jack Ruby, Joe Gibbs, Riddims with tags , , , on December 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“If anyone is exemplary of a hard knock life, careerwise I mean, it must be Micky Simpson. Although not much information about this artist can be found, his vocation in music seems to have been a very rocky road. Born and raised in Ocho Rios (I believe) Mickey Simpson was off to a fine start when he recorded a string of singles in the mid seventies, such as the impeccable ‘Peace of Mind’ on Shacks, ‘I and I can’t turn back now‘ on Total Sounds and the one featured here: ‘See dem a come’ on Errol Thompson’s Naa-Na label. The latter appears to be the least known song among reggae fans and Mickey aficionados alike. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t aware of this single either untill someone tipped me. But I’m glad I found it, because it’s simply superb. The riddim is elemental, to say the least, but serves perfectly well the purpose of the song. With its eerie keyboard line and heavy flying cymbal base, it sounds like an army marching into town. An army with no other intention then to spread mayhem and despair upon the land. The matrix number suggests the riddim was recorded before the vocal take, so perhaps it served as an inspiration to Mickey, who follows suit with dark, but uplifting and hopeful lyrics. Indeed, a classic roots reggae approach, but a fine one at that. The producer’s credit on ‘See dem a come’ goes to both Joe Gibbs and Errol Thomspon. That’s quite interesting as Errol T was still involved with Randy’s in 1974, if I’m not mistaking. Perhaps Joe Gibbs used the credit to lure Errol away from the Chin premises? Whatever the case, this is certainly an early example of the duo credit the partners-to-be would incorporate on their future releases. I’m not sure what happened for Mickey Simpson in between 1974 and 1980, but by the turn of the decade he had moved on to record for Jack Ruby and made an appearance in the legendary 1981 documentary ‘Deep Roots’ in which he can be seen singing ‘Don’t Cry‘ (his biggest hit) and ‘Move the barrier.’ In another great movie from around this time, Mickey is performing ‘Good Loving‘ live in Ocho Rios on Jack Ruby’s HiFi. Although scoring (minor) hits again, I have no idea what the singer was up to after the mid 80’s until he resurfaced and teamed up with Barry O’ Hare and the Flynn brothers’ Chain Gang Music label in the early nineties. It had been 19 years in the making, but in 1993 Mickey Simpson finally released his debut album and things seemed to go forward for the singer. He recorded for a fair deal of producers and had tunes out on Roof Int, Star Track and Penthouse, for whom he recorded his biggest hit of the era. Unfortunately it was also to be his last. Penthouse recorded a great cut of the Far East riddim, which Buju Banton sang into the charts with his ‘Murderer’, the track he wrote to commemorate his friend Pan Head who was killed earlier that year. Mickey Simpson also scored big on the riddim, but when his ‘Save a little bit‘ came out, the label read; ‘Mickey was murdered on december 6, 1993. May his soul rest in peace.’ I have nothing to add to that.”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: See dem a come

Keith Rowe – Stop that train / Groovy situation / Living My Life (1967-77-78)

Posted in Big Youth, Dancehall, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , on December 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Keith & Tex are the Jamaican rocksteady duo of Keith Rowe and Phillip Texas Dixon, best known for their 1967 hit ‘Stop That Train‘. Keith Rowe (Born Keith Barrington Rowe) grew up in the Washington Gardens area of Saint Andrew Parish, across the road from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s home and future studio, on the outskirts of Kingston. Phillip Texas Dixon grew up in the Pembroke Hall area and they were introduced by a mutual friend. Starting out as a five man group singing on the corner, they were encouraged to try to get recorded. They soon began auditioning for local producers but were rejected by Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, the group having lost confidence broke up leaving two. Keith and Tex were left and auditioned for Derrick Harriott where they eventually found success. …  Rowe joined the US Army in 1972, staying in for twenty years, but also found time for music, recording as a solo artist, working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, releasing tracks such as ‘Groovy Situation’ and ‘Living My Life’, and recording further singles in the US, including a few on his own KEBAR label. …”
Wikipedia
KEITH ROWE: LIVING HIS LIFE
YouTube: Stop that train – Keith, Tex & Friends, Groovy situation, Living My Life

Life Style – Barrington Levy (1983)

Posted in Barrington Levy, Channel One with tags , on November 30, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Originally released in 1983 ‘Life Style’ is probably the most sought after and one of the best Roots Reggae albums by Barrington Levy. Born in 1964 Barrington Levy started his career at the age of 15.He became famous early with his hits produced by Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes on the ‘Roots Radics’ Riddims. Recorded at Channel One, Arranged & Produced by Alvin ‘GG’s’ Ranglin ‘Life Style’ is reissued on vinyl for the first time.”
Sounds of the Universe
Barrington Levy
YouTube: Barrington Levy’s Life Style (1983 Full Album)

The Heptones – Be the one + the road is rough (1972)

Posted in Joe Gibbs, The Heptones with tags , on November 12, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“I’ve already stated my sentiment elsewhere that the almighty Heptones recorded their best material right after leaving Studio One. No longer tied to a studio or a producer the gifted threesome were free to record whatever sound they were after. The result is a sublime songbook; featuring originals, cover songs and do-overs; which is worth, or mandatory I would say, checking out for everyone digging reggae, soul and funk. Despite having laid down many classic tunes, superb basslines and tight riddims over at the foundation studio, I feel the strongest Heptones material was recorded in the early seventies. Because it all just seems to come together in this era. The new studio’s in which they now recorded provided them with a crisp, more modern, edgier and fatter sound. Add to that their unique way of choosing their cover songs; the late, great Barry Llewellyn read the lyrics of the ‘Book of rules‘ somewhere and thought it would make a good song; and their baffling songwriting skills and you have a picture perfect. And just as when they were operating from Brentford Road, the Heptones continued to spawn classic tune after classic tune. ‘Be the one’ is one of those songs. Slightly overlooked, perhaps, due to the big heap of quality Heptones material out there, a first listen will issue a song that fits both in the soul, gospel and reggae corner. The traditional Heptones cookbook, if you will. ‘Be The One’, a song the Heptones first recorded for Studio One (titled ‘Show us the way‘), is an upbeat song driven by a heavy halftimed bassline and a punchy keyboard that delivers an irresistable hook. It’s the same hook that makes it a standout track, as “Be The One Version”, on the infamous Dub Serial lp. On the original 7″ that dub is called ‘The Road is rough’ which is an excerpt from the positive lyrics the Heptones’ wrote for this song. I can’t make out if the song is about young lovers, religion or politics, but I suspect all topics are at hand here. …”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: The Heptones – Be the one + the road is rough

Jacob Miller – “Healing of the Nation” (1978)

Posted in Jacob Miller, Tommy Cowan with tags , on October 21, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Jacob Miller returns yet again to one of his favorite themes, the legalization of ganja for ‘Healing of the Nation’. This time around he addresses himself directly to the Jamaican government, with a series of respectful and well reasoned arguments. ‘You no fight against the rum-man, you no fight against the wine-man, you no fight against the cigarette smoking, yet you know, yes you know, these things give cancer.’ Instead, the Jamaican government expends vast amount of resources chasing down and jailing the colliemen, when in fact, according to Miller, collie cures cancer. There’s little, if any research, to support that claim, but still the singer has a case to make when he declares that an end to criminalization would bring about a healing of the nation. Produced by Tommy Cowan, and backed by Inner Circle and several Revolutionaries, the song features a suitably militant rhythm, the peppering of drum beats and percussion offset by the throbbing bass, and shadowed by the bright riffs and anthemic melody. Miller brings every ounce of conviction to his delivery, echoed by the musicians own sizzling performance. This fabulous single was released under Miller’s name alone in 1978, and included on his Wanted album.”
allmusic
Genius
YouTube: “Healing of the Nation”

Joe Gibbs and The Professionals – No Bones For The Dogs b/w The Mighty Two – Throw It Joe (1977)

Posted in Dennis Brown, Joe Gibbs, Treasure Isle with tags , , on October 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Jamaica is probably best known for their immense musical output. It never ceases to amaze me that an island so small, relatively speaking, produces so vast an amount of great music and, in the process, is able to influence the entire world with their unique and one-of-a-kind sound. But there is more to Jamaica than just the music alone, ofcourse. Its isolation has granted the island with extraordinary flora and fauna, including thousands of plants, manifold sorts of reptiles and numerous kinds of butterflies. If birdwatching is your thing, a visit to Jamaica even seems mandatory. Currently Jamaica hosts an impressive 324 species of birds, of which a whopping 160 are rare and an elite class of 28 are exclusive to the island. The Doctor Bird is one of those endemic species -the Arawaks called it the ‘God Bird’, for they believed it possessed magical powers – and is one of the national symbols of the nation. Naturally, the music scene of Jamaica took influence from their surroundings, although less than you’d expect with that rich an avifauna. The legendary engineer Graeme Goodal named his label after the humming bird, Jackie Mittoo imitated a songbird and Alton Ellis wondered ‘Why birds follow spring.‘ The latter was a big hit when it was released by Treasure Isle in 1967 and it has never stopped to grasp the attention of musicians, singers and fans alike. Even today the riddim is very popular and it can pride itself in receiving an update every few years or so. Joe Gibbs, never one to deny a good Treasure Isle riddim a new lick, also made good use of it. …”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: No Bones For The Dogs b/w The Mighty Two – Throw It Joe

Dubcast Vol.05 (Mixed by Bent Back Sounds)

Posted in Dub with tags on October 1, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“For the fifth installment of our Dubcast series, we’ve collaborated with fellow Brooklynite and label head Bent Backs Sound. Passionate about the 80’s era of reggae, Bent Backs Sound has collected records for over 10 years before becoming a label in its own right. The first part of this dubcast pays tribute to some of the artists and labels who influenced the sound via a fine vinyl selection. The second part of the dubcast serves as a Bent Backs Records showcase, showing off some killer exclusive dubplates and leaking unreleased tracks freshly out of the dub factory.”
Brooklyn Radio (Mixcloud)