Equal Rights – Peter Tosh (1977)

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh with tags , on June 18, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Equal Rights was to be the album that propelled Peter Tosh to the top of the reggae world — the rival to onetime fellow Wailer Bob Marley. Time has shown that this lofty aspiration was not borne out, but Equal Rights remains among the handful of best, and most influential, reggae albums ever recorded. Tosh was always the most militant of the original Wailers and this album reflects that outlook. Whether it is preaching about the unity of the African diaspora (‘African’), protesting conditions in South Africa (‘Apartheid’), or giving a more general call to arms (‘Get Up, Stand Up’), Equal Rights is a political album. This is at times crippling, as some tracks are more effective as political statements than they are as songs. This, in fact, is a primary difference between Tosh and MarleyMarley‘s political statements never overwhelmed his songs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with Tosh. That being said, ‘Downpresser Man’ (based on a folk standard), ‘Stepping Razor,’ and his definitive version of ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ are as good a trio of songs as you will find on any album, reggae or not. Tosh‘s singing is angry and forceful and the music is intricate and distinctive. On these three tracks you can see why people thought that Tosh could become a transcendent international star. The rest of the album, however, shows why he never quite lived up to that potential.”
allmusic
W – Equal Rights
YouTube: Equal Rights 1:10:15

Earl Zero – Righteous Works b/w Righteous Dub (1979)

Posted in King Tubby with tags on June 14, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“A construction job can lead to anything. In Kingston 13, Jamaica, ‘anything’ might include a studio session, if you happen to have the right boss. ‘I knew my boss had an ear for music,’ explained Earl Zero, then just twenty-two years old. ‘One day, I started to sing the first lyrics to ‘Righteous Works.’ That night he asked me to sing it for him again, and I did. I convinced him to get some studio time, so we went to Channel One and recorded it.’ Thus spawned the recording career of one of reggae’s most prolific vocalists. Now, nearly thirty years later, Wax Poetics Records is proud to reissue two of Zero’s most popular recordings, ‘Righteous Works’ and ‘Hearts Desire,’ both presented in discomix fashion, achieved by blending a psychedelic dub version seamlessly with the vocal. The single, ‘Righteous Works,’ is drenched in Rasta consciousness and rife with social commentary. ‘Heart’s Desire,’ recorded with producer Alan ‘Jah Wally’ Campbell, is a softer, more melodic complimentto the roots-heavy fare on the A-side.”
Wax Poetics
YouTube: Righteous Works b/w Righteous Dub

Errol Dunkley – Cinderella b/w Version (1972)

Posted in Errol Dunkley with tags on June 9, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“In 1972, when Jimmy Rodway showed Errol Dunkley a poem he had written, Dunkley was already a bona fide music star. After Dunkley had made some adjustments to the lines to hone them into a song, recorded at Dynamic Studios, he became the singer of an enduring reggae anthem which has long outlasted the number-one position it held on the charts for some weeks. The song is Black Cinderella, which came out on Rodway’s Fimi Time label and is embraced as a tribute to black women. …”
‘Black Cinderella’ developed from a poem
W – Errol Dunkley
YouTube: Cinderella b/w Version (Fe-Me-Time)

Jimmy Riley & Stranger Cole – Voice of the people (1971)

Posted in Stranger Cole with tags on June 3, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Legend has it Stranger Cole was so shy, he preferred to sing duets rather than solo tracks. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know, but the great vocalist did sing a lot duets and harmony vocals in his career. Maybe it was his way of making a living, because standard procedure in Jamaica was (and often still is): you get paid to record a song. I’m not going into whether this was fair or not, but, if anything, this does explain the large amount of songs recorded each and every day on the Jamaican music scene. With an output so vast, it is easy to get snowed under and that seems to have been the case with this recording right here. Needless to say, perhaps, but if a song is unnoticed it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad tune. It’s just covered up… And the fact that these things happen (for whatever reason), makes it so much fun for record collectors to try and dig them up. I’m not unveiling anything right here, though, but this great track that is “Voice of the people” is still somewhat overlooked. And that is a damn shame. ‘Voice’ is sung by two men who had both earned their stripes long before this was recorded. Stranger Cole was a hitmaker in both the ska and rocksteady days (and was also doing fine in the early reggae days). Jimmy Riley had been very succesful as a member of both The Sensations and the Uniques (recording classics such as ‘Watch this sound’). …”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Voice of the people

Tony Roots – Burning Fire + Dub

Posted in Tony Roots with tags on June 3, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Tony Roots emerged on the UK roots reggae scene in the late 1980’s as one of the most prolific song writers/singer for some time. Known extensively throughout Europe, which helped gained international recognition world wide, for the sincere passion, expressed and felt within his works.  …”
United Reggae
YouTube: Burning Fire + Dub

King Tubby & Clancy All Stars – Sound System International Dub (1976)

Posted in King Stitt, King Tubby with tags , on May 25, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Those with a casual interest in dub may find that this recently discovered album sounds a bit raw — but for aficionados of the genre, it’s a treasure trove. It finds a young King Tubby (who would later become dub’s most famous and celebrated practitioner) flexing his chops and experimenting with techniques that he would later hone to a razor sharpness: the wholesale dropouts with throbbing echo that are in full effect on ‘Joe’; tastefully selected scraps of vocals that float all over the place on ‘Kingston Dub Town’ (a brilliant and strangely tender dub version of the Lord Creator hit ‘Kingston Town’); the reductions of backing tracks down to a dry and spare minimum, only to suddenly flower into echo-drenched blooms of sound — all of these are techniques that Tubby either pioneered or perfected, and it’s fascinating to hear them being applied to these late rocksteady and early reggae classics before he was fully in control of them. …”
allmusic
Pressure
YouTube: Sound System International Dub LP 43:04

Mikey Dread – Friend & Money (1978)

Posted in Dennis Brown, Joe Gibbs, Mikey Dread, Studio One with tags , , , on May 15, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Although he did record quite a few tracks in the Joe Gibbs studio, Michael Campbell, (1952 – 2008) better known as Mikey Dread, did not release much of his tracks through any of Joe’s imprints. ‘Friend and money’ is the only one I’m aware of, actually. The song was released on 7″ in 1978 on the Errol T label, riding an update of the ‘Money in my pocket’ riddim which is, well to me personally anyway, more interesting than the toast itself. Although not half bad – it is actually pretty good in its own right – ‘Friend and Money’ suffers a bit from the stiff competition put up by other epic Mikey Dread tracks out there. It’s a great catch as a supplement to your existing collection, but it won’t stand out as the best track in there. That said, this Mikey Dread track is still highly enjoyable for its lyrics, the familiar nasal sound of Mikeys voice and the great riddim update that The Professionals laid down for this take. This track was also released on the ‘Original DJ Classics Vol 2 sampler (lp), that was released on the Rocky One imprint in the 1990’s. Being an avid funk fan as much as I am a reggae fan, I can not deny the influence one scene has on another, and on this 7″ right here, things merge beautifuly and splendidly. A sound commonly heard in the late 70’s funk/disco era was the tweaked and flanged-out sound of the Fender Rhodes and that sound, or a hint towards it at least, can also be heard on the flip of this Mikey Dread single. ‘Bubbler in Money’ is nothing short of a pure funk anthem. One that should easily be able to satisfy fans of, for instance, Larry Youngs’ ‘Turn off the lights or the Ohio Players’ ‘Funky Worm.’ This keyboard heavy sound was recorded and utilized more often at the Gibbs studios in the late 70’s and early 80’s, many of which can be found on the ‘Majestic Dub album, which is, sadly, not as majestic as the title suggests. It’s an album worthwhile checking out for some impressive versions that add some to the more common and familiar styles and versions out there. Why they didn’t include ‘Bubbler in Money’ on there shall forever remain a mystery though. It’s the best version in that particular style they got…”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Mikey Dread & Dennis Brown – Friend & Money