Archive for December, 2016

Dancehall

Posted in Dancehall with tags on December 30, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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Jamaican Street Artist Takes on Europe
“Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s. Initially dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s. Two of the biggest stars of the early dancehall era were Yellowman and Eek-a-Mouse. Dancehall brought a new generation of producers, including Linval Thompson, Gussie Clarke and Jah Thomas. … Dancehall is named after Jamaican dance halls in which popular Jamaican recordings were played by local sound systems. They began in the late 1940s among people from the inner city of Kingston such as Trench Town, Rose Town and Denham Town, Jamaicans who were not able to participate in dances uptown. …”
Wikipedia
Where to start with Jamaican dancehall (Video)
New Yorker: Rhythm Revival
Soundcloud (Video)
Radio Stations (Video)

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Sylford Walker – Jah Golden Pen (1975)

Posted in Dub, Joe Gibbs, Pressure Sounds, Silford Walker with tags , , , on December 30, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“After running away from home at a young age, Sylford Walker grew up in the tough Kingston 5 area. He filled his days with smoking a little herb, selling wood roots (health juices), running a restaurant and singing. After being arrested for possession of ganja, Sylford used his time in jail well and wrote a song about Babylon. He had not recorded before and getting into a studio wasn’t easy, as Sylford states in the great interview Peter I conducted with him in 2006 and which is published on Reggae Vibes.Errol Thompson gave him a chance, though, and Sylford Walker recorded two songs for him in 1975. The first, called ‘Burn Babylon’, was to become a huge roots anthem, although it took a long time to reach that status. The second tune, ‘Jah Golden Pen’ had more impact on the local crowd upon release. … With a church on every corner, it’s no wonder Jah Golden Pen struck a chord with the godfearing Jamaican society. Loosely based on a gospel hymn (‘Sign my name’), its repetitive, yet ever so slightly changing lyrics are sung over a well crafted, minor key riddim that could never fail. Check that bassline! After getting little or no money at all for the two songs, Sylford Walker recorded the superb ‘I can’t understand‘ for Clive Hunt and then went into a partnership with Glen Brown, with whom he arguably recorded his best material. Look up ‘roots reggae’ in a dictionary and it’ll play tunes like ‘Lambs Bread‘, ‘Prophecies fulflling‘ and ‘Chant down Babylon.’  Yet, despite the great music, Sylford’s debut album was not released until 1988. Sylford was long unaware of the impact his music made on the reggae scenes in Europe and the States, but luckily made a comeback. In 2006 he found himself back at Joe Gibbs, where he re-recorded Jah Golden Pen over the original riddim. Though still sounding good, his voice on this cut sounds is a bit more frail and he’s joined on backing vocals by Errol ‘Black Steel’ Nicholson. The recut was issued as a 7″, causing much chagrin and confusion ‘pon the scene because people were unaware it was recut, and later included on the album ‘Nuttin’ a Gwan‘, for which yours truly was kindly asked to write the liner notes (I kid you not), but that never materialized. Sylford, in the meantime, is back on the scene, performing to eager crowds and Sharing the half that has never been told.”
Pressure Beat (Video)

YouTube: Jah golden pen, Mighty Two – Golden dub

Uplifters – Gallas Trap (1978)

Posted in Channel One with tags on December 29, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“But while we’re at it, we have to round it out with another gem from the Narrows catalog, the haunting “Gallas Trap” by Uplifters. A rare one released only on 12″ in Brooklyn from Narrows’ former Linden Blvd HQ, it’s more killer early 80s sound laid down at Channel 1, back out now on a 7-inch.”
Reggae Fever

“Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know the minute nor the hour
The last drip of blood will drop
Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know when, no, no
Brutality will ever stop

Some wicked think they are racing for the top
And I know them haffi get a drop
Some are climbing up a sipple wall
And I know them come to get a fall

Majority down and they fear no fall
Majority down and I open each them to Jah call

Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know the minute nor the hour
The last drip of blood will drop
Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know when, no, no
Brutality will ever stop

Some wicked think they are racing for the top
And I know them haffi get a drop
Some are climbing up a sipple wall
And I know them come to get a fall

Majority down and they fear no fall
Majority down and I open each them to Jah call

Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know the minute nor the hour
The last drip of blood will drop
Blindfolded, leading out to the gallows trap
Never know when, no, no
Brutality will ever stop

Never know when, no, no
Brutality will ever stop
Cah when brutality will ever stop
It down to the drop
When brutality will ever stop…”
Jah Lyrics

Discogs

YouTube: Gallas Trap/Bad Boy

“Simmer Down” – The Skatalites (1963)

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Coxsone Dodd, Peter Tosh, Ska, Studio One with tags , , , , on December 27, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“‘Simmer Down’ was the first single released by The Wailers, accompanied by the ska supergroup, The Skatalites, and produced by Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd in 1963. It was the number one hit in Jamaica in February, 1964. The song was directed to the ‘Rude Boys’ of the ghettos of Jamaica at the time, sending them a message to cool down or ‘Simmer Down’ with all the violence and crime going on in Kingston. The subject matter of ‘Simmer Down’ made The Wailers stand out amongst their contemporaries. The Wailers at this time contained Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Cherry Smith, and Beverley Kelso. It was Bob Marley’s first hit and his career as a songwriter and performer took off from there. Although ‘Simmer Down’ was a hit, Peter Tosh, one of the three original Wailers, has said in an interview that he hated it.”
Wikipedia

“The Skatalites are a ska band from Jamaica. They played initially between 1963 and 1965, and recorded many of their best known songs in the period, including ‘Guns of Navarone.’ They also played on records by Prince Buster and backed many other Jamaican artists who recorded during that period.[1] They reformed in 1983 and have played together ever since.The founders of the Skatalites were Tommy McCook (died 1998), Rolando Alphonso (died 1998), Lloyd Brevett (died 2012), Lloyd Knibb (died 2011), Don Drummond (died 1969), Jah Jerry Haynes (died 2007), Jackie Mittoo (died 1990), Johnny Moore (died 2008) and Jackie Opel (died 1970). These ten musicians started to play together from 1955, when Kingston’s recording studios started to develop. Tommy McCook was the first member of the band to record, though not for commercial release: he played with Don Hitchman’s Group in 1953. In spring 1964, The Skatalites recorded their first LP Ska Authentic at Studio One in Kingston and toured Jamaica as the creators of ska. …”
The Skatalites – Simmer down

YouTube: Simmer down, I Don’t Need Your Love

Trevor Byfield

Posted in Trevor Byfield with tags on December 23, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Unfortunately we feel that photos of recording sessions in JA in the ’70s and ’80s are all too rare, so imagine our joy when our friend Clive Matthews shared with us these photos of himself, Trevor Byfield and others recording in Harry J studio circa 1983! Please enjoy them as we have, a fantastic glimpse into the making of the music we love. Click on the pictures to see them larger! …”
Glimpse into FOX FIRE
YouTube: Jah guide, Burning Bush + Version, Tell Me That You Love Me

Ethiopians – Band your belly (1975)

Posted in Joe Gibbs, The Ethiopians with tags , on December 20, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Like many others who had their ear to the street, Leonard Dillon foresaw the troubles the 1976 elections would bring. With the US increasing their involvement on the island’s political course through the CIA, Jamaica experienced a serious growth in violence. The CIA were bringing in guns and many other means to try and overthrow the PNP party, which was in power at the time. In the American point of view –  who were in fear of another Cuba-situation – the PNP were leaning dangerously towards communism.  Thus, Kingston was introduced to heavy weaponry to enforce and win new ‘pro west’ territory, which lead to violent killings. The involvement of the US government added insult to injury, so it seems, as the two elections accompanied by the greatest violence in Jamaican history were those of 1976 and 1980. Of course reggae was the journal, the daily paper, of what was going on in the streets. And naturally it goes beyond politics and reflects on life in the ghetto on a personal level. On this 1975 recording Leonard Dillon sings about preparing for bad times, tightening the belt, because no matter who wins the election, there’s a new reality out there and it’s rough. Marlon James’ novelA brief history of seven killings’ – which won the Man Booker Price in 2015 – is a good read on the subject. It’s fiction, but still a good insight on what was going on in Kingston, with James describing the situation from different points of view. Set to a every rural riddim and with tight links to mento, ‘Band your belly’ sounds and feels like a longing for the old days. Away from the divided political areas of Kingston, away from the madness. Because, whoever wins (west) Kingston, wins the Jamaican election. Come 2016 the message of “Band your belly” is still relevant. As it was also almost ten years before the Ethiopians’ take: ‘Woman, band yu belly, for someone has done me wrong. The people are watching me…’”
Pressure Beat (Video)

YouTube: Ethiopians – Band Your Belly 6:20

Burning Spear – Man in the Hills (1976)

Posted in Burning Spear, Jack Ruby with tags , on December 17, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Coming after the highly acclaimed Marcus Garvey (1975), Burning Spear’s fourth album, Man in the Hills (1976), had a lot to live up to. It is generally conceded that they did not craft an equally impressive follow-up, but Man in the Hills has its charms nevertheless. Lead singer and main songwriter Winston Rodney turns back to reflections on his rural Jamaican childhood for many of the lyrics, which gives the album a gentler, more nostalgic message than the political, exhortative Marcus Garvey. Rodney’s tenor is well suited to the sentiments, and the all-star band assembled to back him is supportive and, especially in the horn charts, complementary to the lead voice. The demands of recording schedules may have caused Burning Spear to recast earlier songs, but that contributes to the album’s theme of looking back. …”
allmusic

Man in the Hills is a reggae album by Jamaican musician Burning Spear (Winston Rodney), released in 1976 (see 1976 in music) on Island Records. Man in the Hills was follow-up to the seminal Marcus Garvey; Man in the Hills is usually considered a worthy follow-up, though less innovative and incendiary. produced by Jack Ruby, Man in the Hills is a simple and unadorned album, with songs that reminisce about Spear’s childhood in St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica. ‘Door Peep’ was originally recorded in 1969 at Studio One after Spear ran into Bob Marley (also from St. Anne’s Bay); Spear later quotes Marley ‘And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man-to-man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, All right, just check Studio One.’ The single was released but fared poorly on the Jamaican charts. After Marcus Garvey, Spear’s fame had grown considerably, and he was a star in Jamaica and cult sensation in the United Kingdom. Man in the Hills was a much quieter and more restrained album than its predecessor, and was more astoral and dreamlike than militant and radical (though songs like ‘Is It Good’ and ‘No More War’ continue to address social issues). ‘Man in the Hills’, the titular album opener evokes the superiority of rural living over urban. In Jamaican history, the roots of radical protest, a national identity and the Rastafari movement, grew from communities formed by escaped slaves in the hills and (after emancipation in 1838) the so-called ‘Free Villages’.”
Wikipedia

YouTube: Man In The Hills
1 – Man In The Hills 2 – It’s Good 3 – No More War 4 – Black Soul 5 – Lion 6 – People Get Ready 7 – Children 8 – Mother 9 – Door Peep 10 – Groovy