Archive for February, 2017

Cornell Campbell – I Shall Not Remove: 1975-1980

Posted in Augustus Pablo, Bunny Lee, Cornel Campbell, Dr. Alimantado with tags , , , on February 27, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Most Blood & Fire releases should be considered essential purchases for any fan of golden-era reggae, but this one is even better than most. Cornel Campbell is one of the best reggae singers ever recorded — a sweet-toned falsettist with effortless intonation and a cool, assured delivery that is incredibly easy on the ear. The centerpiece of this collection is the three-part ‘Gorgon’ series of singles produced by the legendary Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, all featuring the ‘flying cymbals’ style of drumming popular at the time. ‘The Gorgon’ having been a huge hit, it was followed quickly by ‘The Gorgon Speaks’ and ‘The Conquering Gorgon,’ all three of which are presented here (the first two in extended versions, the second in its original version and then again in a Rastafarian variation titled ‘Lion of Judah’). Almost equally important, though, are ‘Natty Dread in a Greenwich Town’ (an answer record to Bob Marley’s ‘Natty Dread’) and ‘Dance in a Greenwich Town,’ the latter in a megamix format that incorporates a deejay version by Dr. Alimantado and a dub version mixed by King Tubby. But really, just about every track reaches the same standard — there is not a single weak cut or boring moment on this spectacular album.”

“In a scene blessed with great voices, Cornell Campbell’s distinctive tenor / falsetto is one of the best-loved. Having made classics like ‘Stars’ and ‘Queen Of The Minstrels’ for Coxsone, Cornell went on to become even more successful with hitmaker Bunny Lee in the 1970s. Included in this compilation are hits like ‘Natty Dread In A Greenwich Town’, ‘Bandulu’ and the complete ‘Gorgon’ song series. Deejays Dr Alimantado and the late Ranking Dread also make guest appearances. This collection covers the period when Cornell Campbell was recording under the great Bunny Lee, pioneer of the percussion-driven flying-cymbal sound. Lee Scratch Perry and Augustus Pablo may have been making names for themselves overseas, but this is the sound that was lighting up Kingston dancehalls in the mid-Seventies. Balmy old rhythms reappropriated, revamped and revitalised in true Jamaican style; hi-hats hissing like snakes in Eden; and Campbell’s achingly tender, almost hymnal, voice.”
Blood and Fire

YouTube: I Shall Not Remove, Two Face Rasta, The Gorgon Speaks, Dance In A Greenwich Farm

The Fantels – Hooligan / Mighty Two – Far Land (1977)

Posted in Joe Gibbs with tags on February 27, 2017 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, who 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; comprising Trevor Shields, Hal Lewinson and Leon Brown; did create a template for what was to come. The Beltones disbanded in the early 70’s due to financial discontentment. Trevor went solo and the Beltones became the Fantels. Or did they? …”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Hooligan + Version, Mighty Two – Far Land

Jack Ruby – Hi-Fi (1981)

Posted in Dub, Jack Ruby with tags , on February 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“What we have here is a full showcase-style dyed in the wool stormer. Ruby is the infamous producer linked to the Ocho Rios – Sound of Saint Anns, best known perhaps for his production associations with Burning Spear around the start of their Island career, Justin Hinds of the Dominoes, as well as numerous high calibre artists, think The Gaylads, Big Youth, King Tubby, Errol Thompson and some of the artists featured here, Ken Booth, Black Disciples and his long term studio associates. ‘Hi-Fi’ is an album originally appearing on Brooklyn’s little known but genre-breaking Clappers label, ‘a weapon without compromise’ as their chairman once put it, a label which ushered the transition of reggae into early New York dancehall and beyond, spawning early crossover hip-hop classics from the likes of Brother D and Silver Fox. Here Ruby focusses on four vocals segued into four full length dubs: Ken Booth’s voice has to be one of the most divine instruments in all music if not reggae, ‘Peace Time’ rides a delicious guitar line – Booth is in fine fettle on a lyric for universal peace , and the whomping ‘Khomeini skank’ version establishes this somewhere at the turn of the seventies. Lennox Miller’s take on Delroy Wilson’s alltime big one ‘Better Must Come’ is a belter – lively drummatical version and a wicked Jah Coller deejay version, 12 minutes plus of sublime reggae. Usual high quality Auraluxx job, mastered from vinyl, but this has resulted in the fantastic warmth and intimacy of these timeless recordings.”
Midnight Raver (Video)
YouTube: Ken Boothe – Peace Time, The Iranian Students – Khomeni Skank, Earth Last Messengers – Hypocrites, The Black Disciples – Brezinsky Dub, Lenox Miller – Better Must Come, Jah Coller – Jah Coller Speaks His Mind, The Revealers – Jail House Free, Crucial All Stars – Rikers Island Dub

The Encyclopedia of Reggae: The Golden Age of Roots Reggae

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“We recently spoke with Mike Alleyne, author of The Encyclopedia of Reggae: The Golden Age of Roots Reggae, an indispensable book for reggae, dub and world music fans. Alleyne is currently at work on a book about Jimi Hendrix, which he describes as ‘a reference book for interested fans who aren’t necessarily total fanatics’ and will have an encyclopedic structure covering key records, musicians, labels and other associated people and places in Hendrix’s career, also including posthumous releases. He hopes to have it out in 2017 which will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album. Here’s what Mike had to say about the golden age of reggae. …”
Mike Alleyne, author of “The Encyclopedia of Reggae…”

Hugh Mundell ‎- Tell I A Lie / Jah Music (1982)

Posted in Channel One, Dub, Hugh Mundell with tags , , on February 21, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“… For his next album, Mundell abandons the Rockers sound and vibe altogether, choosing instead to record with producer Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and the mighty Roots Radics band at Channel One. Junjo Lawes rules the sound system circuit in the early ’80s, with a huge militant sound laid down by the Roots Radics. Lawes and the Radics are on a mission: to take the popular roots reggae sound, speed it up and play it harder. No apologies. Harder. Faster. Stronger. Lawes’ incendiary sound launches a new generation of toasters straight to the top of the charts. Unfortunately, this musical shift is accompanied by a thematic change as well, as the lyrics become less serious, less impactful, and at times border on ridiculous. Many roots artists are not willing, or are not able to adapt to this revolution in sound, however, Mundell is ready, willing, and able. …”
“GREAT TRIBULATION”: The Life and Times of Hugh Mundell
YouTube: Tell I A Lie / Jah Music

Jah Woosh ‎– Jah Woosh (1974)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Neville Beckford with tags , , on February 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“In a crowded field, toaster Jah Woosh — born Neville Beckford in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1952 — left his mark on the roots age with a string of popular singles and a series of seminal albums. Haile Selassie’s 1966 state visit to Jamaica prompted Beckford’s conversion to Rastafarianism, and Prince Lloyd’s Sound System made an equal musical impact, providing a launching pad for Beckford’s career. He teamed up with friend Reggae George as Neville & George, but the pair famously failed auditions for both Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, bringing the partnership to a swift end. George Bell, however, sent the newly christened Jah Woosh into the studio in 1972, although ‘Morwell Rock’ never gained a proper release. However, ‘Angela Davis’ and ‘Mr. Buyer’ arrived on 45 the following year. The single caused a few ripples, and 1974’s ‘Magnet Scorcher’ created a few more, but it was when the toaster joined forces with Rupie Edwards that his career took off. His 1974 eponymous album was a smash, rising to the top of the Jamaican chart, and wowing reggae fans in the U.K. as well. …”
YouTube: Cactus Records – 1974 34:40

Niney the Observer – At King Tubby’s: Dub Plate Specials 1973-1975

Posted in Dub, King Tubby, Niney the Observer with tags , , on February 15, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Reggae producer Niney the Observer was one of the key figures in Jamaican music during the wildly fruitful period in the ’70s that gave birth to many of reggae’s classic albums. Niney (nicknamed thusly after losing one of his fingers) worked with everyone of note in his day, engineering sessions for Bunny Lee and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry as well as producing some intense dubs at King Tubby’s studio. Some of the best results of Niney’s time at Tubby’s studio are represented here, with drastically alternate mixes to some of his best-known hits. From the start of the collection, signature sounds of Tubby’s dubs infiltrate the mixes. The studio’s brand is all over Dub Plate Specials 1973-1975, from the echo-saturated tape delay of ‘Set Dub Free’ to the minimalist deconstruction of the bass-heavy ‘Tenement Dub.'”
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: At King Tubby’s Dub Plate Specials 1973-1975 39:47
YouTube: Set Dub Free, Dub Born Free