Archive for April, 2017

Jullian / Unforgettables – The Gardener, 3rd & 4th Generation – Version

Posted in Joe Gibbs, Judy Mowatt with tags , on April 30, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The link between the Memphis based Stax label and the Kingston studio’s has always been tight. Inhouse band Booker T and the MG’s and the label’s fine catalogue of southern soul singers were very influential on the reggae scene and, if you dig deep enough, you can find a large share of Stax’ output in a Jamaican version. The love was mutual, apparently, as Stax headhoncho Al Bell visited the island quite often to vacation and visit the studios. It’s without doubt that these visits must have made an impact on the boss, but whether or not he stole, lent or borrowed the bassline of the Harry J Allstars’ ‘Liquidator’ for his Staple Singers’ “I’ll take you there” shall forever be open to debate. The court ruled ‘no’, Al Bell played the “coincidence” card, Harry J stated that mr. Bell personally took several copies off of him and this fine article on Stax even claims divine intervention. Bickering aside, though, it seems accurate to state that both scenes mutually benefitted and influenced each other. Copyright infringement and reggae unfortunately go together like chicken and rice. You don’t have to be a serious collector to encounter a label that reads ‘adopted’, when the song is clearly a cover, or, even worse, producers themselves claiming the control. Joe Gibbs was no exception, but on this release he plays fair game. Copyright-wise that is, because the singer is hiding behind pseudonyms for legal reasons. The Gardener is both credited to Jullian and The Unforgettables.

Scoring hits with “Silent river runs deep” and “Son of a preacher man” with the girl fronted rocksteady/early-reggae outfit The Gaylettes, Judy Mowatt was asked to leave the group because she was pregnant. Singing and pregnancy didn’t combine, they believed at the time, so she embarked on a solo career. She linked up with Bunny Wailer for whom she wrote several songs, including ‘Reincarnated soul‘ (b-side to ‘Concrete Jungle’) which is credited to her alias Jean Watt, and she recorded under the Julie Anne / Julian / Jullian monniker for Sonia Pottinger, Byron Lee, Joe Gibbs and Duke Reid (for the latter she sung a version of ‘Woman of the ghetto’, which was credited to Phyllis Dillon in the UK.) Although a great songsmith in her own right, Judy regularly visits other artist’s songs on her records and the Gardener is one of them.

Judy Mowatt would join Bob Marley’s I Three’s shortly after this song was recorded, but, no, the “We Three” credit on the label is not a prophecy. The Gardener was originally recorded by the Staple Singers and featured on their “We’ll get over” album, which, incidentally, was released by Stax in 1969. The song was penned by Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher and Raymond Jackson. Homer teamed up with his fellow writers after his career with the Soul Consolidators failed to take off. Although he’d written successful songs for others before, it was the threesome that would write the biggest hits. Sure shot knock-outs such as Johnny Taylor’s “Who’s making love” and Isaacs Hayes’ “If loving you is wrong” would eventually earn them the epithet ‘We Three’. With a production team that strong, it makes sense for Jullian to stick to their style sheet closely. Which is exactly what she did and to great effect. The Gardener is a perfect example of Memphis meeting Kingston, of southern flavor meeting yard vibes and of reciprocal inspiration. The results, on both sides, are golden.”
Pressure Beat (Video)

YouTube: The Unforgettables – The Gardener

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Alton Ellis ‎– Rise And Fall / Earl Sixteen – Make Up Your Mind (1979)

Posted in Alton Ellis with tags on April 23, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Taken from the recently reissued ‘Many Moods Of Alton Ellis’ album and produced by Earl ‘Heptone’ Morgan this is roots flavoured Alton with some great Heptones harmonies on a cut to Earl 16’s ‘The World Has Just Begun’. Second side features Earl himself on a treatment of the wicked rhythm used for Junior Delgado’s ‘Don’t Study Wrong’.”
Dub Vendor
Podomatic (Video)
YouTube: Alton Ellis ‎– Rise And Fall, Earl Sixteen – Make Up Your Mind

Joe Gibbs ‎– Dub Serial (1973)

Posted in Dub, Joe Gibbs with tags , on April 21, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Greensleeves is re-releasing the first and long lost dub set by one of our alltime favourite producers Joe Gibbs. Originally issued circa 1973 alongside other classic early dub sets including Lee Perry’s Black Board Jungle and Rhythm Shower, Herman Chin-Loy’s Aquarius Dub, Randy’s Java Dub (mixed by Errol Thompson), Prince Buster’s The Message Dubwise and others. Virtually unheard since that time, it’s a dubhead’s dream come true, with early raw drum and bass cuts to Gibbs’s cut to Satta Massagana, Love Me Girl, Money In My Pocket and the killer cut to He Prayed used by Big Youth for his Foreman Vs Frasier. Spare on the effects, just a bit of echo and reverb and a couple of vicious tape rewinds. If you dig Joe’s African Dub chapters, you’ll need this album too. Dub Serial can also be found on cd in the boxset Evolution Of Dub Vol.1, also on Greensleeves.”
Elephant Soundsystem
YouTube: Dub serial 34:45

Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall (2012)

Posted in Dancehall with tags on April 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall is the first book to look, in- depth, at reggae in the 1980s, the period in Jamaican music that gave birth to what we know today as the ‘Dancehall’ sound. Some of the subjects that are covered include the development of sound systems in post independence Jamaica, ‘slackness’ v ‘culture’, political war and its effect on sound system activity, the ‘digital’ breakthrough in 1985, women entertainers’ struggles to make it in a male dominated field, the ‘sing-jay’ style and how deejay lyrics changed throughout the years, how dance cassettes spread the rub-a-dub style, the reggae business model and the problems it created, the fight against the dance hall style and its ultimate triumph as the premier sound of Jamaica today.”
Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall
Reggae Vibes
[PDF] Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall

Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture released on Soul Jazz Records is an essential guide and who’s who to the phenomenal explosion of Dancehall in Jamaica in the 1980s and its subsequently rise throughout the world. Released to coincide with the launch of Beth Lesser’s deluxe 200-page book of the same name (also published by Soul Jazz Records) featuring hundreds of amazing photographs and accompanying text, this new CD double-album features a pantheon of Dancehall stars – Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Sister Nancy, Tenor Saw, Sly & Robbie, King Jammy, Eek A Mouse, Yellowman, Frankie Paul and many, many more. …”
soundsoftheuniverse: Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Video)
soundsoftheuniverse: Dancehall 2 – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Video)
amazon: Dancehall, Dancehall 2

Gregory Isaac – Going Down Town (1979)

Posted in Gregory Isaacs, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar with tags , , on April 15, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Gregory Isaacs turns a walk downtown into a declaration of revolution on this powerful single from 1979. ‘Going Downtown’ begins as a sufferer’s tale, with the singer awaking to a meal-less morning and setting off to plow his employer’s field. Now feeling decidedly rebellious, Isaacs pours forth his anger into a determination to go ‘downtown to rock the reggae beat.’ But then his resentment swells into utter defiance. ‘Things that you did to my ancestors, ain’t gonna let you do them to me,’ he angrily declares, ‘I ain’t going to carry your water in a basket.’ Bristling with barely suppressed rage, the Cool Ruler almost loses his composure, at times almost spitting out the vehement lyrics. It’s an appropriate response to a Sly & Robbie riddim whose atmosphere is as inspired by the blues, with a funky edge, as it is the militant sound of roots rockers. The latter fires up the rhythm; the former roils up from the lead guitar. An incredibly powerful number, once the single stormed the Jamaican sound systems, the Riddim Twins bundled it onto the following year’s Sly & Robbie Present Gregory Isaacs (aka Showcase) album.”
allmusic
YouTube: Going Down Town 12″

Jah Walton – Gourmandizer / Mighty Two – Mandizer Rock (1976)

Posted in DJ, Joe Gibbs, Pressure Sounds, Riddims with tags , , , on April 7, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“I once saw some raw footage of a, sadly unfinished, documentary about life in Jamaica. The snippet showed an elderly, proud rastaman who declared that it’s nearly impossible to die of starvation on the island. The country indeed produces a very rich and great variety of fruits and vegetables and it may come as no surprise that many also have a song of praise to their name. The mighty Gourmandizer is one such tune. Gourmandizer also marked the debut of a new dj on the scene. Born in St. Ann, a son of the legendary drummer Count Ossie, the consistently sharp dressed Jah Walton quickly made waves with his vegetarian lifestyle promosong and never looked back. … After which the Joe Gibbs version of the ‘Unchained’ riddim is unleashed (a next cut to ‘Schooling the beat’ off of African Dub part I) with Jah Walton explaining he ‘nah deal wid pork.’ It’s hard to believe this is the first recording of this dj, as it is delivered in such a fine and confident style, you’d expect the man on the mic to be more experienced. I guess it’s fair to say Jah Walton is a natural talent. …”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Jah Walton – Gourmandizer

The Royals – Pick Up the Pieces (2002)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Dancehall, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, Pressure Sounds with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The story of Roy Cousins and the Royals is, sadly, a fairly common one in Jamaican music. The body of work the group released between the years 1973 and 1979 rightly places them amongst the finest vocal acts of the roots era. Yet the failure of various producers and distributors to support the group, and constant changes in membership, led to their eventual obscurity outside of a relatively small group of reggae collectors. Thankfully, Pressure Sounds has sought to remedy this situation with this enhanced restoration of the group’s classic 1977 debut, Pick up the Pieces. Though the Royals toured the usual Jamaican studio circuit, recording for Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, and others, it wasn’t until Cousins began funding and supervising the group’s sessions that their music was given the necessary space to develop on record. What followed was a string of stunning, heartfelt releases showcasing the tight harmony singing of the shifting lineup, including ‘Ghetto Man,’ ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Only for a Time,’ and the classic title track. The U.S. soul stylings of the Drifters and the Temptations were an early influence. This explains in part why these titles are some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced. Cousins moved to the U.K. in the late ’70s and left the group shortly thereafter to focus on producing, thus ending an important chapter in the group’s history. This reissue, then, is a much-needed testament to his work, made even more valuable with a host of bonus cuts appearing for the first time on CD. Another gem in the Pressure Sounds catalog.”
allmusic

Pick Up the Pieces is the debut album from Jamaican roots reggae group The Royals, collecting recordings made between 1973 and 1977, and produced by Royals lead vocalist and only constant member Roy Cousins. Musicians on the album include members of The Wailers, Soul Syndicate, The In Crowd, and the Now Generation. The album was later licensed to United Artists subsidiary Ballistic Records, and was reissued in an expanded form in 2002 by Pressure Sounds. The songs on the album have been described as ‘some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced.'”
Wikipedia

“Reggae singer, songwriter and producer Roy Anthony Cousins will forever be associated with the very dignified cultural Studio One single ‘Pick Up The Pieces, done as singer and leader of the vocal group The Royals. And although there will hardly be a reggae fan who doesn’t know the song and/or its riddim, it’s doubtful if most reggae aficionados know that the man has left an indelible mark on the reggae scene. With The Royals – an ever-changing line up of harmony singers – he released three full length albums (‘Ten Years After’, ‘Israel Be Wise’ and ‘Moving On’), but not that many long-time reggae fans will know that he has released about 100 albums as a producer. Among them are sets with artists such as Devon Russell, Winston Jarrett, Earl Sixteen, Don Carlos & Gold, Charlie Chaplin, Knowledge, Pablove Black, Winston Francis, Jah Stitch and Prince Far I. Back in 1983 Roy Cousins took the Finnish Cool Runnings Posse, Tero Kaski and Pekka Vuorinen, under his wings. They travelled around in Kingston in his pick-up van and he took them to Channel One and Harry J when he had hired the studios for his artists like for example Charlie Chaplin. They also managed to do an interview with Roy Cousins, one of the very few he has done. Many thanks to Pekka Vuorinen for giving permission to publish that interview and for providing photos. Also thanks to Ray Hurford and to Roy Cousins, who generously provided samples of his extensive catalogue. This interview, along with other noteworthy interviews from the early eighties, was published in the book ‘Volcano Revisited – Kingston Dancehall Scene 1984’ (Eronen 2011). …”
Reggae Vibes

iTunes

YouTube: Pick Up The Pieces 1:04:28