Archive for the Cornel Campbell Category

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

Cornel Campbell – Minstrel Classic Reggae 1972-1977

Posted in Bunny Lee, Cornel Campbell with tags , on October 25, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Although no Jamaican singer possesses a smoother, more sensual high tenor voice than Cornel Campbell, he has somehow managed to escape the attention of all but the most dedicated reggae fans, which is a shame, since he brings a Sam Cooke-like elegance to the table. A former member of both the Uniques and the Eternals, Campbell’s solo work (the best of which was produced by Bunny Lee) falls into two distinct camps, his gorgeous and assured love songs and his mid- to late-’70s switch to a harder, more militant sound, a switch that yielded some big hits (‘The Gorgon,’ ‘Natty Dread in a Greenwich Town’) but didn’t necessarily play to his real strength. This collection from West Side Records wisely centers on his romantic material, and it includes his solo remakes of two Eternals’ hits, ‘Queen of the Minstrel’ (here simply called ‘The Minstrel’), itself a version of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Minstrel & Queen,’ and the effortlessly beautiful ‘Stars,’ as well as confident covers of Nina Simone’s ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’ and another Mayfield song, ‘Talking About My Baby.’ Campbell sings like an angel, and his smooth, assured tone is breathtaking, recalling, at times, his singing partner in the Uniques, Slim Smith, although without Smith’s fragile, wounded persona. Minstrel makes the perfect compliment to Blood & Fire’s I Shall Not Remove, which collects the heavier, more militant material, and the two discs together make a complete and rounded portrait of this brilliant singer, who truly deserves a wider audience.”

YouTube: The Minstrel, My Confession, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Stars, Talking About My Baby