Archive for the John Holt Category

John Holt – Police in Helicopter (1983)

Posted in John Holt, Rastafarians, Uncategorized with tags , on December 11, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“John Holt, both as a member of the Paragons and as a solo artist, had established himself as the master of pop with a multitude of love, love lost, and other typically pop-themed hit singles. However, with Police in Helicopter, the singer reinvented himself as a more contemporary, cultural artist. The title track, a Jamaican smash, set the defiant tone, threatening, ‘If you continue to burn up the herbs, we’re going to burn down the cane fields.’ ‘Last Train From the Ghetto’ and ‘Reality’ are cultural/Rastafarian statements of intent, while ‘I Got Caught’ is a warning about the consequences of misdeeds. The Roots Radics provide the rootsy accompaniment, with producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes adding his signature deep roots/dubby production, with that sublime tinge of dancehall which gave the record a totally contemporary sound. Of course, Holt didn’t totally break with his past, and the rest of the record contains lighter-themed material. … The album is a masterpiece of aural illusion, as the band slide out the fat rhythms and reggae riffs, and Lawes transforms them before our eyes. Deep roots with a twist, wave a wand and, abracadabra, Holt’s songs are no longer considered MOR pop, but now appeal to a more serious audience. Police is a true classic album on which a great vocalist and songwriter comes of age.”

YouTube: Police in Helicopter, Fat She Fat, Last Train From The Ghetto

John Holt – Memories by the Score (2000)

Posted in Bunny Lee, John Holt with tags , on December 3, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Rocksteady and reggae star John Holt is one of the best vocalists Jamaica has ever produced. Getting his break singing with the Paragons, Holt moved on to solo fame in the early ’70s with a string of island and English hits. This West Side roundup features both rocksteady and reggae sides, including a few examples of his work with the Paragons (the title track and ‘Number One for Me’). Such classics as ‘Ali Baba’ and ‘A Love I Can Feel’ may not be here, but there’s still plenty of other gems from Holt’s sessions with such famed producers as Bunny Lee, Harry J., Alvin Ranglin, and Clement Dodd. A fine primer for Holt newcomers.”

YouTube: Strange Things, A love like yours, Give Me Justice

Little Roy – Black Bird / Tribal War (1974)

Posted in Black Ark, Dub, Earl Lowe, Joe Gibbs, John Holt, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , , , on November 30, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“In 1974, Earl ‘Little Roy’ Lowe rented studio time at Black Ark and hired Lee Perry to engineer two songs, ‘Black Bird’ and ‘Tribal War’. The pair had worked together in the past, four years earlier Lowe brought Perry ‘Don’t Cross the Nation’, which Perry promptly recorded and released on his own Upsetter label. Like ‘Nation,’ ‘Black Bird,’ too, was culturally themed, an allegory of human greed set to a splashy riddim that Perry transformed into a militant dubby backing. Perry, however, would not be putting out this single, for now Lowe had his own label, Earth, co-owned by Maurice ‘Scorcher’ Jackson. An excellent single, it was to be overshadowed by the even more magnificent ‘Tribal War’.”

YouTube: Black bird + version, Tribal War

Hell & Fire – Show Us The Way (1976)

Posted in Channel One, Delroy Wilson, Dub, John Holt, JoJo Hookim, Treasure Isle with tags , , , , on July 17, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Amongst the myriad acts that sprung up in the second half of the Seventies was Hell and Fire, a vocal group whose sparse canon hides some lovely cultural gems. ‘Show Us the Way’ was one of their earliest recordings, cut for Jo Jo Hookim at Channel One in 1975. Of course, at this time Hookim and his engineering brother Ernest had already laid the foundation for the studio’s supremacy in the roots age, and that’s evident here. The Hookims’s house band, The Aggrovators provided the sizzling riddim, powered by a blizzard of beats, percussion, insistent bass, and reggae guitar. Only the occasional keyboard flourish stem the rhythmic tide of this backing. But as insistent as the riddim is, Hell and Fire refuse to be rushed, they’re taking time to give thanks and praise to Jah, to ask for His blessings, and patiently waiting for Him to ‘Show Us the Way’. Their gentle, emotive vocals are beautifully juxtaposed against the simmering riddim, which gives an urgency to their prayers. A lovely cultural number.”

YouTube: Show Us The Way, Show Us The Way Version

Gregory Isaacs – Let’s Dance + Version (1975)

Posted in Gregory Isaacs, John Holt, Studio One with tags , , , on March 10, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

YouTube: Let’s Dance +Version 7”(Freelimo 1975)

John Holt – Tribal War / Version (1978)

Posted in Channel One, Dub, John Holt with tags on February 18, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

John Holt’s version of the Little Roy classic. Ace 70’s Channel One business.
YouTube: Tribal War / Version

Jackie Mittoo – Drum Song (2004)

Posted in Bunny Lee, Jackie Mittoo, John Holt, Ska with tags , , , on January 5, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Jackie Mittoo’s jazzy-funky reggae keyboard sensibility is at once as pervasive and singular as any in the history of Jamaican pop music, and in some ways his organ work sounds like Jimmy Smith was thrown into a blender with Booker T. Jones and Peter Tosh and then jolted with equal shots of lounge, dub, and acid jazz. It’s pretty infectious stuff, bright and spooky by turns, and always right in the pocket, full of a kind of soulful joy, even on the darker pieces.”
YouTube: Drum Song, Big Bad Organ, Champion Of The Arena
soundcloud: Drum Song Dub