Archive for the Max Romeo Category

Rude Reggae: Rough Riders

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Laurel Aitken, Max Romeo, Nora Dean, Prince Buster, Ska with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

roughrider
“We are back with another Reggae article! ‘Rude Reggae – Rough Riders’ has been taken from a Black Music Magazine from 1974. It was, in fact, part of a special called Sexy Soul, Blue Blues and Rude Reggae. The author of the Reggae section was Carl Gayle, as usual, providing an entertaining and interesting read. … At its worst, rude reggae can plumb the depths of childish smut. At its best, it has an earthy and unselfconscious directness which can make the prudest of prudes explode with laughter. Rude reggae has always been around, but it wasn’t until about two years ago that most British record buyers got their first mild taste of it through the work of the jokey, amiable Judge Dread and his ‘Big Six’ (later followed by ‘Big Seven’ and ‘Big Eight’). ‘Big Six’ was banned by the BBC, which boosted its sales. But in truth Dread’s songs are pretty tame and it is significant that his most suggestive track, ‘Dr. Kitch’, is not his own song but simply a version of the original calypso by Lord Kitchener, issued in Britain a decade ago on the fielding Island label – Jump Up- (and covered by Georgie Fame). …”
bigsix
“… One of Buster’s first rude records was ‘Rough Rider’, released in 1968. The subject of the song is a duel between the consenting couple in which the singer is clearly in some discomfort after losing the first round: ‘She was a rough rider, cool stroker, strong winner. . . / I had a hard night, last night”. A year later Buster was revealing frustration in ‘Wreck a Pum Pum’ with similar aggression: ‘I want a girl to wreck her pum pum / and if she ugly I don’t mind / I have a . . . and I want a grind.’ If there’s one singer who’s had as much influence as Buster on later Jamaican rude records it has to be the inimitable Laurel Aitken, who seems to be at his best when he’s being vulgar. ‘Fire In Your Wire’ was a ‘shocker’ when it appeared in 1968 as much for Aitken’s gruff, exaggerated vocal style as for the potently suggestive music and lyrics. …”
fattyfatty
“… The first set of rude records came from the ‘ska’ era. Justin Hines and The Dominoes made the most notable contribution in this field, Hines’ extravagantly ethnic vocal style lent itself well to the group’s two best known suggestive songs, ‘Penny Reel’ and ‘Rub Up Push Up’. In the latter, he suggests an ideal ways of making it up after a quarrel: ‘You rub up, you push up, you love up because you know you were wrong’. The Heptones’ biggest selling record ‘Fatty Fatty’ (1967) was their first ever record and was their only flirtation with the rude medium. It’s a cool atmospheric rocksteady song exposing the singer’s frustration as he begins to look forward to what he’d like to be doing tonight. …”
The Ballroom Blitz
bangbanglulu
YouTube: Judge Dread – Big Six, Lord Kitchener – Dr. Kitch aka The Needle (1963), Prince Buster & All Stars – Rough Rider, Prince Buster – Wreck A Pum Pum, Laurel Aitken – Pussy Price, Justin Hines And The Dominoes – Rub Up Push Up, The Heptones – Fattie Fattie, Derrick Morgan – Kill Me Dead, Lloyd Terrel – Bang Bang Lulu, Max Romeo – Wet Dream, Nora Dean – Barbwire, Wailing Wailers – Bend Down Low

Advertisements

Max Romeo – Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977 (1999)

Posted in Max Romeo with tags on August 19, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

romeo
“For reggae neophytes who first encountered Jamaican music in the punk ’70s, Max Romeo seemed like kind of a one-trick pony who rode the big-time rep he deservedly got for the 1976 classic War ina Babylon to legendary status in reggae circles. Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977 shows there’s more depth to that reputation, because these tracks largely drawn from his 1975 Revelation Time are prime examples of simple but creative roots reggae marked by Romeo’s expressive, unadorned singing and further enhanced by exceptional sound restoration that even surpasses Blood & Fire’s usual superb norm. ‘Every Man Ought to Know’ is a Jah-praise song with a nyabinghi tinge and sweet singing with great backing vocals, an unusual bubble-up bassline, plus hints of ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ and a direct quote from ‘What a Friend I Have in Jesus’ in the melody. …”
allmusic

YouTube: Open the iron gate (FULL ALBUM)

Max Romeo – Every Man Ought To Know (1973)

Posted in Bunny Lee, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Max Romeo with tags , , on June 3, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

max-romeo-every-man-ought-to-know
“The origins of this song, originally featured on Max Romeo’s incendiary Revelation Time album of 1975, are interesting. The instrumental part had initially been recorded by the Upsetters under the direction of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry as a backing track for Leo Graham, who recorded the nursery rhyme in a relatively straight manner. The rhythm proved popular enough that it was subsequently used, as was customary at the time, by several other artists as well, notably the deejays I Roy and Dillinger. Perry himself joined forces with the Ethiopians to record ‘I Am a Dreadlocks’ over the same rhythm, as a volley in what was then an ongoing dispute between Rastafarians who wore dreadlocks and those who did not. But the most powerful interpretation of the ‘Three Blind Mice’ rhythm was this one, on which Romeo uses the nursery-rhyme theme as a departure point for a bitter denunciation of police harrassment in the Rastafarian community. Perry’s splashy and dense production style is a perfect fit for the nervous and outraged lyrics, and the simplictic melody adds an element of bitter sarcasm to the song.”
allmusic

YouTube: Every Man Ought To Know, Three Blind Mice

Max Romeo & the Upsetters – War Ina Babylon (1976)

Posted in Dancehall, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Max Romeo, The Upsetters with tags , , , , on June 8, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

maxx
“Like the epochal Police & Thieves by Junior Murvin, which also originated at Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Black Ark Studio and thus shares with this album Perry’s trademark dark, swampy ambience, War ina Babylon is something of a mountain on the reggae landscape. But what makes it so remarkable is not just the consistently high quality of the music — indeed, by 1976 one had come to expect nothing but the finest and heaviest grooves from Perry and his studio band, the Upsetters — rather, it’s the fact that Max Romeo had proved to be such a convincing singer of cultural (or ‘conscious’) reggae after several years of raking it in as a purveyor of the most abject slackness. (His ‘Wet Dream’ had been a huge hit in England several years earlier, and had been followed by such other delicacies as ‘Wine Her Goosie’ and ‘Pussy Watch Man.’) But there’s no denying the authority of his admonishing voice here, and the title track (which describes the violent mood during Jamaica’s 1972 general election) has remained a standard for decades. Other highlights include ‘One Step Forward’ and ‘Smile Out a Style.’ Essential to any reggae collection.”
allmusic

YouTube: One Step Forward, Uptown Babies Don’t Cry, I chase the Devil, War In A Babylon / Revelation Dub, Norman ‘includes Dub’ (Reggae Dancehall Revival), Smile out a style