Archive for the Robbie Shakespeare Category

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″

Advertisements

Culture – Too Long in Slavery (1989)

Posted in Culture, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Sonia Pottinger with tags , , , on January 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

culture_toolonginslavery
“This 13-track compilation is culled from Culture’s three Front Line releases — Harder Than the Rest, Cumbolo, and International Herb. All three date from 1978-79, and were overseen by producer Sonia Pottinger. Pottinger had risen in the rocksteady age and was famed for her straightforward, almost gentle, productions, which placed the focus on the singers, not the rhythms or studio effects. She remained a force into the roots age, even while she eschewed the dread sound so popular in the day. Thus, although thematically Culture was a deeply dread band, and were accompanied in the studio by some of the island’s heaviest hitting roots musicians, all bolstered by the rhythms of Sly & Robbie, these albums had a much lighter musical feel than most cultural offerings from this time. But the lightness nicely counterpoints Joseph Hill’s deeply dread lyrics and Albert Walker and Kenneth Paley’s sublime harmonies, as the trio offered up cultural and sufferer’s songs, fueled by their deeply held Rastafarian beliefs. … The rest of this is set is equally strong, and includes the highlights from this trio of high-quality albums.”
allmusic

“… Despite backing from the rhythmic powerhouse that is Sly & Robbie the bulk of these trackseschew the heavy productions so prevalent of the era. Dub influence is conspicuous by its absence, save for the closing ‘Citizen As A Peaceful Dub.’ Indeed, Culture were very much about the dread lyrics of Joseph Hill and here, above all else, the message is king. Equal rights and cultural emancipation for Rastafarians is the order of the day in Hill’s strictly narrative flow. Such narrow themes could make for a fairly dense listen but repeated plays reveal hidden subtleties – not least the broad scope of the production where all varieties of instrumentation weave into the mix. …”
BBC

YouTube: Too Long in Slavery FULL LONGPLAY (1977-1979)

Sly & Robbie – Riddim: The Best of Sly and Robbie in Dub 1978-1985

Posted in Dub, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar with tags , , on October 15, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

61g279b7bkl
“… RIDDIM collects the duo’s own work in the dub vein between 1978 and 1985. While Sly & Robbie have lent their trademark sound to recordings that range all over the stylistic map, it’s perfectly suited to the deep, heady vibe of instrumental dub. Shakespeare’s pulsing, organic bass bobs and weaves between Dunbar’s fractured, rimshot-filled rhythms, creating grooves that are at once spare, elemental, complex, and irresistible. Ironically, Sly & Robbie man the mixing boards on only a few tracks here, allowing guest producers to assist in constructing their soundscapes. The result is a lengthy, completely satisfying set of instrumental dub that spotlights the talents of one of the world’s most notorious rhythm sections.”
allmusic
YouTube: Riddim: The Best of Sly & Robbie in Dub 1978-1985

Junior Brown – What A Disaster (2015)

Posted in Dub, Pressure Sounds, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar with tags , , , on July 14, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

what-a-disaster-junior-brown
“Three cuts of Junior Brown/ Phil Pratts ‘What a disaster’. The rhythm was recorded in Jamaica by Sly and Robbie and was part of the Dial M for Murder lp. The Junior Brown vocal was voiced in the UK and released on The Mystic label. We have an extra mix added to the Pressure Sounds release by The Disciple. A killer release that comes in a hand stamped bag made out of re-cycled card.”
Pressure Sounds
YouTube: What A Disaster

Dub Chill Out (1996)

Posted in Augustus Pablo, Dub, King Jammy, King Tubby, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Robbie Shakespeare, Scientist, Sly Dunbar with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Ongu-O2+L
“An 18-cut anthology of reggae dub music that, while certainly not perfectly balanced or comprehensive, does a good job in presenting some outstanding creations of several leading dub progenitors. Although leading dub lights King Tubby, King Jammy, Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie, and Scientist are on board, it might be called King Tubby and friends, as he has eight of the 18 selections, sharing billing on a couple with Augustus Pablo. Scientist, by contrast, only has one cut. More important than even distribution, however, is the quality of the individual tracks, which is pretty high, and very heavy on massive reverb, odd percussion, and special effects, as it should be. Listen to Lee Perry’s ‘Upsetting’ for particularly far-out percussion-echo dueling; King Jammy’s ‘Slow Motion’ has the kind of bass that shreds the speaker, with echo that fades away like snowflakes on a warm day. Sometimes there are vocals, sometimes not; vocals in this context, of course, are just another instrument or sound effect, not the tool for a singer’s expression, as they usually are. It would be nice to have some dates or source documentation for the songs; there’s not even a rough indication of the chronological span of the music on the disc. But it’s a good anthology, especially for listeners who want some, but not a ton, of dub on their shelves.”
allmusic

YouTube: Dub Chill Out (Full Album)

Wailing Souls – Jah Jah Give Us Life To Live (1978)

Posted in Channel One, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, The Revolutionaries, Wailing Souls with tags , on July 18, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

w
“In 1971, JoJo Hookim and his brother Ernest entered the music business. The siblings had no previous experience in the industry, and thus, it took several years for them to really have any impact. By 1976, however, their roots sound would rule the island. It was the creation of the house band the Revolutionaries that helped the label reach these heights, the band driven by the phenomenal rhythms of drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare who were now paired regularly for the first time. ‘Jah Jah Give Us Life’ epitomizes the Channel One sound. The arrangement is dense but the sound so clean one can easily distinguish every instrument, from the pretty keyboard flourishes to the sultry bass line, even as the nyahbinghi-flavored percussion patter powerfully underneath. But this is roots with a kick, and instead of the usual hypnotic atmosphere, there’s an up-tempo swing to it all that defines the rockers style. It’s the perfect accompaniment for the Wailing Souls, as they struggle to stay awake to meet the rising sun, so they can offer up their thanks to Jah. Most roots groups deliver up their devotional songs with reverence, but the Souls instead offer theirs with an unquenchable spirit. Life, Jah’s greatest gift, courses through their performance and across the Revolutionaries’ rhythm.”
allmusic

YouTube: Jah Jah Give Us Life To Live (Extended)

King Tubby / Prince Jammy – His Majesty’s Dub (1983)

Posted in Dub, King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar with tags , on June 19, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

OM013CD
“A typically outstanding 1983 dub outing from two masters of the form, HIS MAJESTY’S DUB contains a set of rhythms recorded by the inimitable Jah Woosh at studios all across Jamaica during the early ‘80s, and mixed by dub innovators Prince Jammy and King Tubby. These recordings feature outstanding performances from some of the finest Jamaican instrumentalists of the era, including Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Vin Gordon, Bobby Ellis, and ‘Family Man’ Barrett.”
allmusic

His Majesty’s Dub is a 1976 dub album by King Tubby and Prince Jammy, sometimes credited to Prince Jammy v King Tubbys. It features Carlton Barrett and Sly Dunbar on drums, Robbie Shakespeare and Aston Barrett on bass guitar, and Ansel Collins on keyboards, among other personnel. The album was produced by Jah Woosh, and engineered by King Tubby and Prince Jammy, along with Maxie and frequent collaborator Errol Thompson. The album was recorded at Randy’s in Kingston, Jamaica.”
Wikipedia

YouTube: Prince Jammy v. King Tubby – His Majestys Dub – Rullin Power, Jah Works, King of Kings