Archive for the Stranger Cole Category

Jimmy Riley & Stranger Cole – Voice of the people (1971)

Posted in Stranger Cole with tags on June 3, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Legend has it Stranger Cole was so shy, he preferred to sing duets rather than solo tracks. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know, but the great vocalist did sing a lot duets and harmony vocals in his career. Maybe it was his way of making a living, because standard procedure in Jamaica was (and often still is): you get paid to record a song. I’m not going into whether this was fair or not, but, if anything, this does explain the large amount of songs recorded each and every day on the Jamaican music scene. With an output so vast, it is easy to get snowed under and that seems to have been the case with this recording right here. Needless to say, perhaps, but if a song is unnoticed it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad tune. It’s just covered up… And the fact that these things happen (for whatever reason), makes it so much fun for record collectors to try and dig them up. I’m not unveiling anything right here, though, but this great track that is “Voice of the people” is still somewhat overlooked. And that is a damn shame. ‘Voice’ is sung by two men who had both earned their stripes long before this was recorded. Stranger Cole was a hitmaker in both the ska and rocksteady days (and was also doing fine in the early reggae days). Jimmy Riley had been very succesful as a member of both The Sensations and the Uniques (recording classics such as ‘Watch this sound’). …”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Voice of the people

Stranger Cole – Rough & Tough, Baba Brooks – Country Town (1962)

Posted in Duke Reid, Eric Morris, Ska, Stranger Cole with tags , , , on April 18, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Stranger Cole had already penned one hit, Eric ‘Monty’ Morris’ ‘In and out the Window,’ before producer Duke Reid gave him a shot at recording his own songs. Rough and Tough was one of the first the singer cut, assuming he had actually written it. There are conflicting stories about this number. One entertaining tale credits the lyrics to Lee Perry, who was incensed when Reid handed it to the untried Cole to sing. When he complained, the producer settled the matter with his fist. Cole, however, begged to differ and insisted he composed the song himself in response to his girlfriend flirting with another man. In any event, it’s a tough little number, although the suave teen, sounding older than his years, delivers the devastating lyrics with a nonchalant flair that’s all the more insulting. Duke Reid’s All Stars, comprised from an aggregate of future Skatalites, lay down a suitably punchy rhythm, all jumped-up beats, pushy harmonica, and strident trumpet, courtesy of Baba Brooks. Released in 1962, ‘Rough’ tussled its way to the top of the Jamaican chart and fought off all contenders for months thereafter. Stranger Cole was a stranger no longer to his island home.”

Soundcloud: “Rough and Tough” Stranger Cole (Duke Reid)” (Video)

YouTube: Rough & Tough, Baba Brooks – Country Town