Dry & Heavy – Burning Spear (1977)

Posted in Burning Spear with tags on August 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“… It wasn’t until several years later that I discovered the incredible release known as ‘Dry and Heavy’, and it remains at the top of my desert island list today. From the opening signature Horsemouth Wallace drum lead-in to ‘Any River’ all the way through to the final strains of Mr. Rodney’s voice chanting Freedom at the end of side two… the many layers of guitars, organ, clav, nyabhingi percussion, and horns, all played in what we lovingly refer to as the elusive ‘cultural tuning’, never gets overly dense. And for connoisseurs of the string machine, there is plenty to love here. Looking back on it now I realize what it was that turned me on so much about ‘Marcus Garvey’ when I first heard it. It’s the restraint. You get the sense that the Spear is keeping cool amidst chaos, mostly holding back the full force of his Voice. There are a few moments on side one where you get brief blasts of power – during the outros of ‘The Sun’ and especially ‘Throw Down Your Arms’ emerge the guttural percolations of a man channeling his slave ancestors suffering and wailing. And toward the end of the title track, finally, the triumph of the Spear-it rings out. Loud and Clear. That dynamic plays out in his live set as well. The restraint and the triumph. …”
10ft Ganja Plant
YouTube: Dry & Heavy 32:09

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Barry Brown – From Creation / Man There (1979)

Posted in Barry Brown, Bunny Lee with tags , on August 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Barry Brown (c. 1962, Jamaica — 29 May 2004) was a Jamaican reggae singer, initially coming to prominence in the 1970s with his work with Bunny Lee, but remaining popular throughout his career. Barry Brown was one of a number of singers to find success in the 1970s under record producer Bunny Lee. After forming a short-lived group called The Aliens with Rod Taylor and Johnny Lee, Brown went solo. … One of the most successful artists of the early dancehall era, Brown worked with some of Jamaica’s top producers of the time, including Linval Thompson, Winston ‘Niney The Observer’ Holness, Sugar Minott and Coxsone Dodd, as well as releasing self-produced material. …  After releasing eleven albums between 1979 and 1984, Brown’s releases became more sporadic, although his work continued to feature prominently on sound systems such as those of Jah Shaka. …”
Wikipedia
YouTube: From Creation / Man There

I Roy – Trust No Shadow After Dark (1979)

Posted in Bunny Lee, Channel One, I-Roy, Joe Gibbs, Riddims with tags , , , , on August 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The late, great I Roy will forever be remembered for his phenomenal work for producers like Gussie Clarke, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee. Or his association with the Channel One studio. Or his famous feuds with Prince Jazzbo, which were recorded and released in a series of very entertaining records. Or maybe even for the tragic end of his life: when I Roy left this world he was suffering from ill health, was homeless and had just found out his son was killed in prison. Being the legend he was, all material recorded by the man is definitely worth checking out, but in all fairness: his greatest work was captured by other producers and he won’t be remembered for his output for Joe Gibbs. I Roy didn’t record much for Joe to begin with, a few good tunes here and there and an album produced by Bunny Lee in 1979 (which is pretty good, Johnny Clarke sings the melody parts) and that’s it. That said, this recording from 1975 is quite a gem. I Roy sounds upbeat and seems well at home riding the awkward stepping riddim, which updates the Meditations’ ‘Woman is like a shadow.’ Laughing, growling and toasting his way through the track, this makes for one of the finer obscure I Roy records out there. It’s one of those overlooked recordings that turn out a catch when you find it and makes you wonder why it isn’t featured on more compilations out there. In the case of I Roy the answer to that question might be because his back-catalogue of hits is just too large and this isn’t one of them. Don’t let that bother you, though. It makes it all the more worthwhile to track this 7 inch down. …”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: Trust No Shadow After Dark

Prince Alla – Bosrah (1976)

Posted in Black Ark, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Prince Alla with tags , , on August 9, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Those familiar with the biblical story of King Melchizedek may mistakenly believe that Prince Alla is paying tribute to that most esteemed of regal priests. Their confusion is understandable, though, for roots artists often give a Rastafarian twist to a Biblical verse, in Alla‘s case, Hebrews 7:3. The Old Testament held up Melchizedek as the quintessential priest and the most righteous of religious men, but listeners learn more of him from the apostle Paul, who told the Hebrews that Melchizedek was also a ‘king of peace, without father, without mother, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life…abideth a priest continually.’ Although Alla paraphrases this verse, he’s not referring to the King of Salem at all; in fact, he’s actually paying tribute to Prince Edward Emmanuel. This Rastafarian elder was leader of the Bobo sect to which Alla belongs, and had often drawn parallels between himself and Melchizedek. Tapper Zukie was thoroughly impressed with the Prince‘s homage. Just out of his teens, the young DJ was eager to cross into production, and ‘Bosrah’ was to become one of his first recordings. The toaster and singer set to work at the Black Ark studio, with Lee Perry stepping in to help with the arrangement. Alla‘s preaching is suitably bold, while behind him Roy ‘Soft’ Palmer and Melodian Tony Brevett add their own strong, close harmonies. The fabulous riddim is a fiery version of Burning Spear‘s ‘Joe Frazier,’ which Zukie would remix for his own In Dub album. the Prince‘s single, credited to Ras Allah & the Prophets, was originally released in Jamaica by Vivian ‘Yabby You’ Jackson, and then by Zukie‘s own Stars label, before being picked up for U.K. consumption by K&B Records. – Jo-Ann Greene”
allmusic
amazon: Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae
YouTube: Bosrah

Bob Soul / King Tubby / Billy Hutch

Posted in Augustus Pablo with tags on August 5, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“At long last, in proper quality and officially licensed, we present a pair of records long worked at, historically important, largely unheard, and most of all, musically brilliant. Above all, the dub mixes on these records are known among connoisseurs as being among a handful which can not only be considered a definitive King Tubby’s style statement, but also among the most radical, transformative and forward thinking mixes ever committed to tape by the King himself. This is proper King Tubby’s music; Tubby the man, not just Tubby’s the studio. These two 12″s represent most of the known cuts of this brilliant rhythm, played by the Wailers’ Barrett brothers, alongside Earl Chinna Smith, Augustus Pablo and Gladdy Anderson, all together truly a rhythmic force to be reckoned with. ‘Message from the Congo’ and ‘God Is Love’ are two vocals cuts produced via the mid 1970’s partnership of Milton ‘Billy Hutch’ Hutchinson and the late Linton ‘Bob Soul’ Williamson. …”
DKR Brooklyn
YouTube: Message From The Congo / King Tubby – Congo Dread Chapter 1, King Tubby and Sampson – Drums Of Love

 

Gregory Isaacs & the Roots Radics (BBC 1981)

Posted in Gregory Isaacs with tags on July 28, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“My favorite track by Gregory is ‘Confirm Reservation.’ The tune was written and produced by Gregory Isaacs and, perhaps more than any other tune, it showcases the brilliance of his songwriting. Upon first listen it might sound like several other Gregory tunes that have an overt lovers rock vibe, however, “Confirm Reservation” is one of Gregory’s most honest, personal and deeply spiritual tunes:
I’d really like to make you confirm reservation
So here I am with my application
I wanna be with my friends and family
Where the living is much easier for me
‘Cause in this town I can’t take the vibes no more, ah
No, Gregory is not leaving town.  He is very clearly singing about an eternity in Zion.  By the early 1980s Gregory was losing a battle against a severe cocaine addiction.  It is a demon that would eventually destroy his voice, ruin his career, and leave him dead at 59 years old.  He longs for an eternity in Zion, free from the chains of his illness…Cause in this town I can’t take the vibes no more, ah…’  … It is really such a brilliantly-written tune.  There aren’t many artists who could muster the courage to look in the mirror and tell the world what they see.  That is exactly what Gregory does here.  A very well-known reggae producer once told me that in his 30+ years in the business he met only two true geniuses.  The first is Sly Dunbar.  The other is Gregory Isaacs.  He said Gregory has a perpetual song in his head.  All he has to do is decide to write it down. This version of “Confirm Reservation” comes from the BBC Radio sessions that Gregory did in 1981 backed by the Roots Radics.  I think it sounds even better than the original 7″ mix.  In 1981 Gregory’s voice was still in top form and his vocal performance on this track is phenomenal. …”
Midnight Raver
YouTube: Confirmed Reservation / Sad to Know / Front Door / Substitute

Prince Allah – Naw Go A Funeral + Version (1978)

Posted in Dub, Joe Gibbs with tags , on July 28, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Keith Blake (born 10 May 1950), better known as Prince Alla (sometimes Prince Allah or Ras Allah) is a Jamaican roots reggae singer whose career began in the 1960s, and has continued with a string of releases into the 2000s. Born in St. Elizabeth, and raised in Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica, Blake’s career began in the vocal group The Leaders with Milton Henry and Roy Palmer, who recorded three tracks for producer Joe Gibbs in the late 1960s. When The Leaders broke up, Blake continued to work with Gibbs, who issued his debut solo release, ‘Woo Oh Oh’. Blake had been interested in the Rastafari movement since he had a vision as a child, and in 1969, Blake’s Rastafarian faith saw him get heavily involved in Jamaica’s camp community, withdrawing from the music scene and living in Prince Emmanuel Edwards‘ camp at Bull Bay. …”
Wikipedia
YouTube: Naw Go A Funeral + Version