Archive for Coxsone Dodd

The Royals – Pick Up the Pieces (2002)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Dancehall, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, Pressure Sounds with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The story of Roy Cousins and the Royals is, sadly, a fairly common one in Jamaican music. The body of work the group released between the years 1973 and 1979 rightly places them amongst the finest vocal acts of the roots era. Yet the failure of various producers and distributors to support the group, and constant changes in membership, led to their eventual obscurity outside of a relatively small group of reggae collectors. Thankfully, Pressure Sounds has sought to remedy this situation with this enhanced restoration of the group’s classic 1977 debut, Pick up the Pieces. Though the Royals toured the usual Jamaican studio circuit, recording for Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, and others, it wasn’t until Cousins began funding and supervising the group’s sessions that their music was given the necessary space to develop on record. What followed was a string of stunning, heartfelt releases showcasing the tight harmony singing of the shifting lineup, including ‘Ghetto Man,’ ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Only for a Time,’ and the classic title track. The U.S. soul stylings of the Drifters and the Temptations were an early influence. This explains in part why these titles are some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced. Cousins moved to the U.K. in the late ’70s and left the group shortly thereafter to focus on producing, thus ending an important chapter in the group’s history. This reissue, then, is a much-needed testament to his work, made even more valuable with a host of bonus cuts appearing for the first time on CD. Another gem in the Pressure Sounds catalog.”
allmusic

Pick Up the Pieces is the debut album from Jamaican roots reggae group The Royals, collecting recordings made between 1973 and 1977, and produced by Royals lead vocalist and only constant member Roy Cousins. Musicians on the album include members of The Wailers, Soul Syndicate, The In Crowd, and the Now Generation. The album was later licensed to United Artists subsidiary Ballistic Records, and was reissued in an expanded form in 2002 by Pressure Sounds. The songs on the album have been described as ‘some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced.'”
Wikipedia

“Reggae singer, songwriter and producer Roy Anthony Cousins will forever be associated with the very dignified cultural Studio One single ‘Pick Up The Pieces, done as singer and leader of the vocal group The Royals. And although there will hardly be a reggae fan who doesn’t know the song and/or its riddim, it’s doubtful if most reggae aficionados know that the man has left an indelible mark on the reggae scene. With The Royals – an ever-changing line up of harmony singers – he released three full length albums (‘Ten Years After’, ‘Israel Be Wise’ and ‘Moving On’), but not that many long-time reggae fans will know that he has released about 100 albums as a producer. Among them are sets with artists such as Devon Russell, Winston Jarrett, Earl Sixteen, Don Carlos & Gold, Charlie Chaplin, Knowledge, Pablove Black, Winston Francis, Jah Stitch and Prince Far I. Back in 1983 Roy Cousins took the Finnish Cool Runnings Posse, Tero Kaski and Pekka Vuorinen, under his wings. They travelled around in Kingston in his pick-up van and he took them to Channel One and Harry J when he had hired the studios for his artists like for example Charlie Chaplin. They also managed to do an interview with Roy Cousins, one of the very few he has done. Many thanks to Pekka Vuorinen for giving permission to publish that interview and for providing photos. Also thanks to Ray Hurford and to Roy Cousins, who generously provided samples of his extensive catalogue. This interview, along with other noteworthy interviews from the early eighties, was published in the book ‘Volcano Revisited – Kingston Dancehall Scene 1984’ (Eronen 2011). …”
Reggae Vibes

iTunes

YouTube: Pick Up The Pieces 1:04:28

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Lee Perry Presents: Dub Treasure From The Black Ark (Rare Dubs 1976-1978)

Posted in Black Ark, Clancy Eccles, Coxsone Dodd, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , , on March 11, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Jamaican Recordings dust off a prime box of rare Lee Perry tricks, apparently from the Black Ark circa 1976-1978. The Black Ark was in operation from 1974 until the early ’80s when it suffered an unfortunate, and some might say inevitable, demise. Located in Perry’s back yard at 5 Washington Gardens, Kingston, JA, the studio’s equipment was modest compared with other setups on the island – including a Teac 4-track recorder, soundcraft mixing desk, Echoplex delay and phaser FX with a Roland RE201 Space Echo, but of course, it’s not what you got, it’s what you do with it that counts! And Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry made some of his most definitive tracks during this period, surrounded by an ever increasing circle of nyabinghi-playing Rastas. It’s that drumming and the sense of ‘whooshing; psychedelic space that defines the 16 tracks from this era and sets this body of work apart from the rest of his catalogue. Check out for the frivolous vibes of ‘Party Dub’, the tumbling dubble time syncopations of ‘Hot A Hot Dub’ or the CD only bonus cut ‘Baby Talk’, featuring the recurring (and occasionally disturbing) theme of babbling babies set amidst breathtakingly dynamic and dextrous FX. Killah sound.”
Boomkat

“Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Black Ark Studio opened its doors in 1974. Situated in his backyard at 5 Washington Gardens,Kingston, Jamaica. Using only basic equipment, a Teac Four-Track Recorder, a Soundcraft mixing desk, an Echoplex delay unit and later adding a Phaser effects unit that he used in conjunction with his Roland RE201 Space Echo. He managed mixing down the tracks from Four track to Two track to make his distinctive whirling sound that sets apart the Black Ark Sound from the other Jamaican Studios. Born Rainford Hugh Perry, 28 March 1936, Hanover, Jamaica. He began his career at the grand age of 16, working for Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd’s sound system, rising quickly to the position of record scout and organising recording sessions during his 3 year period 1963-1966. Restlessness and unsatisfied with credit he felt due to him he moved on to work with Producers J.J. Johnson and Clancy Eccles, the later of which would help him set up his ‘Upsetter’ label in 1968,which would see his first of many recordings telling the injustices done to him by previous employers. ‘The Upsetter’ track itself pointed at Mr Dodd but reflected back to Perry when he inherited it as a nick name alongside many others during the course of his career, including ‘Scratch’, again taken from one of his recordings ‘Chicken Scratch’ recorded in 1965/1966. …”
Jamaican Recordings

iTunes, amazon

YouTube: Dub Treasures From The Black Ark Rare Dubs 1976-1978>/a> 50:15

Jah Woosh ‎– Jah Woosh (1974)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Neville Beckford with tags , , on February 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“In a crowded field, toaster Jah Woosh — born Neville Beckford in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1952 — left his mark on the roots age with a string of popular singles and a series of seminal albums. Haile Selassie’s 1966 state visit to Jamaica prompted Beckford’s conversion to Rastafarianism, and Prince Lloyd’s Sound System made an equal musical impact, providing a launching pad for Beckford’s career. He teamed up with friend Reggae George as Neville & George, but the pair famously failed auditions for both Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, bringing the partnership to a swift end. George Bell, however, sent the newly christened Jah Woosh into the studio in 1972, although ‘Morwell Rock’ never gained a proper release. However, ‘Angela Davis’ and ‘Mr. Buyer’ arrived on 45 the following year. The single caused a few ripples, and 1974’s ‘Magnet Scorcher’ created a few more, but it was when the toaster joined forces with Rupie Edwards that his career took off. His 1974 eponymous album was a smash, rising to the top of the Jamaican chart, and wowing reggae fans in the U.K. as well. …”
allmusic
YouTube: Cactus Records – 1974 34:40

Alton Ellis – Mad Mad (1967)

Posted in Alton Ellis, Coxsone Dodd, Studio One with tags , , on January 28, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“With an exuberant blast of brass, ‘Mad Mad’ surged into the sound systems in 1967 to eventually become one of Studio One’s most beloved riddims. Intricately arranged by Jackie Mittoo, the song was not one of the label’s typically lavish rocksteady fare. For starters, the melody line was slighter and far less lush than usual, while the chorus didn’t actually jog with the verses. However, Mittoo made it work regardless, building the arrangement around a compulsive rhythm, jangling cowbell and the song’s signature brass line, all offset only by Mittoo’s own sparkling piano…and Alton Ellis’s soulful vocals abetted by the warm harmonies, of course. … It was a particular favorite of Junjo Lawes, who scored big with the song’s most popular version, Michigan & Smiley’s ‘Diseases’, and continues to be versioned to this day.”
allmusic
YouTube: Mad Mad / Diseases (Alton Ellis, Michigan & Smiley)

“Simmer Down” – The Skatalites (1963)

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Coxsone Dodd, Peter Tosh, Ska, Studio One with tags , , , , on December 27, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“‘Simmer Down’ was the first single released by The Wailers, accompanied by the ska supergroup, The Skatalites, and produced by Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd in 1963. It was the number one hit in Jamaica in February, 1964. The song was directed to the ‘Rude Boys’ of the ghettos of Jamaica at the time, sending them a message to cool down or ‘Simmer Down’ with all the violence and crime going on in Kingston. The subject matter of ‘Simmer Down’ made The Wailers stand out amongst their contemporaries. The Wailers at this time contained Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Cherry Smith, and Beverley Kelso. It was Bob Marley’s first hit and his career as a songwriter and performer took off from there. Although ‘Simmer Down’ was a hit, Peter Tosh, one of the three original Wailers, has said in an interview that he hated it.”
Wikipedia

“The Skatalites are a ska band from Jamaica. They played initially between 1963 and 1965, and recorded many of their best known songs in the period, including ‘Guns of Navarone.’ They also played on records by Prince Buster and backed many other Jamaican artists who recorded during that period.[1] They reformed in 1983 and have played together ever since.The founders of the Skatalites were Tommy McCook (died 1998), Rolando Alphonso (died 1998), Lloyd Brevett (died 2012), Lloyd Knibb (died 2011), Don Drummond (died 1969), Jah Jerry Haynes (died 2007), Jackie Mittoo (died 1990), Johnny Moore (died 2008) and Jackie Opel (died 1970). These ten musicians started to play together from 1955, when Kingston’s recording studios started to develop. Tommy McCook was the first member of the band to record, though not for commercial release: he played with Don Hitchman’s Group in 1953. In spring 1964, The Skatalites recorded their first LP Ska Authentic at Studio One in Kingston and toured Jamaica as the creators of ska. …”
The Skatalites – Simmer down

YouTube: Simmer down, I Don’t Need Your Love

Dennis Brown & Superstar Friends – Reggae Legends

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Dennis Brown, Studio One with tags , , on November 19, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Dennis Brown, born 1st February 1957, was a child star in Jamaica after recording the Van Dykes song ‘No Man Is An Island’ for Studio One in 1970. Besides recording albums for Coxsone Dodd he worked with numerous producers who all acknowledged his incredible talent. Joe Gibbs and Niney the Observer recorded extensive and highly successful material with the vocalist, Sly & Robbie & Derrick Harriott amongst others also benefited from his talents and vice versa. He established his own DEB label in 1978 and (self-)produced various roots classics before the label folded in 1979. For his impressive voice, countless hits and widely acknowledged credibility he was nicknamed the Crown Prince of Reggae. After dancehall music became more popular than roots reggae he also scored hits during the eighties. In the mid 90’s his health got worse due to a drug addiction, his shining moments got more sparse and in 1999 he died because of a collapsed longue. His legacy is one of the biggest catalogues in reggae history. …”
Reggae Vibes
Discogs
amazon
YouTube: DENNIS BROWN & SUPERSTAR FRIENDS (REGGAE LEGENDS) 1:30:45

King Tubby meets Larry Marshall – I admire you in dub (2000)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Dub, King Tubby, Larry Marshal with tags , , , on October 24, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Larry Marshal, born 1941, St. Anns, Jamaica, had his greatest successes recording for Coxsone Dodd. He worked as an engineer in Coxsone’s studios and was able to voice a string of outstanding singles, sampled on the excellent ‘Presenting Larry Marshall’. In the mid 70s he produced his own album ‘I Admire You’, which enjoyed memorable success. In the 90s HeartBeat re-released the album with added bonus cuts. Although he occasionally releases an album, he’s best remembered for his work in the 70s. … Motion Records has added some fine bonus tracks and I just love the album ! Snatches of Larry Marshall’s voice are included in a lot of dubs. These dubs are largely gimmick-free, placing an emphasis on the tightness and solidity of their musical core; the transforming power of dub’s re-organisation ultimately highlights the weighty expressiveness of the songs’ wordless melody and rhythm. The tracks were actually mixed by several engineers : King Tubby, Philip Smart, Pat Kelly and Professor.  The ‘I Admire Album’ was originally released in small quantities by Larry Marshall in Jamaica and the UK on the Java label in 1975. Some tunes on the album were previously released singles on the Carl Patterson Black And White label, both with dub versions by King Tubby. The album was a collection of finely crafted songs with attentive musical arrangements and superb vocal deliveries – a nicely balanced mixture of ballads and reality songs. Musicians on board include : Lloyd Parks, Family Man, Flabba Holt, Ranchie McLean, Douggie Bryan, Peter Tosh, Chinna Smith, Willie Lindo, Sly Dunbar, Carlton Barrett, Bongo Herman and Bobby Kalphat.”
Reggae Vibes
YouTube: I admire you in dub