Archive for Duke Reid

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.”

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.'”

“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


YouTube: Pick Up The Pieces 1:04:28

Jah Woosh ‎– Jah Woosh (1974)

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

“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. …”
YouTube: Cactus Records – 1974 34:40

Freddie McKay – Doin’ It Right (1999)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid with tags , on June 24, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Freddie McKay’s gritty, soulful vocal style made him one of Jamaica’s best singers, and right from the start with the late-1960s release ‘Love Is a Treasure,’ recorded for Duke Reid, it was obvious that McKay had an uncommon ability to move his listeners. But his work and legacy (McKay died suddenly under somewhat mysterious circumstances in 1986) have been woefully neglected. Although some of his key tracks are scattered across different reggae compilations, albums of McKay material are difficult to find, a situation that this anthology of Alvin Ranglin-produced songs addresses to some extent, since a little McKay is better than none at all. McKay specialized in bittersweet love songs, and while such fare might fall to the maudlin in less capable hands, he had an amazing ability to make it feel as if he was sitting across the table and telling you his story under intimate circumstances. Perhaps his best-known song, the subtle, gorgeous and emotive ‘Picture on the Wall,’ is included here in an expanded version that effectively draws out the telling. ‘How Can I’ and ‘Some a Dem Weh’ are other standouts in a remarkably consistent and cohesive set list. McKay was a subtle singer, and it may take a couple of spins to hear what he is doing with these songs, but when he finally gets to you, you’ll want to listen to the stories he tells again and again.”

YouTube: Love is a treasure, It’s Running Over, Blow Wind

Nora Dean – Must get a man (1970)

Posted in Duke Reid, Nora Dean, Ska with tags , , on May 12, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

YouTube: Must get a man

The Jamaicans – Baba boom (1967)

Posted in Dub, Duke Reid, Ska, The Jamaicans, Tommy McCook, Treasure Isle with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The Jamaicans were a ska/rocksteady trio formed in Jamaica in 1967, consisting of members Tommy Cowan, Norris Weir and Martin Williams. The Jamaicans originally started out as a band known as the Cool Shakes, consisting of Jerry Brown and childhood friend Norris Weir, joined later by Martin Williams. Then Tommy Cowan joined the group to make them a quintet. … They would also take first place in the Island’s Festival Song Contest in 1967 with the rocksteady classic ‘Ba Ba Boom’ (by this time without Jerry in the group), written by Cowan and Weir about the Jamaica Independence Festival. ‘Ba Ba Boom’ was entered in the 1967 Independence Festival Song Competition (now known as the Popular Song Competition), which had been inaugurated by Festival organizers the previous year, and the Jamaicans took home the win that year with their entry, which became their best-known song.”

YouTube: Baba boom, Baba boom version

U Roy – You’ll never get away (1970)

Posted in Duke Reid, Tommy McCook, Treasure Isle, U-Roy with tags , , , on April 5, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

YouTube: You’ll never get away

The Melodians – Swing and Dine (1992)

Posted in Duke Reid, The Melodians, Tommy McCook, Treasure Isle with tags , , , on February 4, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Rather than the customary single lead contrasted by twin harmonies, The Melodians divided lead duties between Tony Brevette and Brent Dowe, with Trevor McNaughton harmonizing with the singer who wasn’t featured on a particular track. This outstanding 16-track collection includes their biggest hits for Treasure Isle. The threesome glided along atop skipping, light rhythms provided by such bands as the Gaytones, Lyn Taitt and the Jets, the Soul Syndicate, and Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. The Melodians primarily did poignant love tunes, although they could also handle evangelical or political material. The set features such classics as ‘Little Nut Tree,’ ‘Hey Girl,’ ‘You Don’t Need Me,’ and ‘Love Is A Doggone Good Thing.’ It’s also thoroughly annotated and superbly mastered.”

YouTube: Swing and Dine, I’ll Get Along Without You, Hey Girl, Come on little girl come on, A Little Nut Tree, I’ll Take You Where the Music’s Playing, No, No Lola (Take Two), Daphne Walking