Bronco / Rock A Shacka
7" single
October 25, 2011

Artist & tune

  • Boris Gardiner - A Groovy Kind Of Love / Boris Gardiner - Bobby Socks To Stockings
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
The Japan based Rock A Shacka label continues to reissue some real nice, sought-after tunes from way back, for which collectors have to pay exorbitant high prices when they want to add the original releases to their collection. This time it's a 7" vinyl single featuring two Boris Gardiner songs from the rocksteady era namely "A Groovy Kind Of Love" and "Bobby Socks To Stockings".

Born 13 January 1946, Kingston, Jamaica, Boris Gardiner started his musical career in the 60s, first as a member of groups such as The Rhythm Aces (with Richard Ace, Delano Stewart & Richard Moss) and The Souvenirs, followed by Carlos Malcolm's band (then starting to play the bass), Byron Lee's Dragonaires, The Broncos and The Boris Gardiner Happening. Besides being a consummate session player, anchoring the riddim section in a number of bands including The Crystalites, Now Generation, The Aggrovators, and The Upsetters, with whom he memorably played bass on classic Lee Perry productions like Junior Murvin's "Police & Thieves" and the Congos' "Heart Of The Congos", Boris Gardiner was also a hotel bandleader playing watery pop hit interpretations for the tourists.

So it's not really surprising that many of his tunes as a vocalist were crafted for the hotel crowds and locals alike. Boris Gardiner's mellow, soulful voice graced international chart hits such as the reggae-pop tune "Elizabethan Reggae" and the MOR reggae ballad "I Wanna Wake Up With You", which hit number 1 in the UK charts. The A-side of the single features an interesting adaptation of the Mindbenders 1965 Pop hit, "A Groovy Kind Of Love". The latter was also done by Hortense Ellis for Studio One, but Boris Gardiner definitely makes a far better impression with his self-produced version. The song's organ-led intro, strongly reminiscent of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", paves the way for the heartfelt vocal delivery of Boris Gardiner, making this tune one of his finest moments. The flipside treats the listener to the matching "Bobby Socks To Stockings", which tells of the transition of a young girl to womanhood, with Boris Gardiner's sweet vocal delivery shining bright once more.