Label
Riddim
Format
Date

17 North Parade
Various classic riddims
7 x 7" Box Set (Special Limited Edition)
November 3, 2012

Artist & tune

  • Augustus Pablo & Bongo Herman - Java Passion / Winston Wright & Impact All-Stars - Wood Pecker
  • Hortense Ellis - Woman Of The Ghetto / Broadway - Guns In The Ghetto
  • Roots & The Wailers Band - Evil That You Do / The Wailers Band - Don Won Dub
  • Ansel Collins & Skin Flesh & Bones - Spanish Town Road / Impact All Stars - S-Corner Dub
  • Black Uhuru - Going To Zion / Impact All-Stars - Zion Dub
  • The Gladiators - The Race / Impact All-Stars - The Race Version
  • African Brothers - Hold Tight / Impact All-Stars - Tight Dub
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
After earlier releases such as "Joe Gibbs 7" Spectacular Parts 1 & 2", Culture's "Seven Sevens Clash" and "Channel 1 7" Spectacular", "Roots Rock Randy's" is the next release of 17 North Parade's highly collectable vinyl box sets. This new 7 x 7" vinyl box set focuses on tunes that were produced by Clive Chin and recorded & mixed by the late dub pioneer Errol 'ET' Thompson in Randy's Recording Studio 17 situated above Randy's Record Mart on 17 North Parade in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. The tunes gathered here were recorded between 1971-74, and while a few titles are familiar from previous 7" vinyl reissues, this set also includes a few tunes that re-appear on 7" vinyl for the first time since they were initially released in the first half of the 1970s.

History has learnt that Randy's Studio 17, situated above Randy's Record Mart and in operation from 1968 until 1977, was a key recording location in the development of reggae. Most of the Wailers/Lee Perry material, Bunny 'Striker' Lee's hits with Delroy Wilson, John Holt, Slim Smith and Pat Kelly, Niney's hits with Dennis Brown, and Burning Spear's "Marcus Garvey" album were recorded there. Around 1971, Clive Chin -- son of owner Vincent Chin -- started to produce his own music. "Young Love" was his first effort (released on the flipside of The Skatalites single "Away From It All"), followed by a now classic instrumental called "Java" by Augustus Pablo. Behind the success of Randy's Studio 17 was one of the greatest Jamaican recording & mixing engineers, Errol 'ET' Thompson, later scoring hit after hit when he started working with producer Joe Gibbs in 1975.

Included in this limited edition 7" vinyl box set are two different takes of Augustus Pablo's "Java". In 1972 Clive Chin had originally recorded a vocal by Dennis Wright on the riddim, but unhappy with the result he then asked his friend Augustus Pablo to play on it, and the resulting record was a massive success that launched Pablo's career. The success of "Java" encouraged Clive Chin to issue further cuts of the riddim, including a different version with percussionist Bongo Herman called "Java Passion". It's backed by a next cut to "Java", "Wood Pecker" by keyboard player Winston Wright. At the time "Java" was a relentless and innovative riddim and although recorded four decades ago it's still worthwhile hearing versions of this riddim.

During 1972 and 1973 Clive Chin produced a string of top-quality vocal hits including Dennis Brown's "Cheater", Lloyd Parks' "Ordinary Man", Errol Dunkley's "Created By The Father", Gregory Isaacs' "Lonely Soldier" and also Hortense Ellis' wonderful "Woman Of The Ghetto", which is included here. The tune is underpinned by a great riddim, which can be fully experienced when listening to Broadway's "Guns In The Ghetto". Clive Chin also produced hardcore roots music with unknowns (mostly backed by the 1975 Wailers band) as can be heard when listening to the solid "Evil That You Do" by female group Roots. The Wailers Band's "Don Won Dub" (totally different from the B-side of the original 7" single on the Impact label) is a good example of 'ET' Thompson's dub style at Randy's. Ansel Collins' awesome "Spanish Town Road" carries a prominent melodica and guitar sound and wicked bassline. This piece, and "S-Corner Dub" on the B-side, are simply great to hear.

By 1974 Clive Chin was also beginning to gain a reputation as a young producer who understood the rebel vibes of roots outfits like the first incarnation of Black Uhuru and The Gladiators, and African Brothers. No real hits came from recordings sessions with these artists, but this doesn't imply that the music ain't that good. Just listen to Black Uhuru's wonderful "Going To Zion", The Gladiators' outstanding "The Race" and the matching "Hold Tight" by the African Bothers, and you can only draw the conclusion that these tunes are truly superb. Needless to say that it's a real joy to have the dub versions on the flipside. In particular "The Race Version" is wicked and wild. Killer dub!!

The seven 7" vinyl records are presented in a nicely designed flip top cardboard box, with each 7" single being inserted in a card facsimile Randy's record sleeve and each title being imprinted with an original Randy's label. Inside the box the buyer finds a bonus download card for MP3 versions of all the tracks.