Gold (The Very Best Of)
Augustus Pablo
Jet Star
22 - 03 - 2002

Track list
  1. Chain Gang
  2. Africa 1983
  3. Java
  4. Mr. Bassie
  5. Natural Way
  6. Pablo Majestic Mood
  7. Rockers Mood
  8. West Abyssinia
  9. East Of River Nile
  10. Up Warika Hill
  11. 555 Crown Street
  12. Pablo Satta
  13. Thunder Clap
  14. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptow
  15. Keep On Dubbing
  16. Jah Light
  17. Too Late
  18. Pablo Dub
  19. Upful Living
  20. Unfinished Melody
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3/4
The late great Augustus Pablo will be remembered as the somewhat frail-looking rastaman, who made an amazing contribution to roots reggae both as a melodica/keyboards player and as a producer with an immediately recognizable style. When he passed away on May 18th, 1999 the reggae community was shocked. Born 1954, St. Andrew, Jamaica, Horace Swaby aka Augustus Pablo, often in ill health, not only was responsible for putting the melodica on the musical map, but he also played a key role in the musical history of Jamaica. In his role as musician and producer he has helped to shape reggae so much that his music can easily be described as "The Sound Of The Seventies".
The legend began in 1969 when a youthful Horace Swaby was standing in Herman Chin-Loy's 'Aquarius' record shop at 9 Constant Spring Road in Kingston, holding a melodica that had been lent to him by a young girl. Herman Chin-Loy, who had a much-deserved reputation for experimenting with new sounds, asked the slightly-built teenager if he could play it and was so taken with the musical response that he booked recording time that same week at Randy's Studio 17 on North Parade in the heart of downtown Kingston. With a tune entitled "Iggy Iggy" Herman Chin-Loy gave the youth his recording debut and more significantly, a new name - AUGUSTUS PABLO - which was not strictly new itself as for the past few months Aquarius record labels had sporadically appeared bearing the credit Augustus Pablo. The follow-up was another instrumental - the first cut of "East Of River Nile" - with Pablo alternating rudimentary but spooky solos on melodica and organ over a jagged riddim. At the age of eighteen Augustus Pablo had his first hit at Randy's for Clive Chin's "Impact" imprint with "Java" and he soon established himself through his releases on his own "Hot Stuff" and legendary "Rockers" label. The way in which the riddims were mixed was also important to Pablo. In common with Vivian Jackson, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee and several others he employed King Tubby to mix his productions. It actually led to the release of an album that confirmed and spread both men's reputation : the 1976 released dub set "King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown".
Working as a producer he often teamed up with a young Jacob Miller, Hugh Mundell, Junior Delgado, but also others such as the Heptones, Locksley Castell, Ricky Grant, Delroy Williams and Norris Reid have also met with some fame on Pablo's unique riddims.
Jet Star's "Gold" album is a raving collection of tunes he recorded in the mid-to-late seventies. For anyone who is familiar with reggae music these tunes bring back memories of days gone by. The flawless selection of tunes features so many classic tracks, covering timeless riddims such as "Mr. Bassie" and "Satta" that it's barely impossible to point out standouts, making this CD probably one of the best Augustus Pablo compilation albums ever.