Made In Jamaica (Peckings Presents: Soul Vendors, Supersonics & The Sound Dimentions)
CD / LP
June 5, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
When not only my album of 2004, but for
many people the best release of 2004, Delroy Easton 'Bitty' McLean's "Peckings
Presents... On Bond Street With The Supersonics" was released by Peckings, - Chris and Duke, the
owners and managers of Peckings, sons of the legendary George who was the
founder of the Peckings Studio 1 record store, specialized in Studio One
and Treasure Isle label releases out of Shepherds Bush, London, UK - there
was an overwhelming response of reggae listeners worldwide, before in 2006
the concept was taken up again for an equally brilliant various artists
set "Peckings Presents
Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1" on which Bitty McLean was featured on 6
of the 21 tracks. And now Bitty McLean in the company of the Peckings
brothers has visited Bond Street and Brentford Road again, returning with
some (alternative versions of) tunes already featured on "On Bond Street"
and "Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1" and more great new gems and classical
foundation tunes for "Made In Jamaica (Peckings Presents: Soul Vendors,
Supersonics & The Sound Dimentions)".|
He opens this album showcasing once more that he can fit any lyrics and any melody over just about any riddim so perfect and beautiful that it still amazes you every time by dropping the lyrics of the Mighty Diamonds' "Brotherman" over the classic 1966 (despite the liner notes stating 1967) Studio One riddim by Jackie Mittoo & the Soul Vendors "Free Soul" that follows the tune showcase-style. Bitty McLean adds a whole new dimension to the Johnny Ace tune that was sung to rocksteady fame in 1967 by Slim Smith & The Uniques in this special remix (done by Bitty himself for the 'Dub Duke') of "Never Let Me Go", absolutely flawless delivered over the 'Don't Bother Me'-riddim, a.k.a. John Holt's Studio One scorcher 'Stranger In Love' and recently relicked and renamed by Joe Frasier as 'Fingerprint', followed by its Jericho Horns instrumental "Fully Loaded". Bitty shows he is an excellent keyboard player as well with his tribute to the legendary Jackie Mittoo on Peckings' version 4 of Alton Ellis' 1968 'I Can't Stand It'-riddim (the other 3 tunes are included on "Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1") "Sharper Than Barbwire".
"I'm In Love" is Bitty's second take on the stomping 'I Shall Wear A Crown'-riddim by the Richards Brothers that was originally released on Duke's Dutchess label in 1963, Bitty's first being "Only You" on "On Bond Street", before two (to me amidst all beautiful tunes on that album stand-out) tracks taken from "Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1" pop up again, Bitty McLean's superb take on "This Train" over the latin-jazz tinged stomping 'Woman A Come'-riddim - recorded (originally as "Dunga Gun Malungu") in 1964 by Baba Brooks & Marguerita 'The Rumba Queen' Mahfood, the girlfriend of Don Drummond, who stabbed her to death in the early hours of New Year's Day 1965 - followed by the excellent version of it "Holy Mount Zion" featuring the beautiful saxophone melodies of Dean 'Cannon' Frazer.
Bitty McLean has with very very few exceptions (David Rodigan & Tony 'Downbeat' Screw) not cut any dubplates and had this years Summerjam massive exploding when during his show he incorporated snatches of these specials cut for Rodi and Downbeat and now to 'make up' for all soundsystems (praised highly and thanked extensively during that Summerjam performance) for not cutting tunes for them he includes his all sounds for all purposes tune "Sound Boy Killing" based on his own 1994 hittune "Dedicated To The One I Love" that was a cover of a song written by Ralph Bass and Lowman Pauling with a peculiar chart history. Bass and Pauling were members of The '5' Royales, the group that recorded the original version of this song. A version by The Shirelles was a minor hit for them in 1959. The '5' Royales saw a re-release of their own version chart at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. Later that year, The Shirelles re-released their version and watched it rocket up the chart to #3. A subsequent remake by The Mamas and The Papas released on the Dunhill label went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Of course "Sound Boy Killing" a.k.a. "Dedicated To The Sound I Love" is the best version ever recorded in my opinion.
Bitty's vocals were the first ever recorded over the 1971 instrumental 'Ranglin On Bond Street' and now Bitty gives the riddim and his voice a great dubwize treatment (once more for the Dub Duke) for the brilliant "Tell Me (Remix)". The "Sir Peckings Special" instrumental take on the tune that follows might sound like it's an Ernest Ranglin tune, but the guitar played on it is in fact provided by a certain Serge from Spain, who was part of a film crew that came for an interview, making this tune probably even more 'special' ... Bitty then takes over once more on keyboards for tributes to two legendary foundation keyboard wizards "Tribute To Jackie Mittoo" using the Supersonics' riddim track laid for Phyllis Dillon's classic 1967 Treasure Isle tune "Don't Stay Away", improvising on the melody of his own "I've Got Love" and "Tribute To Winston Wright" a.k.a. "Silhouette" that was also included on "Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1" crediting Bitty as Jah Mittoo. And if these 13 tracks would be the complete album, all one can say is, find it, buy it, spin it. This album is as much a classic as "On Bond Street" and as much an album living up the extreme high expectations "On Bond Street" spawned as "Old Skool Young Blood Vol. 1" was, every single note a blazing tribute to the days of ska and rocksteady at Treasure Isle and Studio One. A superb combination of foundation riddims and huge soulful UK-lovers vocals. But it doesn't even stop here, as an absolutely smashing "I've Got Love (Remix)" is included, the rare 1963 original "I Shall Wear A Crown" by the Richards Brothers as released on his Duchess label by Duke Reid and finally to top it off a beautiful stomping ska track that I can't place but that must be heard. I'll say what I said after my last review of a Peckings release, let's all hope for either "Old Skool Young Blood Volume 2" or a one-riddim album featuring the not yet on album collected Peckings releases over the Techniques' 1968 'My Girl'-riddim.