Sings Songs For Today & Tomorrow / Radical Dub Session
Gladstone Anderson / Roots Radics
Digikiller Records / Only Roots Records
2CD / Vinyl LP's
February 22, 2016
CD 1 - GLADSTONE ANDERSON
SINGS SONGS FOR TODAY & TOMORROW
CD 2 - ROOTS RADICS
RADICAL DUB SESSION
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 5|
Gladstone Anderson, also known by his nickname "Gladdy", was born in 1934 in Jones Town, and was taught piano at home by his uncle, the keyboardist and bandleader Aubrey Adams. He became a prominent studio pianist in the late 1950s, when he began working for producer and soundsystem owner Duke Reid. He worked at his Treasure Isle studio, generally replacing Jackie Mittoo when The Skatalites recorded there. He also did sessions for for producers Coxsone Dodd and Leslie Kong, and was a member of Lynn Taitt's band The Jets, playing on many of the key ska and rocksteady recordings, and thus helping to define the ska sound and the rocksteady beat.
Some sources report that he was credited with coming up with the name "rock steady", when he used the term to describe Hopeton Lewis's tune "Take it Easy". He also played on key early rocksteady recordings including Roy Shirley's "Hold Them", and major hits of the genre including Alton Ellis's "Girl I've Got A Date".
He went on to work with producer Harry Mudie, leading Gladdy's All Stars, featuring bassist Jackie Jackson, drummer Winston Grennan, guitarist Hux Brown, and keyboardist Winston Wright. As Harry J All Stars the band had a massive hit in Jamaica and United Kingdom with the instrumental song "The Liquidator" in 1969 (and 1980!). He can be heard playing on hundreds of recordings as a session musician for Jamaica's prominent producers such as Bunny Lee, Lee Perry, Rupie Edwards and Clancy Eccles, to name but a few.
He had success as a singer in the late 1960s working with Stranger Cole as Stranger and Gladdy, including the singles "Just Like a River" and "Seeing is Knowing". This duo have the distinction of being the first artists released on the Channel 1 label, with "Don't Give Up the Fight" being released in 1973. His debut album, "It May Sound Silly", was released in 1972, and became a best-seller in Jamaica. Gladdy continued to work with Mudie, working on the late 1970s dub album series "Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's In Dub Conference", featuring Anderson's instrumental work on keys sweetened by the usual Mudie string arrangements. A second solo album was released in 1977, "Glady Unlimited", again produced by Mudie. In the 80s he became a member of the Roots Radics Band as piano player and arranger. He played on countless tracks with the Roots Radics, the most in-demand band of that time. In 1982 he released the vocal album, "Sings Songs For Today and Tomorrow". In 1989 he recorded the album "Get Closer". Anderson has also worked as a producer, his excellent roots reggae recordings appearing on the Rite Sound label.
On Saturday 5 December 2015, Gladstone 'Gladdy' Anderson died at age 81.
The French label Only Roots and the Brooklyn-based Digikiller Records have joined forces and the result is the re-release of Gladdy's 1982 album "Sings Songs For Today & Tomorrow" plus the near-companion dub set "Radical Dub Session" by the Roots Radics. Both albums, originally released in the early '80s on the Jahmani and Solid Groove labels respectively, were largely ignored or overlooked in the huge flood of releases issued by the popular producers of that time, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Linval Thompson and Joe Gibbs. Gladdy's vocal style is reminiscent of Carlton Manning of Carlton & His Shoes.
The album opens in roots style with an ABSOLUTE killer tune, "Brimstone And Fire", a true classic. Killer tune number two is "Speak The Truth"... such an appealing tune! "Just Another Chance" has a wonderful keyboard arrangement and is followed by a traditional praising tune called "Thanks And Praise". Gladdy's unique vocal approach is used in full effect on "Advantage", his humble delivery is niced up by mesmerizing guitar licks. More roots and culture on "Travelling Raddixx", a superb tune and a true musical adventure. A must for all roots lovers! "Mount Zion" is blessed with seriously great vibes and lyrically very strong. The lovers tune "Mind Memory" grabs you from start to finish with its powerful bass line and Gladdy's vocal approach. "This Is It - Try It" isn't our cup of tea, a little too much rock guitar riffs and so we go fast forward to the last tune on the album. "Let's Rap" is a more than decent album closer. The uptempo roots tune with it's bouncing riddim matches Gladdy's vocals perfectly!
Disc 2 is the sought-after dub set by the Roots Radics. The backing tracks are dubbed to the max by Channel One engineers Barnabas and Maxie. One would expect 10 dub workouts of the vocal album, but there are only 7 tunes reworked, three dub tunes don't 'match' the vocal set. In spite of this fact the dub album has no weak moments. It sees the Roots Radics skilfully dubbed up by Barnabas and Maxie. Some of our favorites here are "Crucial Dub", which is a blazing stripped down version of "Brimstone And Fire", "Wiseman Dub" the bass driven bouncing dub to "Let's Rap", "Do Good Dub" and "Rock In Dub".
Standout re-issue set!