Reggae Hit Basss Lines
Bright Beam Productions
January 10, 2010
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Vocalist, bass player, producer, arranger and living legend Leroy Sibbles is best known as the lead vocalist of the vocal harmony group The Heptones. They were one of the most popular groups of the ska and rocksteady era and dominated the charts on the island in the 1960's. Signature Heptones songs included 'Baby', 'Get in the Groove', 'Ting a Ling', 'Fattie Fattie', 'Got to Fight On (To the Top)', 'Party Time', and 'Sweet Talking'. The group's Studio One output has been collected on albums "The Heptones", "On Top", "Ting a Ling", "Freedom Line", and the Heartbeat Records anthology, "Sea of Love".
Leroy Sibbles, born 1949, Jamaica, fronted the original Heptones up to 1976, when he embarked on an erratic solo career. In the sixties he worked at Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One as a bass player, background vocalist, arranger and talent scout. Together with ace musicians like keyboard virtuoso, arranger and bandleader Jackie Mittoo, guitarists Eric Frater and Ernest Ranglin, drum player Phil Callender and percussionist Denzil Laing, Sibbles created some of Studio One's classic riddims. These riddims have been done over and over again during the last 4 decades in the new recordings created by others. In 1971 Leroy Sibbles and his Heptones ended their extremely successful association with Coxsone Dodd and went on to record for a range of renown producers including Joe Gibbs, Augustus Pablo, Harry Mudie and Harry J., still scoring hit after hit. Not only did Sibbles continue to come up with impressive compositions, the trio also started to rework songs from their Studio One years. Some of the best can be found on the "Night Food" album and their classic and most popular album "Party Time". The latter was also the last album of the original Heptones, although they reunited briefly to record an album - entitled "Pressure" - with producer Tappa Zukie in the early nineties.
When he left The Heptones and also Jamaica, he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he lived for 20 years, before returning to Jamaica. As a solo artist, he worked with Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes, Lloyd Parks, Sly & Robbie, Augustus Pablo, and Lee Perry, but primarily produced himself. In Canada, Sibbles won many awards, recorded an album for A&M and cut several albums for Pete Weston's Micron label including one of his best solo albums, the early 1980's released "Strictly Roots" which is a heavy drum & bass workout backed by the Roots Radics, is a showcase album - i.e. vocal cut accompanied by its dub version. All tracks were recorded at Channel One in Kingston, Jamaica, and contain that authentic early 80's roots sound. The album 'Now' was released in 1980 on Pete Weston's Micron label. It has always been a popular Leroy Sibbles set because of the nice combination of cultural tunes and lovers tracks. The album still sounds fresh and timeless after all these years. The 1984 released "On Top" album brings us an entertaining collection of tunes, some of which are reworkings of classic Heptones material.
"Reggae Hit Bass Lines" is Leroy Sibbles' latest effort. It's an album "dedicated to all hardworking musicians who dedicated their talent, time and passion to create the original classic reggae tracks that still provide the foundation for reggae music today". Leroy teams up with some of the best reggae musicians to create a 16 track album filled with classic riddims. Although all tunes are called 'dub' it's not that kind of heavy dub one might expect. We would like to describe them as superbly performed instrumental cuts.
The album is a kind of history book of reggae. There are not many reggae fans around who aren't familiar with these tunes. First comes Baby Why Dub, the instrumental cut to 'Baby Why' by The Cables. Next is an original Jackie Mittoo tune called Freakout Dub. Sanchez made it extremely popular as 'One In A Million'. Black Dub is a relative unknown riddim track. The vocal cut was done by Ken Boothe who named it 'Is It Because I'm Black'. Declaration Of Dub is the instrumental to one of the most sampled riddims in reggae, 'Declaration Of Rights' by The Abysinnians. Another scorcher riddim is 'Full Up'. The original was written by Leroy Sibbles and it gained international hit status when the UK based group Musical Youth recorded it in the early 1980's as 'Pass The Dutchie' to give it a broader appeal. One of the most impressive versions still is Freddie McGregor's 'Africa Here I Come'.
John Holt recorded 'A Love I Can Feel' for Studio One in the early 1970's. Actually it was cover of 'I Want A Love I Can See' a 1963 single by The Temptations for the Motown label. Here it's called'I Can Feel Dub. Let's go to Island Dub. The late great Dennis Brown recorded his first song 'No man Is An Island' on this fantastic riddim. Next comes 'Pieces Dub', a riddim made famous by the The Royals, aka Roy Cousins. The riddim includes that wicked mesmerizing bass line from Leroy! Cornell Campbell recorded dozens of hit tunes for a wide selection of producers. 'Stars' and 'Queen Of The Minstrel' still are recognizable tunes. Here you'll find the excellent instrumental cuts. 'Sweet Talking' is a fast paced Heptones' hit song and is featured here as Sweet Dub The Wailing Souls recorded some fine tunes for the Studio One label. One of their finest efforts was 'Things And Time'. The instrumental cut is called Things And Time Dub.
A worthy addition to the collection of any reggae fan.