Album review
Ska Days
The Gaylads
Soul Beat
28 - 12 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. BB Seaton - Only You
  2. BB Seaton - I'm So Glad
  3. BB Seaton - Hold On
  4. Bibby & The Astronauts - Rub It Down
  5. Bibby & The Astronauts - Wicked Men
  6. BB Seaton - Power
  7. Winston & Bibby - River Jordan
  8. Winston & Bibby - Whap A Do Di Wha
  9. Winston & Bibby - What Is Wrong With Me
  10. Winston & Bibby - Here I Come Again
  11. The Gaylads - Sweet Dreams
  12. Winston & Bibby - Trouble
  13. Winston & Bibby - I'll Be There
  14. The Gaylads - Emanuel Road
  15. The Gaylads - Brown Skin Gal
  16. The Gaylads - Sly Mongose
  17. The Gaylads - Charlie Marley
  18. The Gaylads - Nobody's Business
  19. The Gaylads - River Bed
  20. The Gaylads - Message To My Girl
  21. The Gaylads - Africa
  22. The Gaylads - Who Will You Tell Your Lies
  23. The Gaylads - Falling In Love
  24. The Gaylads - Slipping & Sliding
  25. The Gaylads - Don't Say No
  26. The Gaylads - Put On Your Style
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4

The Gaylads were formed in the early sixties. The founding member was B.B. Seaton. He is one of the premier song writers in the history of Jamaican music. His career began in the late fifties, growing up listening to US based groups such as The Platters, The Drifters, The Tempations and The Four Tops. In the early sixties he teamed up with Delano Stewart and Maurice Roberts to form The Gaylads. They recorded the hit single "Lady With The Red Dress On", on Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label. A series of singles and two albums - 'Soul Beat' and 'Gaylads Sing Folk', followed. In 1972, after ten years of working with companies like Studio One and Tip Top Records, he recorded his first solo hit 'Accept My Apology'. A stream of hits followed, 'Lean On Me', 'Thin Line Between Love And Hate', 'My Jamaican Girl', and 'No Good Girl' just to name a few. Furthermore he also recorded a string of fine albums. Throughout his career he has written numerous hit songs for other artists, and in his capacity of A & R at Studio One, Tip Top Records and Beverly Records, he auditioned artists like The Heptones, The Melodians, The Kingstonians, Lloyd Parks, Fred Locks and introduced Jackie Mittoo to Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. He served as executive member and vice president for the Jamaica Federation of Musicians. He received the El Suzie Award as best song writer and the Jamaican Cultural Development Award for pioneering Jamaican music as one of Jamaica's most recognized singers and songwriters.
The group is primarly remembered for their hits during the rocksteady era. This album, which could have been subtitled "The Gaylads at Studio One" presents the early (ska) outings of the group when they had names such as Winston & Bibby, Harris-Seaton and Bibby & the Astronauts. Most of the tunes here have never been released on CD before and were recorded between 1959 and 1967. The album opens with a 1959 Studio One track by BB Seaton called Only You and is introduced by King Stitt. That same year Power was recorded as a special for the Downbeat sound system. Three years later it was released as a single. The duo Winston & Bibby comprised of Delano Stewart and BB Seaton. They recorded some fine tunes, including the six that are on this album. In 1964 the lineup was completed when Maurice Roberts joined the group. They kept recording for Studio One and scored with hits such as Brown Skin Gal, Africa and Slipping And Sliding.
All tracks have been produced by Coxsone Dodd, except for Rub It Down and Wicked Men, the latter being one of the first Jamaican records to address serious social issues like crime and police brutality. The tunes were recorded at Studio One and Federal. Musicians are The Skatalites, Soul Vendors and The Astronauts.
A fine historical album !

Teacher & Mr. T.