Teach The Youth (At Joe Gibbs ~ 1980-85)
17 North Parade-Groove Attack
April 25, 2008
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Barrington Levy came to the scene
when (non-digital) dancehall started to gain attention with his distinctive whining
voice and ghetto patois phrasing, making him one of reggae's most requested vocalists.
Producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes was one of the first producers who recognised his
talents and in 1979 Barrington hit the Jamaican and UK charts with "Shine Eye Gal" on
the Jah Guidance label. Since then Barrington Levy quickly gained prominence and he
recorded for Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, Linval Thompson, Milton Welch, and Joe Gibbs. In the
mid-eighties he linked up with Jah Screw and scored big with "Under Mi Sensi" from
the hit album "Here I Come". Barrington entered the nineties with the excellent
"Divine" album for Island, and has been in the charts since then, his duet with
Bounty Killer, "Living Dangerously", being a massive hit in 1995.|
This set is released on the last year by VP Records launched 17 North Parade imprint - set up to pay homage to the historic location of Randy's Record Mart, the premier recording studio and record shop in Kingston and Mecca for reggae music between the late 60's and 70's -. The history of 17 North Parade begins over 40 years ago, when reggae pioneers Vincent Chin and his wife Patricia moved their record store to 17 North Parade, a former ice cream parlor in downtown Kingston. Above the new store they constructed a recording studio aptly called Randy's Studio 17 which became the recording facility of choice for the majority of reggae's most prominent artists, writers and producers. Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded parts of "Catch A Fire" there, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Bunny Lee, Niney The Observer, as well as foreign artists looking for the authentic reggae sound such as Quincy Jones and Joe Cocker all worked extensively at Randy's. Funnily enough engineer Errol 'ET' Thompson, left Randy's Studio 17 to start working with Joe Gibbs, one of Jamaica's most influential producers during the seventies and early eighties. Their long lasting relationship resulted in producing more than well over one hundred #1 hit records. They became famous as 'The Mighty Two' and with their studio band (consisting of always changing line-ups of the best reggae musicians available in Jamaica back then) they were also instrumental in popularizing dub with their African Dub series.
Here the brilliant relicks of Studio One and Treasure Isle riddims by Joe Gibbs & The Professional produced by the Mighty Two are backing the complete recorded works of legendary vocalist Barrington Levy for Joe Gibbs & 'ET', presented in extended versions that have been unavailable for over 25 years. The albums opens with the lyrically odd but funny "Wife And Sweetheart Dem A Friend" with a great toast by Rankin Trevor following for a combined 8 minutes of aural pleasure, followed by Barrington's take across Studio One's 'One Step Beyond' a.k.a. 'Bobby Babylon' "Mine Yuh Mouth" seguing into Lui Lepke's equally strong "Late Night Movie" and Barrington explaining in court about his disastrous marriage and pleading for a "Quick Divorce" over yet another seminal Studio One riddim, the Soul Vendors' 'Darker Shade Of Black' with Lui Lepke once more featured on the latter part of this 7 minutes disco-mix. For "My Woman" (a tune he recut alongside CÚCile for Steely & Clevie's tribute to Joe Gibbs "Old To The New") the seminal 'Love Is Not A Gamble'-riddim the Techniques recorded in 1965 at Treasure Isle is taken, over which Kojak & Liza deliver their strong DJ-combination take "Ten Thousand Women".
Inspiration for The Professionals is then again coming from Studio One as "Do Good" in its extended mix dubs up the brilliant 1969 Bob Andy riddim 'Unchained' before the title track of this album "Teach The Youth" is sung over Horace Andy's 1976 'Mr. Bassie'-riddim, immediately followed by another Horace Andy Studio One gem relicked in Mighty Two style as "Good Loving" comes on top of 1972's 'Skylarking'-riddim. 1985's "Give You Everything" is as brilliantly sung but the riddim here shows the more militant rootsy approach by The Mighty Two & The Professionals even better than on the relicks (which I however do prefer), before we're treated to some of The Professionals' B-side dubs that highlight the sheer musical power of the backings used for the vocal tunes. "Family Affair" is the 5 minute long powerful dub to "Wife And Sweetheart Dem A Friend", "Mouth Talk" a brilliant dub reworking of "Mine Yuh Mouth"'s 'Bobby Babylon'-riddim, while "Gwaan And Lef Me" is the dub version of the 'Darker Shade Of Black'-riddim of "Quick Divorce". The last tune on this superb Barrington Levy (& Friends) reissue "Teach The Youth (At Joe Gibbs ~ 1980 - 85)" is "Cast Eye Boy" dubbing up the 'Love Is Not A Gamble'-riddim of "My Woman", closing a set that in my opinion will rank among the best reissues that will be released this year, a must buy thus!